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The Honorable James R. Spencer

Judge James R. Spencer was born on March 25, 1949 in Florence, South Carolina. He was among the first in his family to attend college, enrolling at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1967. He graduated magna cum laude in 1971, and went on to study at Harvard Law School, where he obtained his J.D. degree in 1974. The following year, Spencer graduated in the top five percent of his class at the Judge Advocate General’s School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Spencer later studied at the Howard University School of Divinity, graduating in 1985.

Spencer’s interest in law began in 1967, while working under civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman at her public interest law firm, the Washington Research Project. Upon graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked as a staff attorney with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. He went on to serve as a prosecutor, and then as chief of justice, with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1975 to 1978. From there, Spencer became an assistant attorney general, serving the U.S. Attorney’s Office of District of Columbia. He was the first African American attorney assigned to the office’s Major Crimes Division. In 1983, he moved to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia, where he remained until 1986 when he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first African American district court judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. From 1987 to 1996, Spencer also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Virginia. In 2004, Spencer was appointed as chief justice of the district, serving until 2011. In 2014, Spencer assumed the rank of senior judge. He presided over a number of high-profile cases over the course of his career, including the 2006 patent infringement suit between Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry devices, and the patent holding company NTP, Inc.; and the 2014 corruption trial of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

Spencer was a member of numerous professional, civic and fraternal organizations, including the State Bar of Georgia, the District of Columbia Bar, the Virginia State Bar, the National Bar Association, the Old Dominion Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association, Big Brothers of America, the NAACP, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Mu, Sigma Pi Phi, and Phi Beta Kappa. Spencer also earned a black belt and was a member of the U.S. Karate Association. He served as associate pastor of the 3rd Union Baptist Church in King William, Virginia.

Judge James R. Spencer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 8, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.132

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/8/2016

Last Name

Spencer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Harvard Law School

Howard University School of Divinity

Carver Elementary Magnet School

Wilson High School

Wilson Junior High School

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Florence

HM ID

SPE64

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau

Favorite Quote

I Was Young But Now I'm Old But I Have Never Seen The Righteous Forsaken.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

3/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rib Eye With Grits

Short Description

Judge James R. Spencer (1949 - ) worked for civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman at the Washington Research Project, and was the first African American federal district court judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Employment

Washington Research Project

Atlanta Legal Aid Society

U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps

District of Columbia

Eastern District of Virginia

University of Virginia

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable James R. Spencer's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his early neighborhood in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers segregation in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers an early case in his judicial career

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls working as a caddy at Florence Country Club in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers a racist encounter at a movie theater

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his education at Carver Elementary School in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers a discouraging teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls reading Jet Magazine as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers an early glimpse into the legal profession

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers attending Center Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls the school system in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his activities at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers playing music with his brother and cousin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers the social gatherings of his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls his decision to attend Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about classism in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls the congregation's support of his educational endeavors

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls his summer jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his early influences at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls learning about African American history at Wilson High School

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his summer internship with the Washington Research Project in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his professors at Clark College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his mentors at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls his decision to attend Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his first year at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his classmates and professors at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls his work experiences at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about passing the bar exam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his experiences in Judge Advocate General's Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls being hired as an assistant United States attorney

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his experiences as assistant district attorney

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls attending Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers his appointment as a federal judge

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes the work of a federal judge

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls meeting Oliver W. Hill

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer reflects upon his role as a federal judge

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers the patent case, NTP, Inc. v. Research in Motion, Ltd., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers the patent case, NTP, Inc. v. Research in Motion, Ltd., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls his efforts to improve diversity in government positions in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable James R. Spencer recalls becoming chief judge

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer remembers the Kemba Smith case

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about discriminatory drug laws

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his involvement with police brutality cases

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his role as senior judge

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable James R. Spencer shares his judicial philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable James R. Spencer reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable James R. Spencer talks about his children's accomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable James R. Spencer describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable James R. Spencer narrates his photographs

Ronald A. Crutcher

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher was born on February 27, 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Andrew and Burdella Crutcher. Crutcher graduated from Woodward High School in 1965, and went on to attend Miami University of Ohio, where he received his B.M. degree in 1969. He earned his M.M.A. degree from the Yale School of Music in 1972. Crutcher received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1972 to study in West Germany until 1977. In 1979, he became the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music.

Crutcher debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1985. He also performed around the world with a number of groups, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Klemperer Trio, and the Chanticleer String Quartet. In addition to his music career, Crutcher worked as an educator and school administrator. Crutcher was head of the string program at Wittenberg University School of Music from 1977 to 1979. He was then hired as an assistant professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and was promoted to coordinator of the string area of their School of Music in 1984. In 1989, Crutcher became the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1990, he joined the Conservatory at The Cleveland Institute of Music as a vice president for academic affairs and dean. He became the director of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas – Austin in 1994. In 1999, Crutcher was hired as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio. In 2004, he was hired as president and professor of music at Wheaton College. In 2016, Crutcher became the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Crutcher co-founded Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) within the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where he also served on the board. He also served on numerous community and corporate boards including the board of the American Council on Education, The Fulbright Association, and multiple boards for symphonies and music associations. Crutcher has received various awards and honors for his work in higher education and music including honorary doctorates from Muhlenberg College, Colgate University, and Wheaton College. Crutcher has also received the Presidential Medal of Honor from the University of Cordoba in Spain, The Cultural Excellence Award from The Cleveland Music School Settlement, and a Certificate of Merit from the Yale School of Music Alumni Association.

Crutcher and his wife, Betty Neal Crutcher, have one daughter, Sara.

Ronald A. Crutcher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 6, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2016

Last Name

Crutcher

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Andrew

Schools

Miami University

Yale University

University of Bonn

Frankfurt State Academy

Woodward Career Technical High School

First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Cincinnati

HM ID

CRU03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Marthas Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I've been terrified all of my life but thats never stopped me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

2/27/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All food

Short Description

Academic administrator and cellist Ronald A. Crutcher (1947 – ) was the first cellist to receive a D.M.A. degree from the Yale University School of Music. He also served as president of Wheaton College before becoming the first African American president of the University of Richmond.

Employment

University of Richmond

Wheaton College (MA)

Miami University of Ohio

University of Texas at Austin

The Cleveland Inst. of Music

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Wittenberg University (Germany)

The Bonn School of Music (Germany)

Favorite Color

Blue

Neil Brown

Businessman and lawyer Clarence O’Neill “Neil” Brown III was born on November 1, 1952 in Jersey City, New Jersey to Clarence Brown and Betty Bascome. After Brown’s father died when he was three, his mother worked as a secretary and then became a loan officer at a bank. He attended Nishuane Elementary school, a public school in Montclair, New Jersey, and then Newark Academy, a private high school in Livingston, New Jersey. In 1974, Brown graduated from Harvard University with his A.B. degree in government. He went on to receive his M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1979.

Brown moved to New York City in 1980 and worked as an attorney with the law firm of Sherman & Sterling. In 1981, he was hired at Home Box Office (HBO), where he went on to serve as vice president of programming. In 1986, Brown and his wife, Amsale Aberra, launched Amsale Aberra, Inc., a bridal gown company generally known as Amsale, out of their New York City apartment. In 1998, he founded Anavista Entertainment, L.L.C., a music, film and television production, distribution and consulting company. Brown then became chief executive officer of Amsale in 2001, now known as The Amsale Group, and includes the three luxury bridal collections of Amsale, Christos and Kenneth Pool.

He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, and served as Sire Archon of Beta Zeta Boule from 2005 to 2007. Brown and his wife live in Manhattan, New York City. They have one daughter, singer-songwriter Rachel Brown.

Neil Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.163

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/17/2014

Last Name

Brown

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Nishuane

Newark Academy

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

Harvard Business School

First Name

Neil

Birth City, State, Country

Jersey City

HM ID

BRO60

State

New Jersey

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/1/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Businessman and lawyer Neil Brown (1952 - ) was the CEO of Amsale Aberra, Inc. and coowner and founder of Anavista Entertainment, L.L.C. He also served as vice president of programming for Home Box Office (HBO).

Employment

Amsale Aberra LLC

Anavista LLC

HBO

Sherman & Sterling

The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr.

Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. was born on August 17, 1944 in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1966, he graduated from Tennessee State University with his B.A. degree in political science. Wharton then received his J.D. degree in 1971 from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he graduated with honors and was one of the first African American students to serve on the Moot Court Board and the first to serve on the Judicial Council.

Wharton first worked in Washington, D.C., at the Office of General Council of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for two years, and then for a year at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he headed the Public Employment Project. In 1973, Wharton moved to Memphis, Tennessee and was hired as executive director of Memphis Area Legal Services, a nonprofit organization providing civil legal assistance to low-income citizens. Then, in 1974, he became the University of Mississippi’s first African American professor of law, a position that he would hold for twenty-five years.

In 1980, then-Shelby County, Tennessee mayor, Bill Morris, appointed Wharton as Shelby County’s Chief Public Defender. Wharton chaired the county’s Jail Overcrowding Committee; and, in 1982, wrote and saw passed one of the first state laws in the United States to combat domestic violence. In addition to his role as a public defender, Wharton and his wife established the law firm of Wharton and Wharton in 1980.

In 2002, Wharton was elected as the first African American Mayor of Shelby County, and was re-elected in 2006. As Shelby County Mayor, he established Operation Safe Community, the area's first comprehensive crime-fighting plan, developed the community’s first smart growth and sustainability plan, and tackled education and early childhood development issues with programs like “Books from Birth” and “Ready, Set, Grow.” Wharton also improved the management and accountability of the County's Head Start program. His reforms attracted the attention of the United States Congress, where he was called to testify before the House Committee on Education.

In October of 2009, Wharton was elected as the Mayor of the City of Memphis, and was re-elected in 2011. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, and has addressed major policy institutions and conferences of the Brookings Institute, CEOs for Cities, and the National Association for Counties.

Wharton lives in Memphis with his wife, Ruby. They have raised six sons.

A C Wharton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/26/2014

Last Name

Wharton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Market Street Elementary PS

Wilson County Training School

Harvard Law School

Tennessee State University

University of Mississippi

First Name

A C

Birth City, State, Country

Lebanon

HM ID

WHA02

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York City

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

8/17/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oatmeal

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. (1944 - ) was elected Mayor of the City of Memphis, Tennessee in 2009. He was also the first black mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee and the first African American law professor at the University of Mississippi.

Employment

City of Memphis

Shelby County Government

Wharton Law Firm

University of Mississippi

Memphis Area Legal Services

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of General Counsel

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1010,15:5353,100:48870,446:80765,719:112680,1111:139610,1411:175655,2028:180911,2088:190060,2189$0,0:9047,177:32400,594:33040,607:49278,1004:55494,1076:55998,1083:64096,1176:65734,1193:80936,1423:119198,1670:172848,2282:173870,2301:206820,2654
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Slating of The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about his mother's aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about his mother's career as a barber

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his father's first grocery business

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Sr. talks about his early understanding of reproduction

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his parents' religious affiliations

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls his father's work schedule

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's home in Lebanon, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. talks about the farming economy in Lebanon, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls the history of Tater Peeler Road

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers his work ethic as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's reading habits

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls selling Baltimore Afro-American newspapers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers the influence of his teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. remembers the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes the telephone system in the 1950s

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. recalls a lesson from his father, pt. 2
The Honorable A C Wharton, Jr. describes his family's reading habits
Transcript
But I'll, I'll never forget. I can see my daddy [A.C. Wharton, Sr.] right now sitting right by the kitchen door, taking his shoes off. And I finally got the nerve up, 'cause I was--I had to make a decision: was I gonna go to school, or was I gonna do what Mr. Tatum [ph.] told me to do? So finally I just said, "Daddy, Mr. Tatum said I don't have to go to school tomorrow. We got to finish those rocks--finish that fence." And he said, "You just go with me tomorrow morning." I didn't know what that meant. So as opposed to walking to school with the other boys, I got in the car with daddy. And we drove over to my daddy's place of work. He also worked for this--for Mr. Tatum. My daddy was a very mild man, never raised his voice. But he went to Mr. Tatum. I'll never forget that. Mr. Tatum was sitting at his desk. And my daddy said, "I understand you told Brother [HistoryMaker A C Wharton, Jr.] he didn't have to go to school tomorrow." And he said, "Mr. Tatum," he said, "I work for you, and I'll do what you tell me to here on the job." He said, "But when it comes to my house, I tell my children what to do. He's going to school." "Ah," he said, "I didn't mean no harm. I didn't mean--I, I didn't mean any harm." My daddy was a short man, but my daddy stood about ten feet tall. It was just a load was lifted off of me because I was so afraid that that man was gonna fire my daddy, which would jeopardize my sisters, my little brother [Kenneth Wharton] all because of me running my big mouth. But my daddy stood like a giant once he said that, didn't raise his voice, didn't curse, didn't make any threats, but he just stood up. And it just seared indelibly in my mind the importance of education. I just don't see how young folks can squander all these opportunities. When my daddy just went way out there on a limb I mean, see, and if he had lost that job, see, he could have gotten blackballed because that man was well respected in the community. And if the word got out, "That Wharton guy there has got a lot of mouth, uppity," or whatever. I mean think of the pain and suffering that could have caused my family.$$Yeah. Yeah, that's quite a story.$Did your parents teach you to read at home? I mean, did, did your mother [Mary Seay Wharton] or, or, or father [A.C. Wharton, Sr.] or--$$Oh, my mom will tell--yeah, I wish she were here to tell. But once I got into it, I, I got frustrated. I would hear my mother read magazines and newspapers and things at night, and she would read them aloud quite often. And I didn't know how a newspaper worked, but I remember she had read me a story out of the paper one day about something. And I don't know why I thought the newspaper would be the same every day. But shortly after, once I got the swing of the first grade [Market Street Elementary School, Lebanon, Tennessee] I grabbed the newspaper and started looking for the same story she had read me. But I didn't know it didn't show up every day like a book that was there (laughter). Yes, she did read to us. Then we had Sunday school, where the Sunday school teacher [at Market Street Church of Christ, Lebanon, Tennessee] would teach us to read from a little card, Bible verses and things like that even before, even before school. They would just give you the word, and you'd repeat it, whatever. And there as a, there was a real respect for the printed page in my family. Let me tell you one thing, my [maternal] grandmother [Dessie Manning Seay] and others would go off to do housework, domestic work. And it's kind of funny. It's sick, but in a way it's kind of funny how they would maybe pay them a dollar but then give them a bunch of junk to make them feel good, old magazines, stuff that was so old, dog-eared, just anything to make, make--give them--feel I'm giving them something. But we had a rule in my house, no matter how old Life magazine was or Reader's Digest, if it came in the front door, it did not go out the back door until you read it. I remember trying to read the Reader's Digest, every once in a while an old National Geographic, a Sears [Sears, Roebuck and Co.] catalog. If you came in it, in that front door, you tried to read it. And my mom knew this, and this is why she bought our set of encyclopedia, Funk and Wagnalls [Funk and Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia], which we still have, still on the bookshelf to this day, one book at a time. Can you imagine that? It took maybe two years, maybe three years, 'cause you'd get one volume. You'd mail in fifty cent, and you'd get another one. And it took forever for us to get that one set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia that, as I say, the books are still there. My mother really sacrificed to make sure that this was one family that had some books in the house, made all the difference in the world.

Charles D. Moody, Sr.

Educator and college administrator Charles Moody, Sr. was born August 30, 1932 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. His mother, Rosetta, came from Woodeville, Mississippi and his father, James N. Moody, came from Belize. Moody attended Scott Street and Perkins Elementary Schools; finished the 8th grade at McKinley High School and graduated from Southern University Lab High School in 1950. Earning his B.S. degree in chemistry from Central State University in 1954, Moody received a commission in the United States Army. After basic training, he married Christella Parks, also an educator and Central State graduate. In 1961, Moody received his master’s of science education degree from Chicago Teachers College. He received his Ph.D. in educational administration from Northwestern University in 1971.

After starting his career as teacher, in 1968 Moody became superintendent of the Harvey, Illinois Public Schools. Joining the education faculty of the University of Michigan in 1970, Moody worked as chairman of the School of Education Specialists, School of Education, director of the Program for Educational Opportunity in 1970, director of the Project for Fair Administration of School Discipline in 1975, director of the Center for Sex Equity in Schools in 1981, vice provost for Minority Affairs in 1987, executive director of the South African Initiative Office and in 1997, he became vice provost emeritus and professor emeritus. Moody worked as superintendent of searches for Hazard Young and Attea from 1987 to 2002.

Moody’s 1970 dissertation on black superintendents resulted in the formation of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, (NABSE.) Today, NABSE has 6,000 members and 125 affiliates across the United States. Honored as NABSE founder, and as a distinguished graduate of Central State University and Northwestern University, Moody lives in retirement with his wife in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Charles D. Moody and Christella D. Moody South African Initiative Fund was established in their honor to actively involve the University of Michigan community with the development of South Africa. The University of Michigan established the Charles D. Moody, Sr. Collegiate Professorship in Psychology and Education in September 2011.

Accession Number

A2004.190

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/1/2004

Last Name

Moody

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

Southern University Laboratory School

Perkins Road Elementary School

Scott Street Elementary School

McKinley Senior High School

Northwestern University

Central State University

Chicago State University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

MOO06

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Ray Shepard

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

Hard Times Will Make A Monkey Eat Pepper And Swear It's Sweet.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

8/30/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Jambalaya

Death Date

3/2/2019

Short Description

Academic administrator Charles D. Moody, Sr. (1932 - ) founded the National Alliance of Black School Educators, is the vice provost emeritus and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, and worked as Superintendent of Searches for Hazard Young and Attea.

Employment

Harvey, Illinois Public Schools

University of Michigan

Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates

Evanston School District

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1756,37:15446,230:25062,325:25522,331:29110,380:29478,385:46048,551:49700,556:50456,567:54980,595:55308,600:55882,609:56292,615:60664,639:63408,662:67328,736:68014,744:102860,1055:104430,1060:111796,1133:131083,1247:178915,1582:180271,1596:180836,1602:182418,1748:208450,1856$0,0:13480,277:33337,568:60081,889:64352,950:64704,955:65056,960:70512,1041:70864,1046:76320,1161:92661,1315:127332,1736:130256,1791:145731,1959:146205,1967:146521,1972:151850,2047:152154,2052:154030,2067:154318,2072:154678,2078:155038,2084:161408,2097:163708,2146:168860,2202:181488,2343:182178,2356:183230,2366
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for Charles D. Moody, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his mother and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. recalls meeting his father's possible relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. recalls his father's work as a Jeanes Supervisor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his neighborhood growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. lists the schools he attended as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes himself as a boy

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. explains his mother's lesson on equity

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. recalls his favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers being an outspoken child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. recalls segregated high school and college sports

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his activities at Baton Rouge's Southern University Laboratory School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers traveling to the College of Education and Industrial Arts at Wilberforce

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers professors at Wilberforce's Central State College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers professors at Wilberforce's Central State College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his academics at Wilberforce's Central State College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. speaks about his wife, Christella Moody

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes living in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers working in Chicago area schools

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers attending Evanston's Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. recalls starting the National Alliance of Black School Educators

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes trends in hiring school superintendents

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. talks about NABSE mentoring young professionals

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes NABSE's successes

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. reflects upon high expectations and student success

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers famous educators he worked with

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers becoming the University of Michigan's vice provost for minority affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. explains his approach as vice provost for minority affairs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes the South African Initiative Office at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers moving to Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. shares his thoughts on affirmative action

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes his parents and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles D. Moody, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Charles D. Moody, Sr. describes NABSE's successes
Charles D. Moody, Sr. remembers becoming the University of Michigan's vice provost for minority affairs
Transcript
What in your estimation would be the highlights of NABSE [National Alliance of Black School Educators], you know, what NABSE has been able to do?$$One thing I think has been--we've developed some programs. And there's a document that was published by NABSE called 'Saving the African-American Child.' And it's just talking about academic and cultural excellence, and having the high expectations and teaching kids algebra in the fifth grade or third grade, or whatever, so that's there some expectation--that there's some cultural excellence--that, that people get together and talk about and deal with and share information. Programs, effective programs--we have an academy, Ron Edmonds Academy [Ron Edmonds Summer Academy], that's dealing with the principles of Ron Edmonds [Ronald Edmonds], who said every child can learn. But the problem is, is that education of interest to us? And do we really want kids to learn? You know, education for a long time has been, what? Sorting and sifting, and saying, "Hey, you're going to be something. But we need some folks to do the menial tasks. We need somebody to do some--but you folks, y'all going to be it." And so, we sort and we sift, and we weed out. We nurture some people to go and do some things. You know, flowers are not going to grow if I don't put no fertilizer on them, if I don't nurture those flowers, if I don't tend to the flowers. But if I tend to the flowers, they're gonna grow. And they can't grow by themselves. And I think, you know--just friendship. What--I tell you, people will tell you NABSE has workshops and great sessions at the annual conference. We have regional affairs. We have some people who've been fighting in the vineyard for a long time, and it's time that we try to--and we are beginning to get the young people coming along and taking a leadership role.$You were talking about this meeting in 1987--$$Yeah.$$--with your wife [Christella Moody] and [HistoryMaker] Ruth Love, and other people were there.$$Yeah. And we were just sitting down, just the three of us. And she said, "Well, I'm going back and start packing, because we have to be back in Ann Arbor [Michigan]." I said, "We're going by Baton Rouge [Louisiana], I thought." She said, "Oh, we're going to have to go back." I said, "Well, okay, if you want to go back, okay." And so, she went to the room. And while she was in the room packing, she got a call from the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan]. And the students were protesting, and about to close the place down. And Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] was coming there to meet with them. And they said, well, Jesse and them said, "We're not going to do anything until you come. Can you come back?" So my wife said, "Well, you know, it's going to take some time and trouble trying to get--." So, she made the arrangements and we came, I came back. And I picked up Wade [H.] McCree. I don't know--Wade McCree used to be the solicitor general of the United States. He was a law professor, he's passed now, Wade McCree. And we rode to this meeting together. And these students were saying that they wanted an office of vice provost, or vice president for minority affairs. And they wanted me to be the vice provost. And after the big rally and stuff, we went to the Hill Auditorium. And Jesse got up and made a comment about you're looking for a vice, you're looking for a vice provost, and he's got the best person right here. And he called my name out there in front of an auditorium full of--but, anyway, I talked with the president, Harold [T.] Shapiro, who was president then about it, and I accepted the position. And I always felt it was the students who made them create this position. These folks didn't do this out the goodness of their hearts, that they wanted to be good fellows. I say if those students hadn't been there with that pressure, they never would have created that position. And so, I was appointed. And we came up with some things. That's why that thing on the wall back there is good for you to see. I'll see if she has one, and maybe we can take a picture of it and use--but anyway, we talked about trying to do something.

Robert Green

Renowned educator and author Robert Green was born on November 23, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Detroit public schools, and while at student at Sherrard Intermediate School, he was a member of the band and earned extra money by delivering telegraphs. He earned his high school diploma from Northern High School in 1952, where he was a member of the football and track teams.

In 1954, Green was drafted in the army and stationed at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco. While working at the hospital at night he attended San Francisco State College and earned his bachelor's of arts degree in general psychology in 1958. He went on to earn his master's in educational psychology from San Francisco in 1960. While working on his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, he was a researcher on a project examining desegregation in Prince Edward county Virginia, a school district that closed its public schools when ordered to desegregate. Green earned his Ph.D. in 1963.

Green joined the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as its National Education Director in 1965. In this position he worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King until he left the organization in 1967. From 1968 through 1973, Green was the Director of the Center for Urban Affairs at Michigan State University. In 1973, he was named the Dean of the College of Urban Development, a position he held until 1982. From 1983 until 1985, Green was the President of the University of the District of Columbia. He would eventually return to MSU, where he currently works as an administrator and professor.

Green is the author of several books that focus primarily on the impact that poverty and racial discrimination has on American's urban populations. His writings include The Urban Challenge, Poverty and Race and Metropolitan Desegregation and Expectations: How Teacher Expectations Can Increase Student Achievement. Green has served as an expert witness in more than twenty school desegregation cases. He and wife Lettie have been married for nearly fifty years and have three grown sons.

Accession Number

A2004.095

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/14/2004 |and| 9/30/2004 |and| 10/1/2004

Last Name

Green

Maker Category
Schools

Northern High School

Sherrard Intermediate School

Michigan State University

San Francisco State University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

GRE07

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Take It A Day At A Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

11/23/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Pound), Vanilla Ice Cream

Short Description

Academic administrator Robert Green (1933 - ) served as the director of the Center for Urban Affairs at Michigan State University, and later became the dean of the College of Urban Development. Green is also the former president of the University of the District of Columbia.

Employment

Letterman Army Hospital

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Michigan State University Center for Urban Affairs

Michigan State University

University of the District of Columbia

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Green's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Green lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Green describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Green describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Green talks about his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Green talks about his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Green talks about lynchings in the South and his father's decision to move to Detroit, Michigan, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Green talks about lynching in the South and his father's decision to move to Detroit, Michigan, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Green describes his father's military service in France during World War I

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Green describes the threats African American soldiers faced when they returned from World War I and II

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Green explains his parents' move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Green remembers violence against African Americans integrating neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Green talks about the impact of fear on African Americans and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s greatest contribution

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Green describes his earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Green talks about his siblings and his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Green describes his experience traveling in the South with his father as a child during the 1930s and '40s

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Green recalls how his childhood prepared him for his civil rights work with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Green talks about Dwyer Elementary School and being sent to Moore School for Boys in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Green reflects upon his childhood anger and describes his upbringing in the Church of God in Christ

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Green talks about Sherrard Intermediate School and Northern High School in Detroit, Michigan and his relationship to his brothers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Green remembers his siblings' and his involvement in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Green describes how his views on religion have changed over the years and his father's church

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Green talks about playing football in high school, and wrestling at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Green talks about his father's focus on education and its impact on his family

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Green describes his siblings' mentorship

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Green recalls attending San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California while serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Green talks about mentors at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Green talks about racial discrimination he experienced while trying to obtain a school psychologist position

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert Green remembers meeting his wife at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Green remembers being the first black Yellow Cab driver in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Green talks about his wife Lettie Green's role in apprehending the Marcus baby kidnapper in San Francisco, California in 1955

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Green remembers his civil rights work in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Green talks about housing discrimination in East Lansing, Michigan and desegregating Big Ten Athletic Association officials

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Green talks about Carlton Goodlett's influence on him in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Green remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Green remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Green recalls the Meredith March Against Fear in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Green remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s response to a threat of assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Green recalls the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) harassment of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Green remembers the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Green reflects upon the psychological impact of racism on civil rights leaders, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Green talks about civil rights activist C.T. Vivian

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Green reflects upon the psychological impact of racism on civil rights leaders, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Green describes how he was affected psychologically by the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Green talks about the psychological protection afforded some civil rights activists by religious faith and a strong sense of self, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Green talks about the psychological protection afforded some civil rights activists by religious faith and a strong sense of self, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Green describes his directorship of the Center for Urban Affairs at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Green recalls his career as a university administrator in Washington, D.C. and Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Green describes his recent work with public school districts, his current projects and the best civil rights book

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Green reflects upon what people don't know about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Green talks about the meaning of militancy and the American culture of violence

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Green talks about the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and King's unrealized potential

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Green describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Green talks about the Association of Black Psychologists' founders and goals

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Green explains the need for African American professional organizations, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Green explains the need for African American professional organizations, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Green reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Green reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Green talks about serving as board chairman of Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Green talks about his parents and tells the story of his mother meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Green talks about his family and his friendship with the King family

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Green describes how he would like to remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Green narrates his photographs, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Green narrates his photographs, pt.2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Green narrates his photographs, pt.3

DASession

2$2

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
Robert Green describes his experience traveling in the South with his father as a child during the 1930s and '40s
Robert Green remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s response to a threat of assassination
Transcript
My dad [Thomas J. Green] was a Pentecostal minister, so when I used to travel south with him to the annual Church of God in Christ convention, so I saw discrimination firsthand in the South. My mother [Alberta Vinson Green] would try to prevent having to seek food by cooking enough food to last us the trip from Detroit [Michigan] to Memphis, Tennessee to the annual Church of God in Christ meetings. Sometimes, she'd run out of food. And that's when I can recall my dad going to the back of restaurants, knocking on the kitchen door because in those days, most of the cooks were black. They were black. And they--when we would knock on the door, they would see us. They knew what the--the issue was food. And sometimes they would, they would talk to the owner. He would allow us to eat in the kitchen. Sometime they would not--we'd have to take the food out, and eat in the car. And sometimes, they wouldn't let the cooks give you any food at all. And that was kind of rare because that was before the protest movement so, and blacks--that status was well-defined. Growing up, I remember sometimes going with my dad into the black community, seeing the sheriff, and the sheriff always knew when you were out of town--ad out-of-towner. My dad, he knew the southern ways. My dad knew how to smile and my dad knew how to say "Sir." And so, we were trying to find the colored community, and the sheriff would direct us there. And we would sometimes go there and get food--occasionally, maybe spend the night. In those days, when you were traveling and blacks saw that you're travelers, they took good care of you. I remember that. I remember my dad being, always keeping money in his pocket, cash--because that was a route that a lot of the black ministers took. And the sheriffs knew you were coming. And I can recall one very specific, one very specific occasion in Tennessee--my dad being stopped by the sheriff. And my dad was probably traveling through town maybe ten, fifteen miles per hour. And he was--said, "Boy, you know you're speeding." And my dad would say, "Yes, sir". My dad said, "How much do you need?" He said, "What can you give me?" And my dad would give him five or ten dollars, and they'd let him go. So, that was a pattern. So, I saw this kind of activity growing up, which led me to begin early on, long before I had a Ph.D. and studied psychology, human behavior, to understand the corrupt aspect of America and how that, at the basic level--a local sheriff, shaking down a black minister from the North for five or ten dollars--how basic that is to the later corruption that we saw in America. I won't talk about Enron [Corporation].$You were talking about all the--what you learned about American race working with [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.]. But I know there are a couple--there's one incident that I heard about where you were in a car with Dr. King, and Bernard Lee, and I think, [HistoryMaker] Andrew Young?$$James Belk. That was in--$$[HistoryMaker Reverend] James Bevel?$$Belk--$$Belk.$$James Belk owned the gas station.$$Right. Well, tell that story from the beginning.$$We were in a car--and was it Grenada [Mississippi] or Natchez [Mississippi]?$$What year is it, too? Let's give us a perspective?$$That was the year I returned to Michigan State [University, East Lansing, Michigan] or that was in '66 [1966]--$$Okay.$$--fall, and I was (unclear)--so I mean fall of '66 [1966]. We were--it was the opening of school, and we were there to assist parents in staying strong under the segregation of those schools. And I believe it was Natchez--it was Natchez or Grenada. I've got it in my notes--Natchez. And we pulled up to a Texaco station. Dr. King--in the front of the car was Coretta [Scott] King's cousin, Obie [ph.] was driving--not Obie--well, anyway, Coretta King's cousin was driving. And Dr. King was on the right side, front seat. In the back was Andrew Young, myself, and Bernard Lee who had travelled with Dr. King. And we always tried to get Dr. King to sit in the back of the car in the middle where he'd have more protection. And he would never, never do that. And so, we pull up to the light, and--it was Grenada. James Belk, owner of the gas station, saw Dr. King. He was pumping gas. He stopped pumping gas. He walked up to the car, pulled out his pistol, and put it up to Dr. King's temple. Why Bernard, why the driver, Obie--Obie was his name--didn't take off--I don't know--but everybody froze. He said, "Martin Luther King, Jr., you so and so, and so and so, I'm going to blow your f-ing brains out." Dr. King very calmly turned to him and said, "Brother, I love you." And that pistol came down. Well, of course, we all were at--probably had heart attacks in all four chambers, and we were pretty put out. See, it was-"Dr. King, we told you, you should ride in the back, you should ride in the back of the car. Look what happened." He very calmly turned to us and said, "Look, [President] John Fitzgerald [Kennedy] had the [U.S.] Army, the [U.S.] Navy, the [U.S.] Air Force, the [U.S.] Coast Guard, and the Secret Service, and they assassinated him. When they're ready for me and my time comes, I'm gone." I remember that incident. That was his response. The other thing that I remember was a meeting of the [Mississippi] Freedom Democratic Party [MFDP] in Chicago [Illinois] where Dr. King spoke. We were on our way to Washington, D.C. where he gave the keynote address at the American Psychological Association's [APA] meeting. He had been invited by [Dr.] Kenneth [B.] Clark and Tom Petty who would speak there, and I was traveling with him. And, matter of fact, my wife [Lettie Clement Green] was with us during that time. And there was a lot of shouting at Dr. King by so-called liberals, liberal blacks, and radical blacks, and liberal whites that non-violence is not going to work and why are you pressing non-violence on us? We need to, you know, be more militant in our stance against segregation. Some, some even talked about taking up arms against segregation in America, which came to have nothing to do with. And the next day--I mean, they shouted him down and it was, he was visibly annoyed by it, not shaking fearful. In the plane the next day on our way to Washington, D.C., he said, and I heard him say this to Andy Young and myself, "There's really only one place I really feel comfortable speaking today. And we said where?" He said, "In the black church in the South," and that's where he was assassinated while getting ready to go speak at a black church in the South. He was going to speak at the Church of God in Christ [Mason] Temple in Memphis [Tennessee]. That's where he was shot. So, King had--he was never afraid, but there was a growing awareness that he could be a target for assassination and we all worried about it.

N. John Douglas

Broadcast chief executive N. John Douglas was born in New York City in 1938, the son of Mae, a registered nurse, and John, a teller. In 1960, Douglas received his B.S. degree in physics from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. At Bates, he participated in athletics and still holds the long jump record for a New England college athlete.

After earning his M.S. degree in physics from Howard University in 1962, Douglas worked as a senior scientist at Lockheed Research Laboratories in Palo Alto, California. He worked there until 1968, winning the Lockheed Corporation Publication Award in both 1967 and 1968. Douglas entered the world of business in 1968 at the Bank of America, becoming the first African American security analyst at a major financial institution. That same year, he studied business administration at the University of Santa Clara and investment analysis and management at the University of California, Berkeley. Douglas continued working as a security analyst and in managerial positions, for various companies and brokerage houses until 1981.

Since then, Douglas has been highly successful in the field of broadcast programming and operations. In 1981, he founded KSTS-TV, Channel 48 in San Jose, California, the first African American-owned television station in the United States. He also served as the creator and news director of Business Today, the first nationally syndicated daily business news program to air on stations in the top five markets and on a cable network reaching six million homes. Douglas is also the founder and chairman of Douglas Broadcasting, Inc., a twenty-five station radio broadcast group created in 1989.

Presently, Douglas is the president and CEO of AIM Broadcasting. AIM focuses on ethnic audiences with radio stations throughout the United States.

Accession Number

A2002.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2002

Last Name

Douglas

Maker Category
Middle Name

John

Organizations
Schools

Englewood Junior High School

Dwight Morrow High School

Bates College

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

N.

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DOU01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

August

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sydney, Australia

Favorite Quote

Trust Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/28/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Nuts (Cashew)

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive N. John Douglas (1938 - ) worked as a research scientist at Lockheed Research Laboratories in Palo Alto, California and is now the CEO of Personal Achievement Radio.

Employment

Lockheed Martin

Bank of America

KSTS TV

DBI

Bear Sterns Company

International Strategy and Investment

Reynolds and Company

James Capel

Castle and Cooke

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:410,4:2025,34:24300,366:27756,425:30828,493:33420,536:39094,566:45490,678:55790,844:63495,939:65439,983:100666,1529:104420,1543$0,0:33945,428:36155,467:37940,497:38535,505:43805,590:57428,744:57932,752:58520,759:59024,769:61712,817:64232,946:107358,1480:113204,1607:135105,1849:135906,1874:140712,1971:162100,2231:163046,2245:163390,2250:171437,2364:173803,2401:198710,2838:215575,3041:223360,3199:231641,3320:238340,3468:251299,3646:260382,3803:268910,3885
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of N. John Douglas's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - N. John Douglas lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - N. John Douglas describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - N. John Douglas describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - N. John Douglas describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - N. John Douglas talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - N. John Douglas describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - N. John Douglas describes his family

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - N. John Douglas describes his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - N. John Douglas describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - N. John Douglas discusses his childhood athletics

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - N. John Douglas talks about his experience at Dwight Morrow High School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - N. John Douglas describes his experience at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - N. John Douglas describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - N. John Douglas talks about his high school athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - N. John Douglas talks about his interest in physics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - N. John Douglas describes the environment at Bates College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - N. John Douglas his athletic experience at Bates College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - N. John Douglas discusses his academics at Bates College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - N. John Douglas describes his experience on the track team at Bates College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - N. John Douglas describes the African American community at Bates College and in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - N. John Douglas describes attending at Howard University for graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - N. John Douglas talks about receiving his M.S. degree in physics from Howard University and being hired at Lockheed Research Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - N. John Douglas talks about moving to California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - N. John Douglas describes his work at Lockheed Research Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - N. John Douglas talks about his experience at Lockheed Research Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - N. John Douglas talks about his career at Lockheed Research Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - N. John Douglas talks about his experience at Bank of America

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - N. John Douglas describes his experience as a black financial analyst

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - N. John Douglas talks about his family's reaction to his career choice

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - N. John Douglas talks about working at International Strategy and Investment

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - N. John Douglas describes the environment for African Americans in Corporate America in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - N. John Douglas talks about his family

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - N. John Douglas describes his experience as an analyst at Bear Stearns, Reynolds and Company, and at James Capel

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - N. John Douglas describes being hired at Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - N. John Douglas describes Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - N. John Douglas describes his experience working at Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - N. John Douglas describes his work with the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - N. John Douglas discusses the cultural sensitivity of Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - N. John Douglas talks about what he learned at Castle and Cooke, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - N. John Douglas discusses starting his broadcasting company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - N. John Douglas discusses the launch of KSTS-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - N. John Douglas describes what he learned running KSTS-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - N. John Douglas describes his experience at KSTS-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - N. John Douglas describes his sale of KSTS-TV to Telemundo

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - N. John Douglas describes what he learned from working with venture capitalists

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - N. John Douglas describes the barriers faced by black-owned media properties

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - N. John Douglas talks about his employees at KSTS-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - N. John Douglas describes some of the programs he produced for KSTS-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - N. John Douglas talks about the building of Douglas Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - N. John Douglas talks about his achievements with Douglas Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - N. John Douglas describes starting Personal Achievement Radio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - N. John Douglas describes satellite radio and its potential

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - N. John Douglas reflects upon his career path

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - N. John Douglas talks about the potential for more African Americans in broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - N. John Douglas describes the importance of investing and black-owned businesses

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - N. John Douglas describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - N. John Douglas reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - N. John Douglas talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - N. John Douglas narrates his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
N. John Douglas describes his work at Lockheed Research Laboratories
N. John Douglas discusses starting his broadcasting company
Transcript
And what types of things were you working on [at Lockheed Research Laboratories]?$$We were doing work-- things I can talk about. I was in the Thermal Physics Department and we were doing things, mainly with the space program. For example, the coatings that they were going to coat the space craft that was going to the moon. It was a white coating and so we were testing that and we came up with an interesting discovery, such that we stopped the whole program because it would have been a total disaster. The experiments they were doing, essentially bombarding these white pigments-- there were titanium docks--like pigments with electrons, protons, all that kind of stuff that you find up in the atmosphere. And then they would take it out of the vacuum chamber and test it. And say, "Oh, it works." We did--it sounds dumb--we did the first testing in vacuum and it found out that there was great damage to these surfaces and the space craft went up and all would have been lost. So, that was--that was nice. Also, the visor for the astronauts, we had to come up with a material and we ended up doing gold, which I tried to get a little on the side but couldn't. But gold was perfect in terms of keeping out the ultraviolet and allowing them to see. But we did a lot of different--a lot of classified things and so forth.$$And this--this is for the--I mean, actually as a time period--this is an expensive time--I mean--important time period especially's relating to the space industry. Right?$$Yes, it was a go-go years.$$Right.$Now, what--why did you end up leaving?$$I was two steps from the Presidency. I reported to Executive Vice President, who reported to the President. But I had a better chance of jumping across the Grand Canyon than getting up to the Presidency. I had been offered the Treasurer's job but, again, that step up to the Presidency was, I didn't think it was gonna happen. And I started thinking about being an entrepreneur. And probably I got that from, when I was a security analyst. I remember helping companies raise funds. In fact, one of those companies gave me a job offer and they were in Orange County [California] in the heart of the Birches and I remember looking hard 'cause I liked the people, they were great but I just couldn't live in Orange County at that time. And so I didn't take the job. But, again, I watch people gain wealth and I felt I have to be an entrepreneur. And so I was looking for, you know, what to do and I looked at--when I was back in planning and development they had a computer program where you could put in various screens, certain growth rates, certain returns on money and so on. And at the time the oil industry kept popping up and also broadcasting. And Castle and Cooke didn't want to get in either one. I didn't want to get in the oil industry but broadcasting, I started researching it, and the more I got into it, it was like owning a franchise where there wouldn't be any more franchises and yet population was growing and people were definitely communicating and so I wanted to start a television station. Now, there were no black-owned television stations at the time. I think once I got started, it was one other black-owned television station [WGPR-TV in Detroit], but we were the second. So, it was interesting in trying to get a television station. I remember going down to Austin, Texas and meeting with a person who--who was the CEO of American Stock Exchange Company and they were going to sell their station. And I remember he--when I walked in, I don't think he realized I was black. He looked and--and we sat down and we talked about everything. And I spent the whole day talking about everything. And his name was Mr. Tippie (ph) and he said, "Douglas, sure glad you come down here and why don't cha you come on down here again and we'll open up our books to you." And so they did and actually almost ended up buying that station. We had four MESBICs [Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Companies] investors and we only needed one point six million. The total price was four point six. They were willing to finance three million, the seller, and all the paperwork was done, closing was set for Dallas [Texas] and one of the company's got greedy and went to Morgan Guaranty Bank and they said, this is a good deal. Why don't we do it. You know just this John, this Douglas guy just, you know. Give him some money but, you know, just get him out the picture and the thing fell through. But it had a UHF station, NBC, Austin, Texas and an FM. We were on the edge of the University of Texas campus. Four point six million. I'd be smoking cigars now if I had that. So, but, I learned a lot and we still continue to look and right in my back yard, in San Jose [California], there was a station that hadn't been built and one person had applied for the license and there was a cutoff date of about a month and we got our application in right at--just before five o'clock on that day, the last day.$$So, the MESBICs, were one of--was one of them Syncom [Venture Partners] syndicated--$$Yes.$$Station. Okay.$$Yup.$$And who were the others?$$Opportunity Capital [Partners] and then--$$Urban Invest--no--$$No, there's one that went out of business. It used to be out of Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] and I forgot their name so--$$Okay--$$But, it was mainly Opportunity Capital and Syncom.$$Okay.