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Percy Bates

Educational psychologist Percy Bates was born July 8, 1932 in Pensacola, Florida. Raised by his mother, Gladys Travis Bates, he attended Spencer Bibbs Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. After moving to Detroit, Bates ran track and played football at Hamtramack High School, and he graduated from there in 1950. Entering the United States Army in 1952, Bates served at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where he sang with fellow soldier and pianist Earl Grant. After earning his B.S. degree in biology from Central Michigan University in 1958, Bates received his M.A. in vocational rehabilitation in 1961 from Wayne State University and his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Michigan in 1968.

In 1968, during a strike of black students demanding black faculty at the University of Michigan, Bates was promoted to assistant professor of education. At the University of Michigan’s School of Education, Bates served as assistant division director of curriculum, teaching and psychological studies and as director of programs for educational opportunity. He later became deputy assistant secretary of special education in the United States Department of Education.

Bates is a member of the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Michigan. He is also very active in University of Michigan’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee. A founding board member and former chairman of the Higher Education Commission of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, Bates has received numerous awards. Bates lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Cheryl.

Accession Number

A2005.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/19/2005

Last Name

Bates

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Spencer Bibbs Elementary School

Spencer Bibbs Academy

Hamtramck High School

Central Michigan University

Wayne State University

University of Michigan

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Percy

Birth City, State, Country

Pensacola

HM ID

BAT06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You Bet.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

7/8/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Banana Cream Pie

Short Description

Education professor Percy Bates (1932 - ) served as assistant division director of curriculum, teaching and psychological studies and as director of programs for educational opportunity at the University of Michigan’s School of Education. Bates was also a member of the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Michigan, and has served in the United States Department of Education.

Employment

University of Michigan

U.S. Department of Education

Boys Training School

Ypsilanti Public Schools, Program in Educable Mentally Impaired

Detroit Public Schools

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:395,5:892,14:5933,146:7140,183:11536,196:18489,247:19233,252:19698,258:22674,294:23232,305:23976,315:26774,331:28654,362:30158,379:34840,438:35148,443:38004,472:41720,505:42195,515:42955,525:43335,530:47705,618:53718,671:56094,765:56710,775:57326,789:59614,850:101673,1406:106603,1443:113250,1559$0,0:1513,41:7757,111:12716,216:20140,281:37970,509:38270,514:38570,519:41120,573:44237,585:70492,1008:73433,1049:73921,1059:74226,1065:74836,1078:75080,1083:75324,1088:78552,1121:83558,1174:85799,1196:86629,1208:90615,1231:90945,1238:91220,1245:91660,1255:92155,1265:94124,1287:97015,1313:97555,1318:99040,1334:102844,1350:103676,1360:104612,1370:110272,1448:110674,1461:122150,1653:123340,1671:128456,1686:129286,1698:129618,1704:129950,1709:130282,1714:131112,1726:141254,1926:141622,1931:141990,1936:142450,1942:143738,1961:144382,1969:145118,1978:146130,1983
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Percy Bates' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Percy Bates lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Percy Bates describes his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Percy Bates talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Percy Bates describes his paternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Percy Bates describes his paternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Percy Bates talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Percy Bates describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Percy Bates describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Percy Bates talks about his childhood in Pensacola

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Percy Bates describes church and the music of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Percy Bates describes Spencer Bibbs Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Percy Bates describes his experience in segregated schools and reflects on the pitfalls of school integration

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Percy Bates remembers being well-behaved in school from a young age

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Percy Bates talks about moving to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Percy Bates describes his neighborhood in Detroit

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Percy Bates talks about his activities at Hamtramck High School, Hamtramck, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Percy Bates recalls an English teacher who cared about him

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Percy Bates talks about expectations around college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Percy Bates talks about his job in the U.S. Army base in El Paso, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Percy Bates describes starting college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Percy Bates remembers his friendship with musician Earl Grant

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Percy Bates describes his short-lived singing career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Percy Bates remembers becoming an A student at Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Percy Bates remembers the support of Bernard Meltzer

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Percy Bates describes his decision to get a PhD in psychology

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Percy Bates talks about receiving support from his mother, Gladys Travis Bates

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Percy Bates talks about his Ph.D. dissertation on motivation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Percy Bates talks about his Ph.D. dissertation on motivation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Percy Bates talks about the ways black people have been socially conditioned

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Percy Bates talks about the importance of questioning assumptions in learning

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Percy Bates describes his career path from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan to U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Percy Bates describes the demands of the Black Action Movement at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Percy Bates describes the peaceful Black Action Movement negotiations at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Percy Bates talks about his position for the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Percy Bates describes his position as NCAA representative from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Percy Bates talks about the difficult choices of student athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Percy Bates describes the financial situation of college athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Percy Bates describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Percy Bates talks about his disagreement with Bill Cosby's remarks

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Percy Bates reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Percy Bates talks about being the longest serving African American faculty member at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Percy Bates reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Percy Bates talks about affirmative action at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Percy Bates talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Percy Bates describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Percy Bates narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Percy Bates remembers his friendship with musician Earl Grant
Percy Bates describes his career path from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan to U.S. Department of Education
Transcript
What kinds of things would you sing? Now these are--you would go in popular venues and you're singing popular songs?$$Popular songs. I actually when I got, when I was in the [U.S.] Army I met a young man who was a musician named Earl Grant, and Earl later became reasonably famous. But Earl played the piano and organ and so he would accompany me and then we would sing duets together and so forth. When I got out of the [U.S.] Army, Earl said that his sister owned a club in Missouri some place, and that if I wanted to come there he could get me a job and I could go. I said well actually I think I wanna go to college, and I'm not sure I wanna do this. And so I came to Central Michigan [College; Central Michigan University] in Mount Pleasant [Michigan], Earl went home, and the next thing I knew Earl was on ['The] Ed Sullivan [Show'] and then he had a couple of hit records there--$$He had a couple. I'm trying to think of his big hits, but he was big in the '50s [1950s].$$He did, he, he--I remember he had one called the number 64 [sic. 54], the house, the house with the bamboo floor [sic. 'House of Bamboo']. I've forgotten the name of the, all of the song. He did, he did quite well for himself--$$Earl Grant was very (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) and then he was killed in an automobile accident. He--it was ironic because when I was in the Army I used to kid him about his, his driving and then he actually stopped driving and got himself a driver and was driving to a gig somewhere and ran off the road and he was, he was killed--$Well tell me about your career now when, when you, now after you got your Ph.D. what did you, where did you go next with your career?$$I was, I got my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan] and at that time we had a rule that we didn't hire our own Ph.D.'s, but that was in 1968 we were right in the middle of a frantic search for minority persons. In fact, we had just had a student strike here on campus and I had been teaching while I was working on my degree, and the dean said didn't make much sense for him, for me to go someplace else while he's looking for minority professors.$$Let me put this in perspective a bit. This is like '68 [1968], this is right after the or just before the assassination of [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.]. He was assassinated--$$Right.$$-in '68 [1968]. A lot of students are calling for reform on campus and black studies programs.$$Oh, we shut down the, the University of Michigan was shut down. It was called the BAM strike, the Black Action Movement, and the university both black and white students was shut down completely, and we had, they had placed ten demands on the table, one of which was to increase the minority faculty and students on campus and that's when I became an assistant professor here at the university. When I moved from that to I was a program head, I became an assistant dean with a couple of deans, in the end of the [President James Earl "Jimmy"] Carter [Jr.] administration I was appointed as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Office of Education [U.S. Department of Education] and I took a leave of absence from the university and when I left that, then I came back here. In addition to that, I've been involved in athletics here on campus. I'm also the, what's called the faculty athletic representative for the university to the Big Ten [Conference] and the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association]. So, I've been doing that now for about fifteen years as well.

Ella Mizzell Kelly

Ella Mizzell Kelly was born on March 17, 1939 in Columbia, North Carolina. Her father was a barber and her mother, a factory worker. During her early childhood, the family migrated to New York in search of better jobs. Shortly thereafter, her parents divorced and Kelly and her sister were raised by their mother. Identified as a gifted student during grade school, Kelly excelled academically. In 1955, she earned her high school diploma from Julia Richmond High School where she was active in the chorus, Latin Club and Student Government Association.

From 1955 until 1957, Kelly attended New York State Teachers College in Albany. She transferred to Howard University in 1957, where she earned her B.A. degree in history in 1960. During her senior year, she was selected to study abroad at Oxford in England.

From 1960 until 1968, Kelly taught history in the Washington, D.C. public school system, giving her students their first introduction to African American history. In 1963, Kelly earned her master’s degree in philosophy from Howard University. Between 1969 and 1977, Kelly worked for the Department of Education as a speechwriter and senior program officer. From 1983 until 1985, Kelly attended the University of California at Los Angeles. Leaving there, she worked until 1990 as a research assistant at UCLA and served on a task force examining the under-representation of African American students in California. From 1990 until 1994, Kelly worked as a teacher and administrator at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in the departments of family medicine and nursing education. In 1995, she earned her Ph.D. in social research methodology from UCLA. From 1994 until 1998, Kelly served as a consultant on women’s health issues for the California Public Institute and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. From 1998 until 2003, Kelly was a senior research scientist at UCLA’s Center for Community Health where she was responsible for developing initiatives to reduce health risks associated with HIV/AIDS and African American women.

In 2003, Kelly became the deputy director at Howard University College of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, where she focuses on the impact of violence and substance abuse on low-income families and children.

Accession Number

A2004.262

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/14/2004

Last Name

Kelly

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mizzell

Schools

Julia Richman High School

P.S. 194 Countee Cullen School

Junior High School 136

State University of New York at Albany

University of Oxford

University of California, Los Angeles

Howard University

First Name

Ella

Birth City, State, Country

Columbia

HM ID

KEL01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/17/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Academic administrator Ella Mizzell Kelly (1939 - ) served as a speechwriter and senior program officer for the U.S. Department of Education, and later worked as a teacher and administrator at the Charles Drew University of Medicine. She was also a senior research scientist at UCLA’s Center for Community Health, and later became the Deputy Director of Child Health at the Howard University College of Medicine.

Employment

Delete

Boys Clubs

Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Howard University’s College of Medicine

District of Columbia Public Schools

Department of Education

National Institute of Education

Dr. Ed Keller

Charles Drew University of Science and Medicine

Diane Littlefield and Connie Chan-Robinson

University of California, Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute in the Center for Community Health

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:10470,233:10850,239:11458,247:12142,268:12598,275:21511,410:26978,513:49833,822:51030,848:61125,994:62427,1010:65702,1021:66140,1028:68549,1069:70155,1098:80895,1253:81147,1258:81399,1263:81714,1270:82785,1293:84584,1318:84904,1324:85480,1334:86184,1347:86760,1359:87784,1414:89192,1442:89768,1453:90088,1459:94627,1484:95212,1490:102384,1518:103948,1550:105512,1575:110005,1627:110980,1635:111655,1645:114692,1670:116601,1711:117265,1721:129246,1934:130302,1955:130962,1966:131490,1976:132414,2001:134196,2037:139717,2100:140119,2108:142766,2130:143242,2139:143854,2151:147186,2233:161030,2399:161840,2408:162560,2418:170090,2513$0,0:8166,93:9174,105:11334,158:12126,171:14430,220:23010,313:24610,371:25090,378:26530,402:29490,435:30930,454:36389,477:36911,497:41704,551:42408,566:42856,574:44712,605:45224,615:46248,634:48872,695:49128,700:55275,760:55575,765:56475,781:56850,787:57825,801:58350,809:60150,842:60675,850:61200,858:62175,875:62775,885:63225,893:63675,900:69034,955:69772,967:71822,981:72232,987:75020,1024:76332,1042:76906,1050:78300,1084:78956,1093:80022,1100:80842,1111:83138,1147:83712,1155:97432,1299:106740,1459:116006,1645:121055,1695:121445,1711:121770,1717:122225,1726:123330,1767:123655,1774:123980,1780:126175,1793:126781,1800:128397,1824:129306,1834:130619,1846:131326,1854:132806,1885:134370,1911:137614,1939:137958,1944:142602,2024:144236,2055:144580,2060:144924,2065:150514,2149:154327,2175:156488,2198:157090,2208:157950,2219:158810,2239:159412,2247:162508,2327:167410,2423:173727,2461:175293,2476:176337,2493:184757,2655:186245,2672:187454,2697:194974,2807:201166,2953:204406,3001:207502,3047:207862,3053:208294,3060:208798,3068:209158,3075:211246,3127:212902,3163:213406,3171:213694,3176:221310,3208:221877,3215:227304,3316:227628,3321:227952,3327:228276,3332:228681,3338:229248,3347:231840,3375:239520,3439:239788,3444:240257,3452:240726,3460:242200,3496:242602,3504:242870,3509:243205,3515:244411,3557:244880,3566:245550,3586:246823,3620:247292,3628:251202,3640:253162,3678:255612,3710:256592,3721:266490,3816:267255,3826:267850,3833:277886,3956:280262,4001:280614,4006:281406,4017:288096,4058:288916,4066:289490,4075:292934,4122:293426,4129:294246,4141:294902,4150:296214,4167:299750,4191
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ella Mizzell Kelly's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her family's move from Norfolk, Virginia to New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her relationship with her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her childhood aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers special days during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her childhood neighborhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her childhood religious life

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her distant relationship with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers the aftermath of her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her early interest in attending college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her childhood aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers difficulties stemming from her academic success as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls working at her maternal aunt and uncle's insurance agency as a child in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her experiences at Julia Richman High School in New York, New York in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her decision to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls transferring to Howard University after experiencing racial discrimination at New York State College for Teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her mentors at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her mentor Eugene C. Holmes at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about studying at Oxford University in England in 1959 on a Lucy E. Moten Travel Fellowship from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers student life at Oxford University in Oxford, England

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls student life at Howard University in Washington D.C.in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls teaching history in Washington, D.C. public schools

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about the impact of learning about African history on her students and herself

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes coming to understand the systemic nature of racism while working in the federal Office of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly remembers her decision to leave teaching and work for the federal Office of Education in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains why she decided to obtain a Ph.D. in 1982

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls working at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California while completing her Ph.D. requirements

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains how she focused her research on HIV/AIDS risk in low-income adolescent girls

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her current work on HIV/AIDS and women's health at Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ella Mizzell Kelly explains potential research into sexual orientation and gender identity factors of HIV/AIDS risk

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ella Mizzell Kelly gives advice to women about mitigating HIV/AIDS risk

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes her concerns for low-income African American girls

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ella Mizzell Kelly reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ella Mizzell Kelly talks about her son

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ella Mizzell Kelly describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ella Mizzell Kelly concludes her interview by recalling an oral history assignment from her career as a young public school teacher

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Ella Mizzell Kelly recalls her mentor Eugene C. Holmes at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Ella Mizzell Kelly explains how she focused her research on HIV/AIDS risk in low-income adolescent girls
Transcript
So, you were talking about one of your professors [at Howard University, Washington, D.C.] who had, your introduction to the term feminist.$$Yes, yes, it was [Dr.] Eugene [C.] Holmes who was a protege of Alain Locke and--who was the first African American to become a Rhodes Scholar. So, he was telling me about being, and of course, I didn't understand what it was. Oh, I know what it was. We were talking about a paper I should write, and he was recommending that I write a paper on Margaret Fuller. And he said she was a feminist and he considered himself to be feminist too. And, you know, I said, "Okay," (laughter), left the class and ran to the library and looked up feminist, someone who believes women as equals. And I thought, "Okay, that's nice." And then I would try to figure out, you know, why was he making this point? And I never quite figured it out except that what I do remember, and aside from the fact that he was absolutely brilliant, and was challenging, and his classes that he taught, he taught classes on Marxist theory, Marxism and a couple of other classes as I recall. I can't remember right now. But the particular class on Marxism I do remember because I wrote a paper that he thought was the best he'd had in a long time which, coming from him, was a real, you know. But the thing that I do remember was that he was married to a woman [Margaret Cardozo Holmes] who was a businesswoman, and she--her family was quite wealthy. And it was the first example in my life in which this was obviously a very, very accomplished man who was very, very proud of his wife's accomplishments. It made an indelible impression on me. And I always stayed in touch with him. And it turns out that I have a relative--they all used to be up on the Cape [Cod, Massachusetts]. I have a relative who's well-to-do who taught at Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] whom I'm very close to, and in the course of mentioning things, it turns out that he and his wife and Eugene and his wife were very, very close friends. And he told me that Eugene had died. And so I wrote a letter to the wife to tell her what he had meant to me. And she wrote a very, very nice letter back, and said, "Oh, yeah, I remember you. My husband always talked about--" and I'm crying, blah, blah, blah. And I thought, you know, it meant a lot to me. He was a very, he was the one who whenever thought I could sort of slip and slide, (laughter) he would just say, you know, "Do it over," (laughter).$And one year--it must have been '94 [1994], that's right, '94 [1994]--there was a conference going on in California, I mean in San Francisco [California]. A colleague of mine in the department couldn't go and said, she said, "I think you'll enjoy this. I can't go. Why don't you go for me?" And it turned out that it was a conference plan that was run by The [James] Irvine Foundation. The Irvine Foundation is the not-for-profit people who use the money from the--Orange County [California] used to be owned by one family. When the family, the Irvine family, started selling off the property, they created a foundation for the State of California called The Irvine Foundation. It has so much money, you can't begin to imagine what it's like. And they were interested in a major initiative in women's health. So they were putting 50 million dollars into a five-year effort to look at issues around women's health. So I went as an observer. And while I was there, a--two young women, Connie Chan Robison and Diane Littlefield, were talking about this idea that they had for training women, grassroots women, to be leaders in the area of women's health. And they had this proposal that they, they were in the--they were finalists, but they had to get this final proposal written. And the idea attracted me. It seems like a natural--and I, during lunch, I talked to them, and said, "Let me look at what you put together." It was horrible, but the idea was great, and I said, "No, no, no," (laughter) you know, "you've got forty-four objectives. There's no way you're gonna do this. Let me tell you what you need." And I suggested some things to them, and they liked it. And they said, "Look, we don't have any money." And I said, "That's all right. It's a great idea." So I worked with them, and they got something like over 5 million dollars. So when they got the money, they hired me as a consultant. And it was the best experience I'd had in a long time because it was, you know, first of all, their idea was that they were gonna, they were going to, in a five-year period of time, they were gonna train 250 women from every major ethnic group in the State of California to take on a leadership role in the area of women's health, as they defined it, meaning the women themselves defined it.$$Were they successful?$$Oh, absolutely, yeah. They've been written up a lot. They've gotten all kinds of awards. It was, and at that point, I decided that I really wanted to work in the areas of women's health, but I narrowed it down to HIV/AIDS [human immunodeficiency virus/autoimmune deficiency syndrome].$$Because what was the AIDS issue like among women, more particularly African American women in the--$$This would have been in the '90s [1990s]. In the '90s [1990s], it was a gay disease. In the beginning of the '90s [1990s], it was a gay disease. By the end of the '90s [1990], it was an African American disease. By the beginning of the 21st century, it was a women's disease which, and essentially, it's really a human rights issue. It's a universal human rights issue.$$Would you say it was more of an African American women's disease than just a women's disease?$$In the United States, it is, but globally, it's a women's disease. And it's low-income, uneducated women. I mean it's very, very clear that the population most at risk are those who are pov--mainly, it's by gender, race and class. And I've written several articles that have been published. Some of them don't show up there because they've, within the past few years, they've just been published. But I've written several articles as well as a couple of chapters in books around this. I focus mainly on adolescent girls, and why they're at risks, and the fact that for young adolescent, low-income girls, you literally have a time bomb that's waiting to explode, because you have issues having to do with poverty. You have issues having to do with sexism, and you have the issues having to do with racism and discrimination all coming together. And that's, it's the combination of what I--what we refer to in the social sciences as multiple social violences that place them at risk.

Roscoe C. Brown

Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., was born March 9,1922, in Washington, D.C. Brown was the youngest of two children, his father working as a public health specialist and his mother as a teacher. After graduating from Springfield College in 1943, Brown joined the Air Force, where he served as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. During World War II, he served as a squadron commander and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Returning after the war in 1946, Brown attended New York University, where he earned an M.A. in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1951.

Before Brown earned his master's degree, he worked as a social investigator with the New York City Department of Welfare and as an instructor in physical education at West Virginia State College until 1948. While working on his doctorate in 1950, he became the director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs and a professor of education at New York University, where he remained for the next twenty-seven years. In 1977, Brown was named president of Bronx Community College, a part of the City University of New York (CUNY), and continued there until 1993. Brown served as director of the Center for Urban Education Policy at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY.

Brown was active with a number of organizations, including more than thirty years of service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He was also active with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Libraries for the Future, among many others. Brown was also a founding member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Active in the media, as well, Brown hosted the television program, African American Legends, and he won the 1973 Emmy Award for Distinguished Program with his weekly series Black Arts. He published numerous articles and contributed to several books, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York City Treasure Centennial Honor from the Museum of the City of New York and the Humanitarian Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Brown also completed nine New York City marathons. He had four children.

Brown passed away on July 2, 2016 at age 94.

Accession Number

A2003.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/16/2003

Last Name

Brown

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Springfield College

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Roscoe

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BRO15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sag Harbor in Long Island, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/9/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

7/2/2016

Short Description

Academic administrator and tuskegee airman Roscoe C. Brown (1922 - 2016 ) was the Director of Urban Education Policy at CUNY.

Employment

New York City Department of Social Welfare

West Virginia State College

New York University

Bronx Community College, CUNY

Favorite Color

Blue, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roscoe C. Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the class distinctions within the African American community in Washington, D.C. during the 1920s and 1930s

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's work in the National Negro Health Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's work in the National Negro Health Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his mother's activities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the expectations for himself and his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about 'Amos 'n' Andy' and other shows based on stereotypes

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about how his childhood was structured and remembers family activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his family trips to the South

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls his time at Blanche K. Bruce Elementary School in Washington, D.C. and a childhood friend

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his childhood membership to the 12th Street YMCA in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's prominence as a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Black Cabinet

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about attending Camp Atwater

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about summer camps attended by African Americans

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his activities at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. and entering Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the competitive academic environment at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father and other African Americans in the Black Cabinet under President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his experience at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about black student enrollment at Oberlin College and Springfield College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about why he began playing lacrosse

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his experience in Springfield, Massachusetts during college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about attending summer military camp

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers his post-secondary studies and his interest in merging teaching and health

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown explains the Tuskegee Airmen's most significant contribution to World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown considers the source of his professional ambitions

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls being discriminated against as he applied for a job after returning home from service in World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his career trajectory after exiting the service and earning his Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about completing his Ph.D. degree at New York University and the birth of his twin sons in 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls prominent African Americans in New York and at New York University in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about leveraging the murder of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to boost black student enrollment at New York University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the decrease in black professors at New York University since his time there

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the number of black alumni from New York University as compared to those from HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about developing curriculum on African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls how he became president of Bronx Community College in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown details the history of community colleges

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about trends in higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the work that needs to be done to improve higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about coalition politics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his writing and describes the Negro Almanac

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his black culture quiz and the necessity of context beyond stand-alone facts

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon the factors that contributed to his success

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$2

DATitle
Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.2
Roscoe C. Brown recalls being discriminated against as he applied for a job after returning home from service in World War II
Transcript
The mission that got you the notoriety, can you just describe what happen--$$The Berlin [Germany] mission that's--$$The Berlin mission, right.$$That's the longest mission of the Fifteenth [U.S.] Air Force, 1,600 miles roundtrip, from Southern Italy to Berlin and return. And it was toward the end of the war, and we were given the assignment along with several other fighter groups of escorting the B-17s over, over Berlin. And when we got close to Berlin, I was leading my squadron, and I saw some jet planes streaking up, which were about a hundred miles faster than ours. And I said to my pilots who were with me to drop your extra fuel tanks so we can get maneuverability and follow me. So I turned upside down and went down--the bombers were here--went down under the bombers with my pilots here. The jets were coming in over here, and they made a hard right turn. And I climbed up, and I got the jet just as he was about to shoot down the bomber plane. The jet blew up, and he bailed out. And my wingman faced a couple of other guys down, shot them down, and we shot down the first three jets over Berlin. And that allowed us to win the Presidential Unit Citation. That's, that's a highlight mission of the Tuskegee Airmen. Tuskegee Airmen also had some other fabulous missions. We're the only fighter group to blow up a Destroyer with fighter planes. They were coming back from a mission, and they were flying I think B-20--B-47s. And they shot at this Destroyer, and it so happened they hit the magazine, and the plane blew up, it blew it. We also had great missions to Athens. We liberated the Athens' air, airbase. We probably shot up every, every airbase in Europe, in Southern Europe. We had a tre--tremendous record. We had one ace, Lee Archer, who's my best friend today. He shot down five planes. And Clarence Lester shot down three planes. And Harry Stewart shot down three planes. And we altogether shot down 111 planes. We destroyed about 120 on the ground, and had this outstanding combat record of never having lost a bomber that we were escorting to enemy fighters. That's really what we're known for.$But what I'm also saying is that you did have your minutes of fame when you returned, right?$$They were very short because my, my favorite story is that when I got back I was going to try to fly in the airlines before I went to graduate school. And I went to Eastern Air Lines on 5th, 5th Avenue [New York, New York] and filled this application with all of my hours and so on. And as I was going out the door, I had forgotten a New York Times I had brought with me. I was looking at the want ads, and so I went back to get the Times, and the secretary, white secretary, was throwing the application in the waste basket. And her face got red, and she said, "I'm sorry, we don't hire Negroes here." So my--(unclear)--welcome back to the good old U.S.A. So you can't get too high when, you know, the rest of the world--see, you can be high inside, but you realize the mountain you still have yet to climb. And that's why I became active in the American Veterans Association [ph.], which was the, the liberal veterans organization. I became active in politics, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], and the Henry Wallace campaign, and the, and the unions, because that's the way you bring about social change. You, you can't bring about social change just by yourself.