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Darryl W. Dennard

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard was born on September 18, 1957 in Harlem, New York to Eleanor Adamson and Glenn W. Dennard. He graduated from De Witt Clinton High School. Dennard was a member of Fordham University’s Upward Bound program and participated in its Bridge program by taking classes at Fordham University. He then went on to attend the State University of New York College at Buffalo and graduated with his B.A. degree in broadcasting in 1981. While at Buffalo State, he was a member of the Black Liberation Front student organization, where he was an executive board member, founding the college’s Minority Resource Center.

In 1980, Dennard was hired as a production assistant at the NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York. He was promoted to a news reporter in 1983, and worked at WGRZ-TV until 1987. Dennard then became co-host of the “Ebony-Jet Showcase” from 1987 to 1991, and was hired as associate editor of Ebony Man magazine. He then served as co-host of the “Black Enterprise Report” and as host and producer of the “Minority Business Report.” Dennard also worked as an anchor of “Good Day Chicago” in the 1990s, and has hosted many other programs, including “Know Your Heritage.” He has worked on WVAZ-FM's “Steve Harvey Show,” WCGI-FM's “Morning Riot,” WGCI-AM's “John Hannah Morning Show,” and WVAZ’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In addition, he has interviewed many celebrities and notable figures, including President Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey.

Dennard served as Vice President of First Trace Communications, a strategic, cause related public relations firm, and Founder and CEO of Double D Productions, Inc., a full service audio/video production company, which produced the 1999 documentary “Heading West: A History of African Americans on Chicago's West Side,” and the more recent documentary, “Culture of Calm: A Calming Presence,” which chronicles the Chicago Public School’s mentoring efforts directed towards “At Risk” youth in the wake of the Derion Albert beating death.

Dennard’s professional affiliations include the National Association of Market Developers, Black Public Relations Society, the 100 Black Men of Chicago, the Young Brothers for Christ Youth Ministry at Apostolic Church of God, and the Radio and Television Broadcasting and Theatre Departments at Kennedy King College.

Most important to him are his wife Darlene, and their two children, Autumn, a graduate of Howard University and Darryl Jr, a fine arts graduate at The Cooper Union in New York City. Dennard also has a son-in-law, Brian, and two grandchildren, Ari and Milo.

Darryl Dennard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.020

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/23/2014

Last Name

Dennard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Schools

DeWitt Clinton High School

State University of New York at Buffalo

Ps 59 The Community School Of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Darryl

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Now Faith Is The Substance Of Things Hoped For And Evidence Of Things Not Seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/18/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard (1957 - ) , founder of Double D Productions, Inc., has hosted and anchored nationally recognized television and radio programs, including “Ebony-Jet Showcase,” “Black Enterprise Report,” “Minority Business Report,” “Good Day Chicago,” the “Steve Harvey Show,” “Morning Riot,” and the “John Hannah Morning Show."

Employment

WGRZ TV

Ebony-Jet Showcase

Ebony Man Magazine

Black Enterprise Magazine

Minority Business Report

Good Day Chicago

Know Your Heritage

WVAZ-FM

WCGI Radio

First Trace Communications

Double D Productions, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darryl Dennard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes spending nights at family members' homes in the South Bronx

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about working at Pioneer Supermarket as a stock boy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes his father and paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the first and second waves of The Great Migration

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his younger sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his extended family

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes growing up in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes his childhood interests and involvement with Upward Bound and College Bound

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his experience in Upward Bound and College Bound

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the critical time to motivate young black boys to do well in school

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard talks about his childhood jobs and hustles

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his New York City public school education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard recalls being exposed to Broadway and opera with the Upward Bound and College Bound programs

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes running track in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes taking an English class at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York while in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his experience at State University of New York College at Buffalo

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his transition to college at State University of New York College at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about black news commentators Max Robinson, Bob Teague and Gil Noble

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about his summers while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes why he chose to attend a college outside of New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes the communications program at Buffalo State and his focus learning the broadcast speech standards

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about Buffalo State's Black Student Union, named Black Liberation Front

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his college mentors and working for the U.S. Customs Service

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his internship at WGRZ in Buffalo, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes memories from his time at WGRZ

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his offer to host the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about African Americans in broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about the changes in black broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the lack of blacks in the media industry compared to the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about partiality in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his time working for the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes interviewing Michael Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about interviewing Oprah Winfrey

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard remembers interviewing Sammy Davis at Johnson Publishing Company headquarters

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase' and his interviewing style

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his interview style

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about working with Deborah Crable

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his family's adjustment to living in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about positions he held between 1991 and 1993

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report'

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard talks about the significance of black manufacturing companies versus vendors

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report' and the significance in diverse business ownership

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about his work with Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about his production company, Double D Productions

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his film, 'Heading West'

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about black migration to Chicago, Illinois and his film, 'Heading West'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about various programs he has hosted and produced

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his current projects and mentorship

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about youth violence

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about etiquette and polite society

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the current state of video production

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his disinterest in using social media

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the media organizations he's involved in and HistoryMakers Pluria Marshall, Sr. and Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his wife, daughter, and grandchildren

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his relationship with his in-laws

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his son

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard considers his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection
Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson
Transcript
Okay, now, now was your--was your father [Glenn Dennard]--did he finish school--$$I think--yeah, he graduated high school.$$Okay.$$And he used to paint and, and enjoyed music. And I remember him taking me, hanging out with him, and we--took me to the Apollo Theater [Harlem, New York City, New York] one time. And as he was at the Apollo Theater, he was backstage, you know, getting high with some of the performers. And--$$You said, said he's friends with Sonny Rollins.$$Sonny Rollins, yes--Sonny Rollins. If I mentioned the name, he, he knew my father, yes.$$And your father was an art--an artist. He was painting--$$He was painting.$$Yeah.$$He was--he was a painter.$$What kind of--(simultaneous)--$$Artist?$$--did he do? Okay.$$Abstract, things like that, you know.$$Right--(simultaneous)--$$He--and he loved music, you know. And then he also loved like informing us on history. So he would get us black history books at the time, black history coloring books that had just came out. He got me a book about Greek and Roman mythology that was a coloring book where I learned about Achilles and how Achilles was dumped in the pool. And the mother dumped him in there, and his skin in a sense became indestructible except for that one area where she held him up by his heel. And then, of course, you know that he was shot there in that heel and ended up dying, you know, so; and books of poetry; and he would also get my sister and I--my sisters [Glenda Dennard and Toya Dennard] and I--he would buy us records. And we would literally listen to--in addition to taking us to the movies--my mother [Eleanor Adamson Dennard] and father taking us to the movies--he would also have us listening to records. And then he would have us listening to jazz records. So on a Sunday, as we were still living in Manhattan [New York City, New York] at the time, and I wish we could have stayed there because if they could have bought that that would have been incredible. But we were right around 96th Street and near Amsterdam Avenue. And I remember we would walk over to Central Park, and he would have a photographer come and take pictures of us. And during that Sunday--I remember on Sundays my mother would be cooking. And they were very, very young at the time, 'cause they had us as teenagers. And I remember two songs in particular that were always played on the console stereo. And one was Dinah Washington, 'What a Difference a Day Makes.' And the other one was, was 'Song for My Father,' by Horace Silver. [Musical beats] and so, you know, I was always filled with jazz, and he had an incredible jazz collection. And--but you know, I just remember, you know, he was tied into that kind of hustle aspect of New York City. And as I got older, I would kind of hang out with him. And my cousin actually ended up spending more time with him on the hustle side. 'Cause, you know, he kind of aware--made me aware of the streets of New York and how to navigate the streets. I knew how to navigate them to a certain extent, but he also showed me how to kind of make money. And we did things legitimately, but you know, he's like hey, this is how you do this; this is--you know, we're gonna go over here; and you can open up the doors in front of Lincoln Center [for the Performing Arts, New York City, New York], and people will give you money for helping open up the door.$$Okay, okay, 'cause always--with so many people I guess it's always something to do--(simultaneous)--$$Well, it was always--$$--if you--$$--something to do--$$Okay.$$--and New York was our playground. And I think I mentioned to you before. Since my grandmother [Lucille Adamson] on my mother's side had eight children, my cousins were my surrogate brothers, so I would spend time with my cousins--my male cousins--during the summer, and they would spend time with me. And you know, we would go over there and spend maybe two weeks spent--we called it spending the night. And I would just spend two or three weeks with them, maybe even longer sometimes, maybe almost an entire month just spending time with my cousins. And then during the year, of course, on weekends get ready to go over my cousins' house and hang out with them and stuff like that. And they always had kind of different jobs, and so I would learn how to hustle the streets with them.$And, and so I remember flying into Chicago [Illinois]. I hadn't been to Chicago before. And I flew into Chicago and met with [HM John H.] Johnson, and we had an interview. It lasted all of maybe twenty minutes to a half an hour. You know, and Mr. Johnson asked me questions like, well, you know, tell me a little bit about yourself, where you're from, things of that nature. And you know, I told him who I was, and you know, they had probably already sized me up way before then--spoke maybe two or three, five minutes to, to [HM] Linda [Johnson Rice]. And I think you know, the job was paying like sixty thousand dollars or something, which would've put--three times what I was making in Buffalo [New York], plus it was--it's national job, and, and everybody knew of Johnson Publishing Company. And so, low and behold, I was gettin' ready to leave, and Mr. Johnson and Linda stepped aside for-[Osbert] Ozzie [Bruno] wasn't even--I don't even know if he was there at the time, and Ozzie is a good friend of mine. They stepped aside for maybe five minutes or so, and I waited outside their offices. And then Mr. Johnson came back and he said--said well, Darryl--and he would speak forthrightly to you--he goes you man--you know goes, "What do you think about becoming the host of my television show?" And here I am, you know, in Buffalo. And you know, so I went, "Well, Mr. Johnson, you know, could you give me a little bit of time, you know, to think about it." And he cut right into me. He said, "Think about it? What you talkin' about thinking about for? Now I'm offering you a job to leave Buffalo, New York, and you're tellin' me you gotta think about it." I said, "You know, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir, I'll take it," (laughter). Literally, that's what he--he said, what you gotta think about leavin' Buffalo, New York for? I said, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Please forgive me. I'm sorry. I will take the job. He says okay, good, now Linda take care of that. That's exactly the way it happened, man. And I remember in my soul how I felt. 'Cause I was gonna go back home to my wife [Darlene Dennard], and we had already had my--you know, our daughter [Autumn Dennard]. And my daughter is like--it's '80 [1980], so she's about four or five years old at the time, 'cause she was born in '82 [1982], so this is '87 [1987], you know, five years old. And, and so what happened was that I told my wife I--you know, I'm driving back, and I don't think I called her or anything because there's not like cellular phones and stuff. And I remember driving back--driving out to the airport--out to O'Hare [International Airport, Chicago, Illinois], inside the express lanes, which was kind of weird for me because you know how the express lanes are divided in the middle. And then you had traffic heading one direction, and traffic heading in the opposite direction, and we were heading on the outbound traffic in the afternoon. And you know, I went back home, and my wife met me at the airport, and I said get your bags ready. We're moving to Chicago. And Mr. Johnson actually increased my salary by ten thousand dollars when he offered me the job. He didn't let me know. I accepted at, at that base salary, but he said no, pay him more.$$So this is--this is really exciting, so.$$It was a very exciting time for me. You know, I ended up--I had a beautiful going away party with all of my church members. I went to Bethesda Full Gospel Tabernacle in Buffalo, New York. And the current pastor is Bishop Michael Badger, but Michael was a contemporary of mine. And at that time the pastor was Reverend Billy White, and he's a white guy that was the pastor of this interdenominational Pentecostal church--phenomenal church in Buffalo right on Main [Street] and Utica [Street]. And, and so everybody was just like overjoyed, 'cause they would watch me on TV of course, but you know, I was very much into the ministry and so was my wife, and my buddy, Ron, and my buddy Byron--Byron Brown and Ronald Brown--no relations. But they ended up throwing me a nice little going away party. And Byron Brown became the first black mayor of Buffalo, who just got elected to his third term. And, and so we left. My wife and I we left; we packed our bags and, and came to Chicago in 1987.

Gen. William Ward

U.S. Army General William E. Ward was born on June 3, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Morgan State University and graduated with his B.A. degree in Political Science in 1971. While there, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) was commissioned as an Infantry Second Lieutenant in 1971. In 1979, Ward received his M.A. degree in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University. He then went on to attend the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

Ward’s military service has included overseas tours in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia, Israel, two tours in Germany, and a wide variety of assignments in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. His command and troop assignments include: Commander of 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2nd Brigade at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York and during Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia; Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commanding General 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army in Hawaii at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii; Commander of the Stabilization Force during Operation Joint Forge in Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Deputy Commander U.S. European Command. His staff assignments include: Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Director for Operations of the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C.; Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation with Egypt in the American Embassy in Egypt; and Vice Director for Operations of the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, Ward served as the Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Europe and the Seventh Army. While in this capacity, he was selected by the Secretary of State to serve as the United States Security Coordinator, Israel-Palestinian Authority where he served from March of 2005 through December of 2005. Ward served as the inaugural Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany from October 1, 2007 to March 8, 2011. Ward is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of America, and the National Society of Pershing Rifles. He is also an honorary member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy club and was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Morgan State University and Virginia State University.

Ward’s military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Legion of Merit with Three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with Six Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Expert Infantryman's Badge, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and the Master Parachutist Badge.

Ward currently serves as the President and COO of SENTEL Corporation.

U.S. Army General William E. Ward was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.180

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/25/2013

Last Name

Ward

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

Morgan State University

Pennsylvania State University

Army Command and General Staff College

U.S. Army War College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

WAR16

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Improve The Foxhole.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

General Gen. William Ward (1949 - ) Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division during Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia, Commander 25th Infantry Division, Commander of the Stabilization Force during Operation Joint Forge in Sarajevo, Bosnia, US Security Coordinator in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the inaugural Commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany from 2007 to 2011. He currently serves as the President of SENTEL Corp.

Employment

United States Army

Stabilization Force, Operation Joint Forge

25th Infantry Division

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gen. William Ward's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his maternal grandfather's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his mother's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his mother's education and her employment at the Social Security Administration

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father's employment and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father's service as a combat engineer in World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gen. William Ward describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gen. William Ward talks about his sister, Christina Ward Young

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gen. William Ward talks about his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gen. William Ward describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gen. William Ward describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father building their family's home in Baltimore County, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his father building their family's home in Baltimore County, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about the community's interest in sports in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about the community's interest in doo wop music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in the first grade in Baltimore County, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in an integrated school system in the 1950s, and his family instilling self-confidence in him

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interests in elementary school as well as the schools he attended

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his exposure to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience in elementary school in Towson, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interests while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward reflects about his non-military oriented childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about attending junior high school in the early 1960s, and meeting his wife in college

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about his interest in political science, playing football, and running track in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about being employed in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about his social experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward talks about the poor career counseling that he received in high school, and his decision to attend Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward describes his decision to attend Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his graduation from Towson Senior High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his desire to become a lawyer while studying at Morgan State University, pt 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about the influence of his teachers, Maxwell and Sandye Jean McIntyre, at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his desire to become a lawyer while studying at Morgan State University, pt 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about the reaction in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about being employed in college, and his experience in the political science department at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in the ROTC program at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward talks about historian Benjamin Quarles and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gen. William Ward talks about getting married and being commissioned into active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army in 1971

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about General Daniel "Chappie" James and General Benjamin Oliver Davis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience on his first commission to the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, where he became a platoon leader

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward discusses disciplinary challenges within the U.S. Army during the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward discusses his assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea in 1974

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a lieutenant in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about becoming a captain, going to graduate school, and teaching at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience in the advanced infantry career course

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about the Korean axe murder incident in 1976

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his decision to attend graduate school at Penn State University, and to teach at the United States Military Academy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as an assistant professor of social sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward describes how he became Commander of the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Commander of the 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry in Fort Wainwright, Alaska

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about being selected for colonel, and becoming the brigade commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience with the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division during relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as part of the U.N. relief mission in Somalia in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward discusses the Battle of Mogadishu and Somali Civil War, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward discusses the Battle of Mogadishu and Somali Civil War, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience as the Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his experience as the Deputy Director for Operations in the National Military Command Center

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward describes the ceremony where he was promoted to become a brigadier general in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Assistant Division Commander for Support at Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward talks about his assignment as the commander of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his assignment as the Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Staff and after the 9/11 attack

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward talks about his principle of "improving the foxhole," and his experience at the Pentagon after 9/11

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as Commander of the NATO Force in Bosnia

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience as United States Security Coordinator between the Israeli and Palestinian authority

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward talks about his service as the deputy commander of EUCOM and as the inaugural commander of AFRICOM

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about the formation of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about the goals for the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward discusses the initial apprehension towards the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward discusses the initial reactions to his appointment as commander of AFRICON

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward describes his experience in Africa as the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward describes the highlights of his service as the inaugural commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward talks about his engineering leadership experience in the U.S. Army, and receiving the Black Engineer of the Year Award in 2010

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Gen. William Ward discusses his retirement from the U.S. Army

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Gen. William Ward talks about his life after retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Gen. William Ward reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Gen. William Ward talks about his family

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Gen. William Ward describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Gen. William Ward reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Gen. William Ward talks about a lesson of accountability from his service in Korea

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Gen. William Ward talks about his team philosophy

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Gen. William Ward narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

4$7

DATitle
William E. Ward talks about his interests while growing up
William E. Ward describes the ceremony where he was promoted to become a brigadier general in 1996
Transcript
Okay, now, in light of the fact that you achieved the rank of Four-Star General, were you exhibiting, or did you have--where did you exhibit leadership as a young fellow, growing up? I mean, I know you played sports. But were you in the Boy Scouts or were you in church organizations or, you know--How did you display, you know--?$$Yeah, I think I was--I was a Cub Scout for two years. And then I stopped that. And I don't recall exactly why, but I did stop that. You know, in my little community where we lived, there were probably six or seven of us guys, you know. And we would always play, you know, three-on-three, or four-on-three, football, basketball. I played Little League baseball. And I think, you know, neighborhood activity where we lived--before we moved into our house once my dad [Richard Isiah Ward] finished it--You know, we would do little organized games there, organized--I call them playground sports. Did a lot of that. I think that was my biggest, I guess, set of activities--the largest set of activities I engaged in that would later on culminate into what I eventually did. The YMCA [Young Men's Christian Association], you know, that's where I learned to swim, at the YMCA. You know I'd get on a bus and go downtown in Baltimore [Maryland] by myself to the YMCA on Saturdays and engage in the programs that the YMCA offered. My mom [Phyllis cashen Ward] wanted me--dad wanted me to do that. And I think that's probably the biggest thing. I did sing in a little church choir. But so did a lot of other guys. Obviously, we all did that. So, those are probably the most substantial things. There's really nothing about my childhood, quite frankly, that would automatically point to "Hey, this guy always wants to take charge and be in charge." That wasn't the case at all. I don't think that was, you know, something that was inherent in who I was, you know--anytime I'd get involved in something, I'm going to take charge, I'm in charge. (laughter) That wasn't it. You know--$$Okay. So, you couldn't spot you as a little general.$$No, no. Now, I did like to, you know, I think I've always been pretty organized. I mean, and I've got a cousin who will talk about me playing with little, you know, toy soldiers and things of that sort. I can recall, I used to play with trucks a lot, you know, and what not. In fact, I think, you know, as a youngster, one of the things that I talked about mostly was, you know, I liked to drive trucks, you know. I just was fascinated with trucks.$And being made Brigadier General in '96 [1996]. Now this, this is a big deal. I mean it's a big deal, I think, and we shouldn't gloss over it. What kind of a ceremony is it, and did your parents [Phyllis Cashen Ward and Richard Isiah Ward] get a chance to come in?$$My dad did not. My dad was too ill to make it. My mom was there, and obviously all the rest of my family. But the ceremony was a pretty special one. It was conducted by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, who was my boss. And done there in the Pentagon. A host of friends who I've known my entire life--family. And I think as I was delivering my comments--Once I'd been promoted, you know, I was evoking my dad. Because a lot, you know, certainly who I am and who I was on that day for sure, was reflective of who he was as a man and what I'd learned from him. And so I really was, you know, evoking all that. He was too ill at the time to be there, though. But I clearly made sure everyone knew that, you know, he clearly was a part of my life that was responsible for me having achieved what I had achieved. And basically, because of what he taught me about how to treat people. Because of--not what he said to me, but what I saw him do, and how I saw him treat people. And then clearly, you know, you acknowledge--you know, your family. And my wife [Joyce Lewis] and kids, you know, my mom's sister and aunts, uncles and cousins, and also friends. But the important--you know, the teammates that I served with over those years--the non-commissioned officers [NCOs], the soldiers, all those folks who have been a part of my experiences in my various units, and what they had done to help the teams that I've been a part of, to be successful. And by acknowledging all of that, it was a big part of it. So, yeah, it's a big deal. It's a big deal, a huge step. One that--you know, when I look back on my days at Morgan [State University, Baltimore, Maryland], even my days as a lieutenant in the 82nd [Airborne Division], you're never thinking that you would achieve that, because clearly I didn't. I know there are some who say, yeah, I just did all these things. But, just never me. I mean, things happen over time and you get selected for a school, and you do it well. And you're able to command a formation. And that happens because you have some great teammates. So, yes, giving thanks for all that. You know, and certainly you're being thankful to the Almighty for all the care that he's provided as you go through all the stages. I talked about being in these various assignments, in Korea. You know, being so cold in Korea as a young captain walking those ridges, checking on my people--I think I'm going to die, I'm so cold. You can't feel your feet, your hands, your ears. Just absolutely, just chilling, chilling cold. You know, being in Germany there before the Cold War hit, you know, there in that mechanized brigade--Knowing that if something happens and the war goes off, your first line is to move, is to march east to stop the invaders that are coming from the east. And you're there, you know, training and preparing for that. You know, in Somalia, as a brigade commander--you know, doing what I did there--knowing that anytime you go out on this mission, you send your soldiers out, you know, they may not come back. You go out, and you're just as vulnerable as they are. And so, when you look at those experiences and you say to yourself, well, why is it that you get through it? Well, you train for it. You have teammates that you count on, that you can depend on, those old stories that you've heard about so much, you know. Why do you do this? You do this for your buddy to your left and to your right. And that is the same true echelon. It doesn't matter how senior you are, or how junior you are. I can recall being in Somalia on one occasion there. And I had a, you know, my driver and my vehicle and, you know a security guard had a machine gun. And we're both under this Humvee, you know, being shot at. And he looks at me, and I look at him. And I said, "I sure hope that machine gun you got got bullets in it." He said, "Sir, this got bullets, and I hope that rifle you got has bullets." "I got bullets, too." He said, "Well, we're both in this thing together." So, that, when you get in those types of situations, it doesn't matter what rank you are, you're still a human being first and foremost. And so, you apply that to all that you do. First and foremost, you start off with human beings. So when I got that, you know, that star--And I'll always remember, I had received a gift from a good friend. And he kind of described to me the points of that star, what each of them meant. And I kind of took that--I said, that's right. This star doesn't belong to Kip Ward. This star belongs to everyone who's been responsible for what Kip Ward is. And each point belongs to one of them. And I talk about my family, my teammates, my God--those things that have contributed to me receiving the star. And then the final one was mine. When you look at it, you know, this star belongs to the combination of all these people--all these events that have gone on in your career to enable you to have achieved this particular milestone. And so, and that's the way I thought about every one of them, you know. Every one--I say these aren't mine. These belong to those who I've been fortunate enough to serve with, and have been fortunate enough and blessed enough so that, you know, the things that I have done have contributed to making the team better. And in doing the best that I could do, to cause what they have done, to make them better as well. And that's what it's about for me. And so, that first ceremony, that first promotion that I had as a brigadier general, that's--those were the things that were, you know, flooding through my mind at that point in time.$$Okay.

M. Brian Blake

Computer scientist and academic administrator M. Brian Blake was born in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from Benedictine Military Academy in 1989 and then enrolled in the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1994. In 1997, Blake earned his M.S. degree in electrical engineering with a minor in software engineering and a graduate certificate in object-oriented analysis and design from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. He went on to earn his Ph.D. degree in information technology and computer science from George Mason University in 2000.

Upon graduation, Blake spent six years in industry working as a software architect, technical lead, and expert developer with companies such as General Electric (GE), Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and The MITRE Corporation. Blake joined the department of computer science at Georgetown University in 1999 as an adjunct professor. After being promoted to associate professor in 2005, he became the youngest African American tenured computer science professor. In 2007, Blake was selected to chair Georgetown University’s computer science department, making him the first African American appointed to the position. Blake was then brought on at Notre Dame University in 2009 where he served the Associate Dean of Engineering for Research and Graduate Studies, and as professor of computer science and engineering. Blake was also the first African American tenured professor in Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. In May of 2012, Blake was named Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Miami. His research interests include

Blake has published more than 150 refereed articles and publications in the area of software engineering and the integration of Web-based systems. He served as the Associate Editor-in-Chief of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Internet Computing, and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Service Computing. In 2006, he was selected to serve on the National Science Foundation Advisory Board for Computer, Information Science, and Engineering. Blake is also a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society.

In 2007, was honored by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as “One of 10 Emerging Scholars.” He was the creator and founder of the Web Services Challenge, an initiative that evaluates software engineering techniques in the area of web service composition. As an undergraduate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Blake was initiated in the ANAK Society and received the J. Erskine Love, Jr. Award. In 2003, US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Lockheed Martin recognized him as the “Most Promising Engineer/Scientist in Industry.”

Blake is married to Bridget Blake, a mechanical engineer who earned her M.B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and now serves as a consultant for The MITRE Corporation. They have two sons: Brendan Blake and Bryce Blake.

Brian M. Blake was interviewed y he HistoryMakers on June 3, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.139

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/3/2013

Last Name

Blake

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Brian

Schools

George Mason University

Mercer University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Benedictine Military School

Shuman Middle School

Eli Whitney Elementary

First Name

M.

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

BLA15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/13/1971

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Coral Gables

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Bread)

Short Description

Computer scientist and academic administrator M. Brian Blake (1971 - ) joined the faculty of Georgetown University in 1998, and went on to become the youngest African American tenured computer science professor and the first African American to become chair of the computer science department. He was also the first African American tenured professor in the College of Engineering at the University Notre Dame.

Employment

University of Miami

University of Notre Dame

Georgetown University

MITRE Corporation

Cleared Solutions

Lockheed Martin

General Electric Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:632,11:1336,23:2296,37:2936,51:3256,57:6776,137:7864,165:8184,171:12408,291:13816,319:19964,367:20666,375:21524,393:22304,404:24020,434:24488,441:24878,448:25346,455:28103,467:28438,473:28840,482:30046,504:30649,514:30917,519:31453,527:31922,535:32659,554:33329,567:33597,572:36947,642:37885,664:38153,669:38756,683:39426,695:40632,719:40900,724:42642,768:43111,776:56317,983:56965,994:57532,1005:57937,1011:58990,1027:60691,1060:61258,1071:61663,1077:62554,1093:67742,1118:69338,1135:70782,1151:71314,1159:71998,1175:72302,1180:74278,1215:75114,1227:76102,1244:80526,1278:81039,1288:81894,1309:82749,1333:83034,1339:84003,1369:85029,1394:86226,1407:86739,1417:88734,1460:89589,1488:89817,1493:97320,1583:98205,1604:98618,1613:99031,1621:101922,1698:102335,1706:103220,1726:103456,1731:104046,1748:104400,1755:104872,1766:118327,1906:119380,1922:119785,1929:120190,1939:121081,1956:121567,1966:124564,2019:128900,2027:130056,2045:132504,2079:135778,2116:136666,2132:136962,2137:137628,2148:139108,2170:140218,2193:143272,2200:144337,2219:147177,2269:149094,2322:150088,2349:150585,2357:151011,2365:152005,2382:152573,2391:153496,2406:154632,2436:159208,2466:159705,2474:160060,2480:160344,2485:161338,2503:161977,2519:164036,2578:168363,2619:168718,2625:169286,2639:171487,2685:172836,2714:173972,2739:174611,2755:174895,2768:178161,2831:182066,2921:182989,2937:183557,2953:189680,2985:190192,2998:191216,3029:194288,3096:194608,3106:194864,3116:195312,3125:198192,3194:199024,3210:200944,3253:201200,3317:201520,3323:202096,3328:202352,3333:203312,3354:204208,3390:209131,3396:209473,3406:210100,3424:213856,3495:214252,3503:214846,3515:215308,3523:215704,3531:216166,3541:216628,3552:218410,3609:219664,3636:220192,3645:223096,3733:223690,3741:224020,3747:225406,3780:227056,3827:227914,3842:228310,3850:228640,3856:229960,3883:230488,3893:237652,3946:239101,3972:241516,4023:244966,4086:245311,4092:248278,4139:248623,4145:252772,4177:253178,4186:256426,4271:256890,4286:257354,4297:258862,4338:260950,4381:261356,4389:261994,4404:265440,4423:265660,4428:265935,4434:268135,4493:268410,4502:268795,4511:269125,4519:269345,4524:269675,4531:270280,4563:270995,4598:276520,4693:277720,4720:278440,4734:280660,4786:281200,4797:281800,4811:282280,4830:282520,4835:283120,4853:287020,4960:287380,4968:287920,4978:288760,5018:289120,5025:290080,5034:290560,5043:290800,5057:297430,5126:297970,5137:298330,5145:298630,5151:299470,5173:301750,5226:305470,5318:306850,5357:307090,5362:307630,5373:307990,5380:308290,5386:308830,5411:315064,5474:318120,5536$0,0:3717,110:4487,127:7028,163:8645,181:10108,210:15807,250:18214,290:19293,307:19957,316:20870,328:21534,337:21949,343:24450,350:25638,373:25968,379:26364,387:28014,422:28740,444:29598,461:30060,472:31116,486:34810,518:35860,540:36310,547:37135,562:38635,588:39760,611:40285,620:46210,733:47485,758:47935,765:49660,790:52831,808:53480,820:53834,827:54129,833:57138,904:57964,920:58436,942:60147,985:61740,1020:62330,1033:63746,1067:64926,1093:65339,1102:70308,1135:71100,1151:71676,1161:72252,1170:75514,1193:77958,1210:78420,1218:79674,1251:80730,1271:81192,1279:81654,1287:82776,1299:83502,1307:86076,1366:87066,1388:87462,1395:90605,1419:91232,1435:92543,1460:94652,1498:100508,1577:101012,1586:101804,1599:102236,1606:102524,1611:102956,1621:107180,1651
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of M. Brian Blake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mother's growing up in Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mother's entrepreneurial skills and her influence on him

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes his father's growing up in Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake talks about Estill, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about how his parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake talks about his father's entrepreneurship

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his childhood neighborhoods in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about attending Townsley Chapel AME Church in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake describes the changes in his childhood neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in grade school - part three

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his interest in mathematics in grade school, and his father encouraging him to apply math to entrepreneurial use

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience in middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Benedictine Military Academy in Savannah, Georgia - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Benedictine Military Academy in Savannah, Georgia - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake talks about his preparation in computer science in high school and his decision to major in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about graduating from high school and his extracurricular activities there

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake talks about his growth spurt in high school, and running track

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his parents attending his track meets

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about attending a minority introduction to engineering program at Purdue University and his decision to attend Georgia Tech

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mentors at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and his experience as a research assistant

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake talks about his undergraduate research experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about graduating from Georgia Tech as a member of the ANAK honor society

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to pursue the Edison Engineering Program at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience of working as a software engineering consultant at Lockheed Martin and also pursing his master's degree

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Mercer University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience of pursuing his Ph.D. degree at George Mason University while working on a full-time job

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to become a professor at Georgetown University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his Ph.D. dissertation on workflow models, and his relationship with his mentor, Skip Ellis

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake describes the impact of his Ph.D. dissertation on workflow models

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and its applications

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake talks about his mentor at George Mason University, Professor Hassan Gomaa

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about serving as an expert witness

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience working for MITRE Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about his involvement in mentoring

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about serving as the lead software process consultant for the Imaging Science and Information Systems Research Center

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience as an administrator at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - M. Brian Blake talks about Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and working with the Department of Justice

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - M. Brian Blake talks about his involvement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - M. Brian Blake talks about Beverly Magda at Georgetown University

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - M. Brian Blake describes how he was hired as a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2009

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake describes his decision to become the vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Miami

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his experience at the University of Miami

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake describes his research focus in the area of service-oriented computing and cloud computing

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about the cutting edge in computer science

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake describes his research collaboration with HistoryMakers Ayanna Howard and Andrew Williams

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about his career goals for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - M. Brian Blake reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - M. Brian Blake reflects upon his career

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - M. Brian Blake discusses his goals for the University of Miami

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - M. Brian Blake describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - M. Brian Blake talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - M. Brian Blake talks about the University of Miami's football team

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - M. Brian Blake talks about starting a bank account at the age of eleven, buying his first house, and the importance of financial management

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - M. Brian Blake talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
M. Brian Blake describes his early exposure to computers and programming - part one
M. Brian Blake describes Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes (WARP) and its applications
Transcript
One of the interesting things I did, when I was in fifth grade, my dad [Malworsth Blake] bought this Apple IIe. It was one of the early MacIntosh, one of the early Apple machines. He said--he was so excited, he was like I'm going to use this to do all my accounting, it's going to save me time and all this stuff. I think he might have got on that thing maybe two months, before it started collecting dust. And we had a converted garage into a family room, so in fifth grade, I just picked it up and basically just started writing programs on it. I think by the time that I graduated from--we had a different machine by then, but by the time I was kind of in high school, I had hundreds of programs I'd written on that machine.$$Now, how did you get started with writing programs for an Apple IIe. Now, this is in the garage. Now, there's a missing part of this story, you just picked up and just started writing programs?$$I'll tell you the background. So the Apple IIe was there, and then I, in fifth grade, it had a couple of games on it, you could make these small programs to add things. The basic--it's interesting, the programming for Windows machine, it has like this DOS, very kind of rudimentary programming language, if you will, as the basic underneath the operating system. Those early machines, they just had basic programming language. So the programming language was actually the operating system language. So if your basic was the first programming language, most people learned it was kind of C, C++, basic, was just the foundation. So you could write small programs right from the command line on those Apple IIes. And I wrote a couple of things, I kind of add two numbers together and things like that. But how I really learned to program on that was that it had a couple of games on it and they were not games like we would know them today.$$What were the games?$$Yeah. Breakout was on there, which was like a bar and a couple of balls, and then it had other--so it had, what was it called, Westward Ho was a game on there. Most of the games were text-based. So this was a game that you had to move across the country with a lot of goods. It was kind of like a simulation, if you will, but you could decide what you were going to bring and what you're going to--it was kind of those societal games. There was another game on there that was a computer simulation for stocks. So you can-- another simulation of you had to make choices about what stocks to buy and what particular time, and the simulation would run, and you could actually grow different things. So, and I played those games, only a couple of those. So, you know, I got excited about games and particularly about, and these weren't like the games, like I said, this was not WE or Nintendo, or anything like that, these were like kind of text-based games, if you will. So I subscribed to, I think it was called PC Computing or PC World, it was a magazine. So back then, if you remember it, they had disk drives that were relatively new. They used to have a disk drive where the disk was about the size of a sheet of paper and then about the time I got on the machine, the disk was the size of--it was five and a quarter, so it was kind of like this size. (indicating) So, and those disk couldn't hold--they could hold some programs, but not so much. So what you would do is, you would order the magazine, and the magazine would come with all the programming language in it, and you'd have to type in the program line by line, and then you'd have the game. So that's kind of how you got--you could either buy it or you could actually subscribe to a magazine that would actually give you games.$$How did you get acquainted with PC World Magazine, was that at school?$$I guess so. I'm trying to think when--I started subscribing to that in fifth grade. My fifth grade was early for computers back then. Now, it's not so early. But I think I must have seen it somewhere. There was another buddy of mine in the neighborhood who also--I actually had Apple IIe and he had the Radio Shack version, it was a Tandy TR80, he had the other computer. So he and I would go back and forth about how you would do it. Probably some interaction there, we discovered the magazine. And once I got that, I think how I started learning the programs, I'd write this coding in, I knew nothing about what was going on, and then what would happen would be over time, it was all basic language, over time I'd begin to pick up what things mean. And the reason why you'd have to is because you're going to make mistakes when you type it in, and it wouldn't work, and you had to try to figure out--you could go line by line, but sometimes the program would be written wrong in the--so you would receive it wrong, so you couldn't get it to work because there was some error in it, so over time you would begin to realize, okay, I think I've caught all the errors, so it must be something else. And you begin to see some of the things that are breaking down, and you begin to read it a little closer, so it's almost--I think that's how people can pick up other languages, too. They watch TV and they look at text and over time, if you look at the subscripts that show on TV over time, you can kind of pick up what the language means because you're kind of comparing what happens to what's being said. And that was very similar for me, how I learned BASIC language basically through that, and over time, I just got better and started doing that.$Tell us about WARP [Workflow Automation through Agent-based Reflective Processes], I think we mentioned it in general, but not specifically?$$Right. So, WARP was this notion of--I think the acronym stands for Workflow Oriented Agent Base Reflective Processes is what it stood for, but the idea was--it was actually intelligent software using agents that could--reflective being that it could look--it could introspect on software that already exist and try to connect it into workflow automatically. So it was a--it really was sort of an expert system, if you will, that could actually assess already written code and develop workflows from that code. It was about I think it was like 15 or 20,000 lines of code I wrote during my dissertation, and it was really foundational to my early work. One of the interesting things about being a software engineer and being sort of self-proclaiming expert at programming was that when you do your dissertation you have all this theoretical stuff, you could actually--I could write my own software to kind of do a proof of concept and WARP was that proof of concept. And as I said later it extended to any number of projects that we had. We had a project with the Federal Aviation Administration where it actually served air traffic control data, had a project that served date through neuro informatics(sp) through the National Institute of Mental Health. We had another project where I used it for image guided surgery so the theory behind actually integrating the workflow and some of the modules we developed later, you know, based on that initial module were using any number of applications.$$Okay.

Marshall Jones

Mechanical engineer and inventor Marshall G. Jones was born on August 1, 1941 in Southampton, New York to Mildred and Dallas Jones. While his father served in the Navy during World War II, Jones and his brother lived with his great aunt and uncle in Aquebogue, New York on their duck farm. Although he had to repeat the fourth grade because of his reading skills, Jones excelled in math and science. Jones attended Riverhead High School and graduated with his diploma in 1960. Two years later, he received his A.A.S. degree from Mohawk Valley Community College. Jones then received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1965. In his graduating class, he was the only African American student in the engineering school. Following work as a development engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Jones went on to attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering in 1972 and 1974, respectively.

Jones entered into industrial research in 1974, working with General Electric Global Research in New York. Jones was one of General Electric’s first scientists researching laser material processing and he soon became the manager of the Laser Technology Program. In 1982, Jones started research on high-power laser beam transmission through optical fibers. His research allowed for the passage of high power laser beams with high efficiency. Jones continued to specialize in laser technology, becoming a major pioneer in the field. His work included the use of lasers to join two dissimilar metal combinations together. He received fifty United States patents, thirty-one foreign patents and wrote over 45 publications. Jones served as an adjunct professor at SUNY of Albany and Schenectady County Community College. He is the subject of the children’s book, Never Give up: The Marshall Jones Story .

Jones won a number of awards for his groundbreaking work. He is the recipient of the General Electric Company’s highest honor, the E-GR Coolidge Fellow. Jones was named the 1994 Black Engineer of the Year for his technical contributions to industry. One year later, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Professional and Community Service from the University of Massachusetts. Jones went on to receive the Pioneer of the Year Golden Torch Award from the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in 1999. He was also elected into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2001 for his contributions to the application of high-power lasers in industry. Jones was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and the Laser Institute of America (LIA).

Marshall G. Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 4, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.157

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/4/2012

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Gordon

Occupation
Schools

Aquebogue Elementary School

Riverhead Senior High School

Mohawk Valley Community College

University of Michigan

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marshall

Birth City, State, Country

Southampton

HM ID

JON30

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Reunions

Favorite Quote

Go Blue.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/1/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albany

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apples (Fried)

Short Description

Mechanical engineer and inventor Marshall Jones (1941 - ) was a pioneer in laser technology, receiving fifty United States patents.

Employment

General Electric Company

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Schenectady Community College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:23704,112:33630,137:41218,206:43568,246:81347,489:83394,508:95782,598:99112,623:123436,882:191225,1423:241575,1965:247399,2011:273260,2263:276182,2278:280610,2322:281922,2340:283152,2355:283644,2362:284136,2370:310280,2631:314232,2660:377468,3463:379392,3481:392516,3666:416080,3869$0,0:5810,60:6760,71:9705,105:13220,159:26480,257:38288,326:38632,338:39406,348:39750,353:41470,375:42760,392:45082,423:49640,483:50414,493:50758,498:51360,507:57014,527:57752,538:58080,543:62098,595:62590,603:62918,608:63246,613:73348,693:73792,701:75272,734:76900,759:77566,772:82672,861:83190,869:84300,888:86742,930:94083,971:94567,976:95293,984:96624,996:97350,1004:100012,1029:103960,1039:106164,1071:106772,1083:107380,1097:109128,1115:109660,1124:110192,1132:110572,1138:111484,1155:113688,1193:114372,1206:115056,1218:115360,1223:115664,1228:120338,1243:122291,1290:122606,1296:123236,1309:123740,1318:135670,1561:136070,1567:136870,1585:137270,1591:139270,1637:141190,1667:141510,1672:142070,1680:142630,1688:143750,1711:148362,1730:148694,1735:154338,1822:154753,1829:155583,1841:155915,1846:158156,1879:158820,1889:165916,1934:166240,1939:166807,1947:167293,1955:167941,1965:169318,1984:171667,2014:171991,2019:173854,2040:174421,2048:174907,2055:180320,2070:185881,2151:186545,2160:186960,2166:187292,2171:187873,2180:188205,2185:189450,2199:202058,2307:202326,2312:203331,2330:204604,2357:206145,2383:206413,2388:218520,2536:219960,2559:220280,2564:221960,2597:222360,2603:228177,2643:228461,2648:230733,2680:231088,2686:231372,2691:233431,2740:234141,2752:234425,2757:240450,2812:241650,2826:242930,2831:243250,2836:245410,2864:246530,2875:247330,2888:248210,2896:248530,2901:249010,2909:249810,2922:254050,3021:268056,3111:270318,3148:270666,3153:273189,3182:273537,3187:275625,3213:276060,3219:279600,3227
DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his great-uncle Lawrence Miller's duck farming business

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about his great-uncle, Lawrence Miller, and great-aunt, Mary Jackson

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones talks about his mother, Mildred Green

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones talks about his father, Dallas Jones

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones talks about his parents' marriage and his father's career in the U.S. Postal Service

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones talks about his parents' role in his upbringing (part 1)

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marshall Jones talks about his parents' role in his upbringing (part 2)

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marshall Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marshall Jones recalls stories from his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones describes the medical condition of being tongue tied

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

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones describes his experience in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his relationship with his great-uncle, Lawrence Miller

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about repeating the fourth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones talks about his mother moving away from home

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones describes his teenage interest in airplanes and in becoming a pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones talks about learning algebra at Aquebogue Elementary School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones talks about the demographics at Riverhead High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones talks about playing sports in school - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about playing sports in school - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones describes his decision to attend Mohawk Valley Community College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones talks about the death of his great-uncle, Lawrence Miller

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones talks about how he explained his engineering drawings to his mother

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones describes his experience at Mohawk Valley Community College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his first encounter with racism

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about his mentor at Mohawk Valley Community College

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones describes his decision to transfer to the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marshall Jones describes his experience with racism in Florida in 1961

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marshall Jones talks about his mentor at the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones talks about Ted Kaczynski and Marina Oswald attending the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones describes his experience at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones talks about meeting his wife and getting married

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones describes his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones talks about his mother's unexpected death

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marshall Jones talks about taking the professional engineering exam

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Marshall Jones describes patent rights and his work at GE Global Research

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones describes lasers and his work using lasers

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones describes his pioneering work with lasers

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones talks about the awards that he has received

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones describes his work on processing laser energy through fiber optics

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about his advisory role at the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones talks about using lasers in additive manufacturing

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marshall Jones describes his work on using lasers in underwater cladding

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones describes his work on laser-based hotwire welding

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones describes his work on portable plenum laser forming

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones reflects upon his contributions to laser technology and science

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones talks about his overall experience at the General Electric Research Center

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about mentoring and competitive running

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Marshall Jones talks about the inspiration for his book, Never Give Up - The Marshall Jones Story

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Marshall Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Marshall Jones talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Marshall Jones reflects upon his career path

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Marshall Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Marshall Jones describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$8

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Marshall Jones describes lasers and his work using lasers
Marshall Jones describes his work on laser-based hotwire welding
Transcript
Just summarize for those who don't know, what is a laser anyway and what--?$$A laser is a device that's able to generate light in a form that essentially has one color. And it could be essentially a color that you can see or it could be a color that you can't see. What you can see is from blue to red, the colors in a rainbow. And if you look at, if you put numbers on those colors okay and we'll use microns as numbers, and if you go from .4 to say .8 microns, that's going from blue which is .4 to red which is .8. If you go below .4 you're in a region that's referred to as ultraviolet and that's sort of the color that you can't see and this is the color that everyone is concerned about you know dealing with ultraviolet coming from the sun that can cause skin cancer. If you go above .8 say to 1 and larger that's into the infrared. Lasers operate from the ultraviolet through what you can see all the way into the infrared. The uniqueness of the laser in addition to the fact that it's very, it's only of one color you know the, sort of the, the word that best describes that it's a fairly large word but it's called, it's monochromatic and that means one color. The other feature of the laser is that it's the most collimated light source known to man. If you take a flashlight and shine the flashlight over some distance, the light beam from a flashlight essentially diverges as it leaves the flashlight source.$$It gets wider and wider.$$It gets wider and wider.$$Disperses.$$And it's the same for your headlamp on your car you know, the light coming from that headlight divide, diverges out okay. The light from a laser stays very collimated. If I took a laser in this room and shined it on the wall over here and shined it on another wall the spot on the wall is almost the same size as the beam leaving the source. If you shine a laser beam from the earth to the moon, the moon is 250,000 miles away. When the laser beam gets to the moon it's going to cover an area maybe the size of this museum. And you say well that's not so good but you have to think how far did the laser travel? It traveled 250,000 miles and when it got to the moon it only illuminated a region that's the size of this museum. That's a pretty collimated light source. Being that collimated, that means that if you put this light source through a lens you're able to focus it down to a very, very small spot okay. I usually tell kids in the classroom I always ask the question, how many you know how many students have taken a magnifying glass and either ignited paper or tried to pop an ant and most of them was--raised their hand. But you're able to do that, you're able to walk around in the sun and for the most part it doesn't bother you unless you're out there too long. But if you focus the rays from the sun you know through a magnifying class it's able to focus down to a very, very small spot such that the intensity is so high that you can ignite the paper and the kids that were able to pop the ants always ask the question, why did you know why did the ant stand still? So I says--but it probably temporarily blinded it. That's what you're able to do with a laser. I've spent the last thirty-five years taking the laser beam such that if the laser beam is the size of a quarter, you know I could put something in front of the beam very quickly and it will do nothing to it. When it goes through a lens and it's focused down I can do things like what we just talked about. I can weld copper to aluminum, I can cut with it, I can heat treat with it, I can do so many different things totally non-contact which is the most exciting thing of all that you don't have to touch the part, the component, the material and you're able to impart this energy which is nothing other than light on a material in order to energize it and do some useful things.$Okay. So in 2004, you published 'Laser Hotwire Welding for Minimizing Defects' during the international congress on applications of lasers and electro optics proceedings. Right, that's (unclear).$$Okay. This hotwire laser approach you know just prior to that you know we had a patent issued in this area also and the idea, some of the materials that they use for you know building certain components for gas turbines as well as for jet engines, these materials are super-alloys. Typically when they are welded the material aspects is such that you know they will literally crack. And so we came up with this technique of this hotwire laser welding where we would essentially--it would be used to join two materials that are very difficult to weld, okay, number one. Number two, we would be able to reduce the amount of heat that would go into the welding process because we've used another means of heating the wire that we would be feeding into the joint. And we were able to demonstrate that we could weld some of these materials without cracking them okay, and without the part actually having distortion which is another issue that occurs with certain welding techniques, even with lasers. And even in the same time frame you know there was like a ten-year period where we were doing research for Lockheed Martin [American defense, technology, aerospace, advanced technology company] and when we came up with this technique the folks at NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Agency] was interested, became interested in the technique relative to the space shuttle. And the space shuttle, all the welding on the space shuttle because it's aluminum is done with another process that's called friction stir welding. And they wanted to go to, away from aluminum to some of the nickel-based alloys but they didn't have a good way at that time cause friction stir welding would not work with these nickel based alloys. And we were showing that we could use this hotwire laser process to weld the materials that they had of interest without having distortion and still maintaining the properties that they want. And I had actually visited the location where they make the fuel tanks for the shuttle down in Michoud [NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, Louisiana] in Louisiana and presented this technology and so forth. And we were in the process of moving forward with that and on my way home when I was in the Atlanta [Georgia] airport, that's when the Challenger [space shuttle Challenger] went down. And so I was really obviously taken back because I was, I mean I was just there where they actually made these you know fuel tanks and we were look--because where they were going was you know they wanted to--you know because the fuel tank is discarded you know with the shuttle the way it works now and they were heading in the direction of having the system to be able to come back to earth and be able to be re-used. And that was the reason for going to the new material but after that accident that approach went out, you know they just went down a different track. But that's where that, that was the potential use for that technology and it's still an area that you know we're still doing work in.

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James

Military Officer Nathaniel James is the former commanding General of the New York Army National Guard. Born on July 28, 1935, in the Branchville, South Carolina, his family migrated north to New York City during his childhood. James received early schooling in the New York City Public School system, and attended Theodore Roosevelt High School before graduating from Bronx Vocational High School. James then enrolled at the State University of New York, earning his A.A. degree in business and his B.A. degree in political science. After completing the ROTC training in college and subsequent two years of enlisted service, James was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1959, through the Army Artillery and Missile School.

During his 33 year career, James held a variety of positions and continued to develop his institutional knowledge of Army command, operations and strategy. James’ military education includes the Army Artillery and Missile School; Army Transportation School; Army Command and General Staff College; Army War College; and the National Interagency Counter Drugs Institute. In 1975, James became the commander for the 369th Transportation Battalion, 42nd Division Artillery and 42nd Division Support Command. Between 1988 and 1992, he served as the assistant adjutant general, Headquarters State Area Command, New York Army National Guard. Promoted to Major General on December 29, 1992, James became the first African American to obtain that rank in the history of the New York Army National Guard.

In addition to previously commanding the 369th Transportation Battalion James is the founder and president of both the 369th Veteran’s Association, Inc. and the 369th Historical Society, Inc. The 369th Regiment was originally called the 15th New York Infantry and they were the first African American regiment to engage in combat during World War II. After the war, 171 soldiers in that regiment were awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government, and German soldiers gave them the name, “Harlem Hell Fighters,” for the courage and valor they displayed in battle. James maintains hundreds of photographs and dozens of artifacts, papers, and other items to honor the legacy of the 369th Regiment.

James’ military decorations and awards include, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the New York Humanitarian Service Medal.

Nathaniel James was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.200

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/31/2012

Last Name

James

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Fordham University

State University of New York at Albany

Bronx Regional High School

Army Command and General Staff College

U.S. Army War College

U.S. Army Transportation School

U.S. Army Field Artillery School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Nathaniel

Birth City, State, Country

Branchville

HM ID

JAM05

Favorite Season

July

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Major general Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James (1935 - ) the first African American obtain that rank of Major General in the New York Army National Guard, is the founder and president of both the 369th Historical Society and the 369th Veterans Association.

Employment

New York Army National Guard

369th Veterans' Association

New York City Transit Authority

New York Bell Telephone Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:693,12:2310,37:3157,54:14160,205:15840,223:19767,320:41296,578:45062,631:46455,656:50343,728:63880,975:64370,984:91820,1380:95002,1506:95890,1521:103046,1661:110438,1753:122770,1850$0,0:800,19:2100,45:31417,374:68110,920:68920,931:69730,1003:74410,1217:99468,1526:110722,1682:120395,1802:127450,1927:213446,2906:214166,2974:223528,3125:300934,4092:305470,4167:324070,4477:329550,4628:342280,4791:357290,5183
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel James' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James describes the hard life of working on the railroad

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James tells the story of his father's arrival in New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James discusses his father's aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James tells how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nathaniel James describes his parents' personalities and talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nathaniel James describes his earliest childhood memories pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nathaniel James describes his earliest childhood memories pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes his elementary school experience in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his childhood in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James talks about his favorite subject and teachers in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his elementary school's student health inspection

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James discusses his family's move from Brooklyn to the Bronx and an incident that happened to him in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes his experience attending a predominantly white school and compares it to his previous school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James describes his childhood hobbies and his interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James recalls his first job and his high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James talks about his childhood and youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes his enlistment in the New York Army National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his enlistment in the New York Army National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James talks about race relations in the U. S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his role as a Graves Registration Specialist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James discusses his military and civilian work

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James talks about meeting his wife and continuing his education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James discusses his computer science coursework at Fordham University in the Bronx

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James talks about his interest in becoming a General

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes the formation and advocacy efforts of the Black Officers Association pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his rise to the rank of Major General

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James describes becoming commander of the 369th Infantry Regiment

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James talks about becoming the first African American commander of the 42nd Division Artillery

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James details his various promotions

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes the formation and advocacy efforts of the Black Officers Association pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James describes his duties as a Two-Star General

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James talks about having to fire an ineffective Battalion Commander pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nathaniel James talks about having to fire an ineffective Battalion Commander pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James discusses people's reactions to him being an African American Two-Star General in the New York Army National Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James talks about his career as a Two-Star General in the New York Army National Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James talks about an officer in the 369th Infantry Regiment who refused to fight in the Iraqi War

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James talks about the erection of the monument in France honoring the 369th Infantry Regiment's efforts during World War I

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James talks about the creation of a duplicate monument in honor of the 369th Infantry Regiment in New York City pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James talks about the creation of a duplicate monument in honor of the 369th Infantry Regiment in New York City pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James describes the move of the second 369th Infantry Regiment monument from Germany to the United States pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James discusses development and programs at the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society, as well as the infantry's monument dedication

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James reminisces about his late friend, William Miles and the 369th Regiment's portrayal in movies

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James talks about his family and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Nathaniel James describes his childhood in New York City
Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.2
Transcript
Okay. Now, what was your--were your schools--. Now, you're in Harlem, right, in a--?$$I was in Harlem.$$This is Harlem. So most of your classmates were black, I guess.$$Well, then it was--it wasn't all black then. It's just, like, the middle the Harlem where, I guess was black, but naturally, as a kid, I didn't go from level to level. I could only be right there in the street. We lived on Edgecombe Avenue. And then from Edgecombe Avenue we moved to Brooklyn to Gates Avenue. And I can remember Gates Avenue and it was a--Gates and Tompkins. That's when the war was going on, and that's where I saw like they delivered fish. Well, they didn't have a lot of ice trucks then, so what they did is, they delivered fish fresh. So the fish truck would come like a tanker truck, and they would scoop down with a big net, and take the fish out, and take them into the fish market. So you know you're getting fresh fish, they swimming right there in the tank. I guess that was amazing to me to watch them dip down and get all these fish out and put them in a basket and take them into the fish market. And I could sit in the window and watch the trucks come and deliver the bread and whatnot. And occasionally, my oldest sisters and brothers would take us downstairs to play in front of the stoop. And they had a movie, the Tompkins was on the corner. And I could down that far and could look at, you know, they put the pictures of what's playing on the inside. They'd put little scenes on the still pictures outside, and that's as far as I got. If I got ice cream, I think, ice cream, they told me, was three cents. So, I could get a cone of ice cream, which I very rarely got for three cents.$$It's unbelievable--$$Yeah.$$--now to think that you could get that for three cents.$$I guess a dollar now is like three cents then (laughs).$Now, what year was this when you formed it?$$This is in 1960, I guess.$$Okay.$$Let's revise that. 1959; about 1960.$$Okay.$$'Cause he says--we worked on that for--'til 1961, I can remember that, and we had our first viewers to come through. We had a little tour to come through and look at all the memorabilia. And we went through what the thing was about, and who these officers were, and all the different things that was in there. And it sort of caught on. People wanted to know more about it. So we're still confined to this little room. So, but they won't give us anymore space in the Amory. So we'll have to do the best that we can. So, we worked on fixing the room up, and taking all the phernalia (sic) and stuff out and putting the into categories, and try to organize it to something that we'll know where it's at when we need it. So, little by little, Bill Miles now decides that he's got enough of this stuff that he can make a film out of it. So he comes to me and he asks me to write a letter on behalf of the battalion, that he could go to the National Archives and get the footage of the 369th [Infantry Regiment]. Now, if you saw the "Men of Bronze," that footage in there is the footage that he got from the National Archives. So we wrote--now, normally if you go to the National Archives, you have to pay for the footage. But, if you go there as one of the historical units, you get it free, 'cause it's you. So, anyway, he was allowed to get all of this footage free. So, he was able to do that, and he got the film, and then he decided to do interviews and whatnot. And he did a lot of interviews, you know, like the little redheaded gentleman that was here, I met him. Now, he's in the film, and he was an actual 369er. Actually, I met a number of real 369er's that was in the World War I, but since them they have all passed away, so, you can't talk to any of them at this point. But that was the beginning. And then, as time went on, we wanted to expand. But we never got permission to expand it. So little by little, as I rose in rank, eventually, I got to be the Commander. When I got to be the Commander, then I had control over everything. So, I said, "Well, we can expand this out." And I told him to put things out I the lounges. So what we do is expand it into the lounge, and we collect this stuff up and put it back in the library. So it was an on and on, put up displays and take them down. So, as time went on, I spoke to this guy, William DeFossett. He was the president of the Veterans' Association there. He was a treasury officer. And knowing him and what he could do opened a lot of doors just by him being the treasurer officer. So, we used to help him, have him help us do a lot of things. So he says to me one day, "You know, you got committee on the end of this thing, 369th Historical Committee. That sounds awful small." He said, "Why don't you make it the 369th Historical Society, and then it's a bigger thing." I said, "That makes sense." So I changed it to 369th Historical Society. And then we decided to get a charter. So, we worked that, getting a charter. We got the charter, and then from the charter we had to go and get the 501(c)(3) status. We worked at getting the 501(c)(3) status. We got that. And that's the beginning of the 369th Historical Society. And--$$Now, what--yeah. I'm sorry. What year is this?$$And then, as time went on, I got to be the Army Commander. And then after I was the Army Commander, I came back here. They needed the space in the second floor library for a classroom. So I convinced them to give all the space on the walls in this lower area and upstairs to the exclusive use of the Society that no Commander can say what would go up there. That the Society would say what goes up and what takes down (sic). And I went through the Adjutant Generals' office and they gave approval. And so, we expanded everything outside to the different corridors. And that's the way it is today. And that's how the Society is now. The Society itself collects anybody that is interested in preserving history. And so, we have a lot of people that are not military. Anybody that wants to join can join for a fee of $25 as a yearly fee. If they want to be a life member, it's $300. So we got a lot of people to join in for life members, and a lot of people that do annual membership. So, the annual membership is the blood that keeps money coming in that you can do your administrative stuff. But it's nothing big. We try to get a couple of grants here and there. We've managed to get a few grants from the government through our representatives and whatnot. But it--as the budget dries up, that dries up also. So, we've been able to keep those things going. Then when we got to the point that we wanted to expand into the streets, we decided that we should be a monument up in France where the 369th fought, because we had the opportunity to go there, and there weren't no monuments to the 369th [Infantry Regiment], even in the town of Sechault.$$How do you spell that?$$Sechault? S-H-E-A-C-H-T-L (sic), I think it is, A-L-T, chalt.$$Okay. Okay.$$

William "Sonny" Walker

Civil rights activist, nonprofit chief executive, and management consulting entrepreneur William “Sonny” Walker was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and went on to teach in Arkansas public schools. In 1956, in the wake of the Brown vs. Board U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Walker helped to prepare the Little Rock Nine to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Walker went on to manage the campaign of T. E. Patterson, the first African American elected to the Arkansas School Board.

In 1965, Walker started the Crusade for Opportunity, one of the first Head Start programs in the U.S. and then began serving as director of the Economic Opportunity Agency of Little Rock and Pulsaki County. Throughout this time, Walker worked to promote integration of everything from television news anchors to the local chapter of the United States Junior Chamber. In 1969, Walker began serving as Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s head of the Arkansas State Economic Opportunity Office. He was the first African American to hold such a position in a Southern governor’s cabinet.

Walker moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1972, and began serving as a division director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal. In 1976, Walker became a member of the Board of Directors for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Walker eventually became Coretta Scott-King’ speech writer and in 1994, he served as interim director of the King Center. Walker went on to found the consulting company the Sonny Walker Group, which specializes in networking, marketing, and employee training.

Walker was a member of the board of trustees of Morris-Brown College, the board of directors of the Butler Street YMCA, the EduPac Action Committee, and the Georgia Partnership for Education Excellence. He was heavily involved with many other community organizations and received numerous awards, including the Community Service Award from the Atlanta Business League, the Distinguished Community Service Award from the National Urban League, the Outstanding Public Servant in the State of Georgia Award from the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives, and the Lyndon B. Johnson Award from the National Association of Community Action Agencies.

William “Sonny” Walker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 21, 2011.

Walker passed away on June 15, 2016.

Accession Number

A2011.029

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/21/2011 |and| 3/18/2012

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

"Sonny"

Schools

Merrill Junior High School

University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Arizona State University

University of Oklahoma

University of Arkansas

Federal Executive Institute

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Pine Bluff

HM ID

WAL15

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

West Indies

Favorite Quote

Out Of The Night That Covers Me, Black As The Pit From Pole To Pole, I Thank Whatever Gods May Be, For My Unconquerable Soul.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

6/15/2016

Short Description

Management consulting entrepreneur, civil rights activist, and nonprofit chief executive William "Sonny" Walker (1933 - 2016 ) fought for integration during the Civil Rights Movement, worked to promote increased economic opportunity through various federal agencies and programs. He also served as an important member of the board of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and worked as Coretta Scott-King's speech writer. Walker passed away on June 15, 2016.

Employment

Arkansas Public School System

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Arkansas State Government

Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Office of Economic Opportunity

National Alliance of Business

Sonny Walker Group

Favorite Color

Cream, Crimson

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William "Sonny" Walker's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers his paternal great-grandmother's immediate relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers his paternal great-great-grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers meeting his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his stepmother, Nettie Harris Walker

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about his half sister

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the sights, sounds and smells of childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers the influential people from his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers the end of World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls attending Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his early after school jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his decision to attend the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers attending Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers his influences at Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his connection to Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his former wife Loraine Tate and their children

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about the racial climate in Arkansas during the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls teaching in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the discrimination faced by the Little Rock Nine

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about members of the Little Rock Nine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers Ozell Sutton

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his time as president of the Arkansas Teachers Association Department of Classroom Teachers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers advocating for equal pay for teachers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the violence of the mid-1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls meeting President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his involvement with Crusade for Opportunity

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Sonny Walker recalls his role with the National Head Start Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his efforts to desegregate in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls disarming the Black United Youth group in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker describes Dale Bumper's gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of William "Sonny" Walker's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers his move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the growth of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls his role with the Office of Economic Opportunity

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers affirmative action initiatives under the Richard Nixon administration

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls the changes in the Democratic Party during the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers the changes in the national political landscape in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the political landscape of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls Maynard H. Jackson, Jr.'s mayoral campaign in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls transitioning to the National Alliance of Business

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about his support of African American owned banks in the South

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his work with the National Alliance of Business

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about working with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls improving Coretta Scott King's public speaking skills

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about the formation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers the activities created to memorialize Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about working with Stevie Wonder, Harry Belafonte and Nelson Mandela

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls becoming director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker describes the historic Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker recalls the leadership changes at The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about the future of The King Center

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his decision to support Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker shares his views of President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his civic involvement in the Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about his consultant work at Sonny Walker Group

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - William "Sonny" Walker describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William "Sonny" Walker remembers the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William "Sonny" Walker talks about the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William "Sonny" Walker reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William "Sonny" Walker reflects upon his life

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William "Sonny" Walker describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$1

DATitle
William "Sonny" Walker describes the discrimination faced by the Little Rock Nine
William "Sonny" Walker remembers Ozell Sutton
Transcript
Well, let's go back--$$Okay (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) before they actually get in, because you get to teach them [at Horace Mann High School; Horace Mann Magnet Middle School, Little Rock, Arkansas]. You said four of the nine?$$I taught five of the nine.$$Five of the nine. Tell me who they were, and how you were instrumental in preparing them to transfer to go to Central [Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas].$$Well, you know, it was more than just--the preparation was more than just what was occurring in the classroom, because the students were identified based on their academic excellence. So we tried to take the best, because we wanted them to succeed. A woman named Daisy Bates, who was head of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], was the guiding force behind that, and a number of persons in the community, including [HistoryMaker] Ozell Sutton who was working with the Arkansas human relations commission [Arkansas Council on Human Relations]. I had been working as a sports writer for Mrs. Bates' newspaper, the State Press [Arkansas State Press], so she brought me into the process to a great extent. They had a number of other folks, especially NAACP related persons that helped in trying to chart a course for these nine kids. We also had to involve their families, because much of what was going on resulted in reparations, re- repercussions and resistance to the rights of those families. In other words, sometimes the father would lose his job. Sometimes the mother would lose her job, and that kind of thing, as a result of integrating the schools. So, those were the kinds of things that we had to deal with in addition to preparing them academically, mentally and emotionally, for going there. We tried to tell them, we were going to try to instill some of the King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] principles of nonviolence in them. Now, because they hit you, don't hit them back. But we didn't get across to Minnijean Brown [Minnijean Brown Trickey] very well, because some guy put some chili, threw some chili on Minnijean, and Minnijean took, threw chili back. And so, there were some who didn't accept well being abused and intimidated by some of the students who didn't want them there. So, it was quite a time in '57 [1957]. The crowds were jeering the students as they would come in. And I'm sure you saw the--I taught Elizabeth Eckford, and I'm sure you saw when she was isolated by herself, and there was this crowd jeering this young girl. She was frightened, didn't know what to do, she was isolated from the others. They usually tried to go in together, but somehow she got separated from the other eight, and was alone, and it wasn't a very pleasant kind of experience for her. But, Little Rock [Arkansas] in '57 [1957] was really something. But the thing that I think is unknown, or not, with very little emphasis placed on it, was not '57 [1957], '58 [1958], which was the first year that black students left to go to Little Rock Central, but the really tumultuous year was '58 [1958], '59 [1959], the school year of '58 [1958], '59 [959]. Do you realize that there is no such thing as a '59 [1959] graduate of a Little Rock public school? The high schools did not open in '58 [1958]. Rather than continue the integration that they had in '57 [1957], the board decided to close the high schools--close, which affected not just African American kids, but all students. And this is what really brought out white parents, especially mothers, who said, "We're paying the price for all this discrimination and resistance to integration." And they had a panel of American women that were formed, and they went around and spoke to audiences about the fact that they needed to go on and accept the fact that integration is real, it's here, it's the order of the court, and there's no point in us trying to further resist it. Let's just be supportive of it, and hope that we have the best environment for all of our children in the school system. But no graduate-- can you imagine, I want to reiterate it. I repeat it for emphasis. No graduate of the public schools in Little Rock in 1959 because the schools, high schools, did not open in the fall of '58 [1958]. So [HistoryMaker] Ernest Green, who was the first graduate, was in the graduating class of '58 [1958], because he was the only senior that was with the nine, the only one of the nine who was in the senior class, so he graduated and the others were put on hold. They had to go other places, go to parochial schools, go to the county schools, go to St. Louis [Missouri], Chicago [Illinois]--somewhere where there was a relative so they could continue to be in school. But they couldn't go to high school in their own home towns. What a crime, what a shame, but that was the case.$You mentioned [HistoryMaker] Ozell Sutton. And he, I know that he also wrote for one of the newspapers, as you did as well. Is he a friend of yours?$$Ozell I consider to be my longest existing and best friend. We are very, very close. We worked together in Little Rock [Arkansas]. He was with the Arkansas Council on Human Relations. But we also attended the same church, so we got a chance to see--and then with me working with Mrs. Bates [Daisy Bates] as a staff writer for her paper [Arkansas State Press]. And Ozell was on the staff of the Democrat [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette], which was the major white paper. Ozell was the first journalist to be hired by them. And together, we worked to integrate the television and radio industry. We almost singlehandedly, the two of us, working with the assistance of a guy named Lonnie King [Lonnie C. King, Jr.] from Atlanta [Georgia] who was under contract with the Community Relations Service, and who helped us to chart a course to get public, to get public television stations as well as radio stations to hire African Americans. And this required a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of energy, a lot of convincing, a lot of cajoling, and whatever. So Ozell and I worked very closely together. And Ozell became employed as a special assistant to Governor Winthrop Rockefeller. As a matter of fact, although I was designated as the first black cabinet appointee, Ozell was on the governor's staff when I was appointed, so he got there first, before I did. And Ozell was, of course, was an advocate for me because there was opposition. Some folks thought I was too militant to be part of the governor's cabinet, but the governor didn't buy into that, and Ozell, of course, was one of the strong advocates inside on my behalf. When we chose to come to Atlanta, we came at the same time. He came with the Community Relations Service in the [U.S.] Department of Justice, and I came with the Office of Economic Opportunity for the eight southeastern states. And we were offered the opportunity to occupy the home of a guy named T.M. Alexander, Jr., who was being assigned to HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] in Washington [D.C.], and so because he and Janis [Janis Alexander] had this home and they didn't want to sell it, because they didn't know how long they'd be gone. They asked Ozell and myself to occupy their residence for them. And so we moved into their home when we came.$$What year was that?$$This was '72 [1972].$$Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Nineteen seventy-two [1972].$$Okay.$$Um-hm.$$So we'll talk more about that when we get to the 1970s, okay (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Okay.

The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr.

County Superior Court Judge Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was born on March 19, 1947 in Atlanta, Georgia to his parents Alford J. Dempsey, Sr. and Maenelle Dempsey. His father served in the U.S. Army and was assigned to General Eisenhower's honor guard in Europe after World War II. While growing up, Dempsey wanted to join the military to emulate his father. His mother was an educator who worked for the State of Georgia’s Department of Education, developing schools in African American communities throughout Georgia. In 1965, Dempsey graduated from New Hampton School, a boarding school in New Hampshire where he played football, basketball, and baseball. Dempsey entered Columbia University that same year as a pre-med student. While at Columbia, Dempsey participated in the 1968 student protests. He later transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta where he graduated with honors with his B.A. degree in economics in 1972 and in 1976, Dempsey earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

Dempsey began his legal career working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. He later became assistant city attorney for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Law. In 1992, Dempsey was named judge of the Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court in Atlanta. He was appointed by Fulton County State Court Chief Clarence Coopers. In 1995, Dempsey was then appointed to the Fulton County Superior Court by Governor Zell Miller where he presided over civil and felony criminal cases. Dempsey was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court. Dempsey has presided over many high profile cases throughout his career including the case involving the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and allegations of misspending by its leadership.

Dempsey has served as a member of a number of professional legal organizations, including the American Judges Association, the American Judicature Society, the Atlanta Bar Association (Past Chair Judicial Section), the Bleckley Inn of Court, the Gate City Bar Association (Immediate Past Chair Judicial Section), and the National Bar Association.

Dempsey has also been active in numerous community organizations including serving as the District Chair of the South Atlanta District of the Boy Scouts of America, a Board member and past president of the Board of Carrie Steele-Pitts Home and a Board member of Sisters By Choice, Inc.

Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.019

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/20/2011

Last Name

Dempsey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

J.

Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Washington High School

New Hampton Community School

Columbia University

Morehouse College

Harvard Law School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Alford

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

DEM01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

If washing don't get you, the rinsing sure will.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/19/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Snapper (Twice-Baked)

Short Description

County superior court judge The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr. (1947 - ) has been the presiding judge of the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court.

Employment

City of Atlanta Deparment of Law

Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court Presiding Judge

Superior Court of Fulton County

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alford Dempsey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey relates stories from his father

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his father's education and career in the U.S. Military

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his father's experience with segregation in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his mother's career, educational background and mother's side of the family in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes his maternal family in Noonan, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his parents' marriage and his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his birthplace, his adopted sibling, and the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the neighborhood where he spent his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Scott family, owners of the Atlanta Daily World, as well as his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his family's church, First Congregational Church in Atlanta, and his activities as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey talks about his participation in sports and his experience attending Washington High School and New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the New Hampton Boarding School in New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his student activities and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience at the New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey discusses how he chose Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his difficulties as a student at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his academic performance and student activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the 1968 Columbia University student protest

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes the differences between the two 1968 Columbia student protests

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his band, the Soul Syndicate, and the famous musicians he met in New York and Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey recalls his time working at the Bird Cage Restaurant and Lounge in Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey discusses meeting his wife, Colleen

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving Columbia University to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his time between graduating from Morehouse College, and attending Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his twin daughters, Audrey and Angela, and his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey discusses attending Harvard University Law School and his job search

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the Atlanta City Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey discusses the Minority and Female Business Enterprise Program and Maynard Jackson's impact as Mayor of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Atlanta Child Murders in 1979 and his son Alford James Dempsey, III

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the City of Atlanta, teaching at Atlanta University and his private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his appointment to the magistrate court of Fulton County, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving the City Attorney's Office and his relationship with Hamilton E. Holmes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience as a judge in the Fulton County Superior Court

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Olympic bombing in Atlanta and the events of September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his wife's battle with breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his work with the organization, Sisters by Choice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his life and projects after the death of his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes the Brian Nichols courthouse shooting incident in Atlanta

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey continues his discussion of Atlanta's Brian Nichols

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his board affiliations, public service and charitable organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his legacy, goals and objectives

Bishop Eddie L. Long

Pastor Bishop Eddie Lee Long was born on May 12, 1953 in Huntersville, North Carolina, to Floyd and Hattie Long. Long graduated from North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina in 1972. In 1976, he earned his B.A. degree in business administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

From 1979 until 1981, Long worked for the Ford Motor Company as a zone manager in parts and services. He then was hired at HoneyWell where he worked in the energy management division from 1981 until 1987. In 1986, Long received his M.A. degree in divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1987, he became the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Since his installation, New Birth’s membership has multiplied to well over 30,000 members. In 2001, Long began serving as co-chair for the “Hosea Feed the Hungry” Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program known as the Longfellows Summer Academy in order to assist in the mental, physical and spiritual development of young men between the ages of twelve and sixteen. In 2006, Long earned his Ph.D. in pastoral ministry from the International College of Excellence in Tampa, Florida.

Long served as a member on several boards including the Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors (Vice President); Board of Trustees for North Carolina Central University; Board of Trustees for Young Life; Board of Directors for Safehouse Outreach Ministries; and 100 Black Men Of America. Long authored numerous books, including I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You; Power of a Wise Woman; What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs; Called to Conquer; Taking Over; It's Your Time!; Gladiator: The Strength of a Man; The Blessing in Giving and Deliver Me From Adam.

Long married Vanessa Griffin Long, a native of Columbus, Georgia on March 10, 1990. They were married at Central United Methodist Church. Long had two adult children, Eric and Edward, and two teenage children, Jared and Taylor.

Bishop Eddie Lee Long was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 28, 2008.

Long passed away on January 15, 2017.

Accession Number

A2008.035

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/28/2008

Last Name

Long

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

North Mecklenburg High School

North Carolina Central University

Rand Elementary School

Robert Lacy Ranson Junior High School

Northwest Junior High School

First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Charlotte

HM ID

LON03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Watch This.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/12/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

1/15/2017

Short Description

Pastor Bishop Eddie L. Long (1953 - 2017 ) was the senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in Lithonia, Georgia. He was co-chair for the Hosea Feed the Hungry Project, and in 2004, he established a mentorship program for boys known as the Longfellows Summer Academy.

Employment

Ford Motor Company

Honeywell, Inc.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1780,47:4984,126:10413,226:10947,234:16650,308:27304,385:33224,496:33805,505:41206,622:43174,655:43666,667:47438,757:55878,833:56494,842:57110,851:59310,887:65030,1014:71042,1073:72386,1093:73142,1103:78098,1217:78938,1228:79694,1246:81122,1322:94153,1484:103365,1600:107298,1717:107850,1726:109575,1772:109920,1778:116240,1861:126372,2156:137139,2331:141160,2354$0,0:2132,98:5904,177:6396,184:9922,235:10578,245:10906,250:11398,319:15826,412:16564,455:31784,630:32168,635:40796,737:45280,803:57592,1185:58960,1207:63064,1297:70130,1322:72986,1400:86594,1695:97790,1849:99367,1875:104560,1931
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bishop Eddie L. Long's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls moving to Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Rand Elementary School in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his elementary school teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his home in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls Northwest Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes Ranson Junior High School in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working for his father

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers working as a school bus driver

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his father's challenges as a minister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers his courses at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his activities at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bishop Eddie L. Long remembers paying for his education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bishop Eddie L. Long describes his early career

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
Bishop Eddie L. Long recalls his aspirations to become a preacher
Bishop Eddie L. Long talks about developing his confidence
Transcript
Your father [Floyd Long, Jr.] was a preacher. What church did he pastor, or did he preach at (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) What church he didn't pastor. This is the history of my dad. My dad is a pastor. My dad would go start a church, a lot of times from scratch, build a new building. He'd grow the membership, get in the new building, and within six months, on just a normal Sunday, he'd get up, cuss the deacons out, and telling my mom [Hattie Alston Long], "Let's go." And he'd walk down the aisle and leave, and we followed behind him, and would never come back. He'd go start another church. So, he was a church builder. He could grow a church with members, and then he would always build a nice building. And it never failed; within six months he's going to get up, cuss the deacons out, and leave.$$Did you ever find out what the problem, what problem he was having with the deacons (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, as a--as a pastor myself, (laughter) it is very challenging at times to work. And he was always in a rural church. So in a rural church, the deacons generally always felt that they were supposed to run the church, and all the pastor was to do was to come and preach and do ceremonial things. But they controlled the pastor and everything else, and my dad just wasn't going for that. He would deal with it, and argue with them for a while, and after a while he'd get sick of them. I guess he was looking for a place where he would be the visionary, et cetera. But my dad was a tough man, too. He was a tough guy, I gotta, you know. So--$$So you spent your Sundays in church?$$Yeah, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the sun, all day.$$And what were your thoughts about church? Did you have any idea that you would become a preacher at that time?$$At one time, I really wanted to be a preacher. I used to be the little cute boy, and Mama would say, "He's going to be a preacher." And I'd be playing preacher. "Oh, look at him," you know. And then after a while, it's like I don't want nothing to do with this. I, I just didn't want it. I had seen what my daddy was going through and all that, and I wanted to be a businessman. That's the side of my daddy I caught. That's why I went to North Carolina Central University [Durham, North Carolina] and majored in business and marketing.$And why do you say you were shy?$$I was very shy. I was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Really?$$Because I never, it took me a long time to grow out of secondhand clothes, and people always looking at me as a secondhand guy. I was a senior in high school [North Mecklenburg High School, Huntersville, North Carolina] before I got a pair of Converse. You either had Converse, or you had nothing. Converse was only ten dollars, and I, I couldn't afford them. And so if you had something from Kmart [Kmart Corporation] on, kids would make fun of you, you know. And so, you had to have some Chuck Taylor Converse. So, I always made myself second. I just--it was hard, and I never--because I didn't dress right, and I never thought a girl would want to talk to me. I was surprised when I went up to them. I just, I got my nerve up when I talked to my girlfriend in tenth or eleventh grade, and we got together. I didn't think she was going to pay me any attention. I just said, "I'm desperate now for a girlfriend (laughter)." But I just never--I had this thing in my head. Even now, my wife [Vanessa Griffin Long] pushes me, you know. I can deal with it. I was raised with three boys, wasn't no sisters. And the challenge me and my wife has, she was raised with--she's seven of seven girls, no boys. And I'm four boys, you know, and all of that. And so I said, "You don't know nothing about men." And she said, "You don't know nothing about women." I say but I'm very comfortable in ministering the men and addressing men. When it gets around to talking to women, I get nervous, you know. So, she pushed me to do the women thing--elect ladies. And it just, and I'm surprised that I have something to say. But it's more so a mental thing, that I'm still thinking I'm still in the secondhand clothes. I'm thinking I'm Cinderella after the carriage turned back to the pumpkin, you know. And so--pray I overcome.

Solomon Brown Watson, IV

Senior vice president and corporate general counsel to The New York Times, Solomon B. Watson IV was born on April 14, 1944, in Salem, New Jersey. In 1966, Watson graduated from Howard University with his B.A. degree in English. During the Vietnam War, Watson joined the U.S. Army. He served as a lieutenant in the military police corps from 1966 to 1968 and was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medals. In 1968, while still in Vietnam, Watson took the LSAT and was accepted into Harvard Law School. Upon being discharged from the army in 1968, he entered Harvard Law School and graduated in 1971 with his J.D. degree.

After graduation, Watson worked as an associate in the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould where he was one of their first minority lawyers. In 1974, he joined the legal department of The Times Company and became the assistant secretary of the company in December 1976, and secretary in July 1979. He was named assistant general counsel in 1984, general counsel in 1989, and senior vice president in 1996. With a twelve-lawyer staff, he supervises the paper’s litigation, copyright, and intellectual property issues and oversees acquisitions.

Watson has championed the cause of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange. He was a member of the advisory board of the Agent Orange Settlement Fund, which was established to distribute funds to about ten million affected people. It was the largest class action settlement at its time. Watson was a participant in President Clinton’s Call to Action to the Legal Profession for Racial Equality and Pro Bono Services.

Watson served as chair of the Dinner Committee of the American Jewish Committee’s 1998 Judge Learned Hand Award Dinner and that same year he received the Pioneer of the Profession Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Greater New York Chapter of ACCA. He is a member of One Hundred Black Men, Inc. and the Anglers’ Club of New York. In 2002, Watson was awarded the National Equal Justice Award by the NAACP League Defense and Educational Fund in honor of his professional accomplishments, commitment to public service and legal excellence. Watson is an avid saltwater fly fisherman.

Accession Number

A2005.245

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/27/2005

Last Name

Watson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Brown

Schools

Woodstown High

Harvard Law School

Howard University

First Name

Solomon

Birth City, State, Country

Salem

HM ID

WAT07

Favorite Season

Fishing Season

Sponsor

Brenda Gaines

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Key West, Florida

Favorite Quote

Always The Same, Never Changing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/14/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Corporate general counsel Solomon Brown Watson, IV (1944 - ) led the legal department of the New York Times. Watson is a Vietnam War veteran who has championed the cause of veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Employment

Bingham, Dana, and Gould

New York Times Company

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
192,0:832,13:1088,18:4810,80:7200,90:15348,175:17191,208:22031,242:26032,318:33570,401:39102,456:39948,466:45174,522:51919,651:59900,769:60376,797:62008,813:62416,820:62756,826:63164,833:63436,838:63844,846:64932,866:72431,972:76957,1061:77395,1068:81862,1097:82246,1104:82758,1114:86854,1216:88006,1243:88710,1257:89670,1279:94598,1412:99971,1452:100555,1462:101066,1484:102015,1513:105957,1590:106395,1597:107709,1621:108001,1626:108439,1634:111060,1639$0,0:400,4:8880,283:10640,312:11200,320:13040,352:13760,363:14720,383:16960,423:18320,441:18800,449:25120,466:25989,481:28994,510:29384,517:30398,550:35624,632:36404,643:38276,687:43346,807:49171,849:50249,869:51404,886:52020,895:52790,906:53252,913:64276,1109:65032,1121:66124,1135:67216,1152:69400,1192:71080,1230:72256,1245:77690,1274:79894,1303:81414,1332:83846,1394:85898,1416:86658,1427:94440,1512:94800,1518:96816,1565:97176,1571:100181,1621:100811,1633:101441,1647:102134,1672:102386,1680:113330,1848:114380,1873:116930,1955:121055,2060:122330,2088:123830,2127:124130,2132:126005,2165:126905,2182:131960,2196:132464,2204:132968,2213:135540,2238:136206,2251:136946,2262:138426,2293:138944,2301:140720,2328:141386,2338:141682,2343:142274,2352:144864,2370:145566,2380:148188,2421:152400,2506:153696,2524:158700,2572:159342,2580:159770,2585:160198,2590:162124,2614:165983,2641:166830,2656:167446,2666:168524,2681:169063,2690:170141,2705:171065,2724:180721,2802:184123,2855:190703,2918:191493,2933:192520,2946:193863,2964:194337,2971:195048,2981:195601,2989:197440,2998
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Solomon Brown Watson, IV's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his childhood home

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers segregation in Woodstown, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about his Aunt Mildred

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his hometown of Woodstown, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes the churches in Woodstown, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls the economic divide between churches in Woodstown, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers discrimination at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls attending a newly integrated elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers his childhood teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers the impact of Emmett Till's murder

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls the de facto segregation of Woodstown High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls writing for his high school newspaper

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his freshman year at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls the Civil Rights Movement at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers studying English at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his prospects upon graduating from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers Military Police Officer Basic School at Fort Gordon, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his response to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s objection to the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls receiving his orders to Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes race relations in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers jailing a friend while serving in Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes deciding to attend law school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, recalls his decision to attend Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls adjusting to life at Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls African American students at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls hearing of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers the news of his brother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his first position upon graduation from Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls joining The New York Times Company legal staff

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls discrimination suits brought against The New York Times Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his first promotion at The New York Times Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls Myron Farber case

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about the Judith Miller case

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about the dismissal of Jayson Blair

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about The New York Times Company legal department

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls New York Times Co. v. Tasini

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV comments on journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls how he afforded Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls attending the executive graduate program at Tuck School of Business

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his promotion to general counsel of The New York Times Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes The New York Times' acquisition of The Boston Globe

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his diverse legal work as general counsel

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV comments on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls working on strategy for The New York Times Company

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about diversity at The New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV reflects upon his position at The New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about intellectual diversity

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about the Agent Orange Class Assistance Project

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his mentors at The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about other minority general counsels

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about affirmative action at The New York Times Company

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV reflects upon his mentorship of others

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about his first wife, Bernadette Aldridge

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV reflects upon his success

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his organization memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV describes his awards

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV talks about fly fishing

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Solomon Brown Watson, IV narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Solomon Brown Watson, IV remembers jailing a friend while serving in Vietnam
Solomon Brown Watson, IV recalls his first promotion at The New York Times Company
Transcript
What was the most difficult thing about you being there in Vietnam?$$I, I had a couple of interesting incidents. Once my, my driver--guy name Owens [ph.]. I think Owens was from Newark [New Jersey] or East Orange [New Jersey]. Owens was a good MP [military police]. He was big, he was black, he looked just like a black Mr. Clean, good guy. Used to love riding around with Owens, but Owens had a weakness for marijuana, and he was found to have--or a marijuana pipe was found in his, in his--near his bunk, so he was convicted of having marijuana that violated Article--it wasn't Article 15 but violated a rule, and he was sentenced to Long Binh Jail [Long Binh, Vietnam]. Long Binh [Long Binh Post] was a base camp, I think, west of, of barrack at--maybe ten or fifteen miles, or maybe ten miles away, and that's where people were sent to jail who'd violated rules. And I'm not sure about this, but I was asked to drive Owens to jail. Now, I'm not sure if it was because I was duty officer that day the duty officer takes care of that stuff or whether people wanted to test whether I was strong enough to drive my own driver to jail. That was kind of interesting. I thought that was kind of a test of, of some type. Whether it was intended as a test or not, it was a test. Now, the reality is I'm the kind of guy, if someone says, "Rosie has violated the rules," then Rosie goes to jail, and I'd be happy to drive her there. I'm the best person to drive her there. So, while somebody may have been testing me on that, not a problem, gotta top--you got what's a tough job for anyone else, give it to me and I'll make it easy.$So, what caused you to be promoted in '76 [1976]. From '74 [1974] to '76 [1976]? You'd only been here [The New York Times Company, New York, New York] for two years. What were you doing that stood out for them to recognize you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) There are, there are, there, there are a number of factors which come into play in, in the success or failure of anyone's career, and by-and-large, most of these factors have been ones of success for me. Early on in my career, I had an occasion to make a presentation before the board of directors on a law which had recently come into effect, and the presentation went relatively well. I--$$But tell me the story because I know you were a junior lawyer, it wasn't common that juniors present, yeah (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It--I was a very junior lawyer, the newest guy on the block, it was a new complex law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, signed into law by President Ford [President Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.] on September 2nd, 1974. All the lawyers in the department were smart; I was the new guy, I'm the guy that had to read the law, explain it to my bosses, one of whom used to sit in this office, and we had to come up with an administrative process for handling pension plan issues and welfare plan issues, medical, dental plan issues, and my bosses and I came up what we thought was--with what we thought was a reasonable structure, or scheme, as the English would say, and someone had to present it to the board because it involved the establishment of a new board committee. I, of course, thought that one of the senior guys would do it. They, of course, thought that it would be, be good for me to do it, and I remember one of my bosses--mentor--I just love this guy, said, "Sol [HistoryMaker Solomon Brown Watson, IV], okay, we're gonna practice, we're gonna do this; don't worry, it'll be okay, don't worry." I said, "Mike [Michael E. Ryan], just relax, there's no one shooting at me in there, you know? I'm a Vietnam [Vietnam War] vet, I can do this." But Mike, who was a great mentor and supporter was--he was more nervous about it than I was. So that was--it was helpful to me because later on when there was the need, because of a structural change in the organization, to promote someone up the ladder, the directors were familiar with me; I became corporate secretary, which led to my sitting in on board meetings, so they became very comfortable with me, and as there were corporate organizations and reorganizations, I was--I had the reputation of being a very hard worker, a very reliable worker, and when vacancies came up in the legal and administrative chain of command, I was able to, either by virtue of luck, or some--how can I say--admixture or mixture of luck and, and managing the process, influencing the process, I was able to, to be promoted--$$To assistant secretary--$$I went up from assistant secretary to secretary, I then became assistant general counsel--

Gregory Wayne Jones

Insurance executive Gregory Wayne Jones was born December 29, 1948 in Newark, Ohio to Newark natives, Mildred Jean Weaver Jones and Gordon Lewis Jones. One of his ancestors built the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Newark in 1841 and many were pioneers at Wilberforce University. He attended Woodside Elementary School, Central Junior High School, and graduated from Newark High School in 1967. Jones joined State Farm in 1968. In 1975, Jones earned his B.A. degree in business from Franklin University and his M.A. degree in 1981 from Hood College. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School and has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

Following a number of promotions, Jones was appointed division manager of State Farm Insurance’s Pennsylvania Region in 1983; executive assistant to the President’s Office in 1985; deputy regional vice president in the Northern California Region in 1998; and regional vice president in the South Coast Region in 1993. He became vice president of California and president of State Farm General Company in 1998 and was appointed senior vice president in California for State Farm Mutual Insurance Companies and president and CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company in 2001. Jones is the first African American president and CEO in State Farm Insurance’s history. Jones serves on the board of directors of State Farm General Insurance Company.

Before he was 25 years old, Jones started an NAACP branch, was chairman of a $2 million community action agency, and hosted a community service radio program. He is the founder of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County, California and has served on the national board of directors of 100 Black Men. He is a chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Urban League, the California Education for Excellence Foundation, the Los Angeles Sports Council, and Operation Hope. Jones is past chairman of Junior Achievement of Southern California and is a member of the board of trustees of Franklin University and the National Urban League. Jones was a recipient of Empowerment Achievement Award in 1995; Dollars and Sense Magazine’s Corporate Trailblazer Award in 1998; and was the 2000 honoree of the Insurance Industry Charitable Fund.

Accession Number

A2005.227

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/3/2005

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Schools

Newark High School

Woodside Elementary School

Central Junior High School

Ohio State University at Newark

Franklin University

First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

JON13

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

AON

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Be The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/29/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Calamari

Short Description

Insurance chief executive Gregory Wayne Jones (1948 - ) has served State Farm Insurance Company in many capacities, including division manager, executive assistant to the President’s Office, among others. He became vice president and president of State Farm General Company in California, and was appointed as president and CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company in 2001.

Employment

State Farm

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gregory Wayne Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his maternal family's roots in Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's childhood and college education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones shares life lessons from his parents and grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls his uncle's reaction to a racial slur

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts childhood incidents of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes housing discrimination in Newark, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls attending Trinity A.M.E. Church in Newark, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the sports he played at Newark High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his high school education and favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his high school and college experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls marrying his wife and the birth of his oldest son

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls pursuing a position with State Farm in Frederick, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls being rejected by State Farm and returning to college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mentor, State Farm executive Charles Snyder

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones details his promotions at State Farm

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones talks about his work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls State Farm's attempts at diversity

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes State Farm's minority recruitment program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his responsibilities as CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the impact of State Farm's minority intern program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the racial climate at State Farm

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his commitment to State Farm

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his hope and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his work with the Achievement Matters program and 100 Black Men

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts finding his great-grandfather's grave, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts finding his great-grandfather's grave, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Gregory Wayne Jones recalls State Farm's attempts at diversity
Gregory Wayne Jones describes his work with the Achievement Matters program and 100 Black Men
Transcript
How has the climate changed at State Farm [State Farm Mutual Insurance Company] in terms of black employees? Are there many more now than there were percentage wise (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah, I mean, I, I give State Farm a tremendous amount of credit because State Farm just like the industry in general, and like many fortune 500 companies in general, they're ver- very conservative company. When I started at State Farm, State Farm was very conservative, there was a point in State Farm just where we wouldn't even insure black people much less hire them. That, that's a sad fact, but it, it is a fact. But I would say that, you know, State Farm, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes awkwardly but, but realize even as far back as the '60s [1960s], that we needed to, we needed to be a different kind of a company and back in the '60s [1960s], began really seeking out African Americans and that time it was primarily African Americans, you know to join the company and, and be a little more reflective of, you know, of this country. And so, State Farm in some ways was progressive and some ways awkwardly, I remember when I went back to Bloomington [Illinois], to build this minority intern program [Summer Minority Intern Program], we started a program and I was one of the three people that taught a program, it was actually developed by some other guy, two other black guys were brought on, they were, they, one came out of Rutgers University [The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey], and another came out of the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis, Minnesota], and they wanted, State Farm wanted to develop a program to sensitize all these primarily white people about the presence of black people in the organization. So we could, they created a program and three of us went all over the country, and every State Farm employee was required to take this program, every State Farm management person was required to take this program, this program is called, Managing the Minority Employee. Now, when I show people that today, they are aghast, you mean we have a program called, Managing the Minority Employee and you know, even when I go back and look at it today, you know, I, you know, I you know, I look at it with some amusement, because I remember, you know, it was, it was, an attempt to really get people to understand, you know, African Americans and their cultures different now, this would change the environment and this that and the other. I remember as an example, you know they had, they had a little glossary of terms that we gave people and it had black terms in it, you know? It'd say things like, I remember one of them saying crib dash house, (laughter) you know, so that people knew, presumably what black people are, how they're going to be talking, and things like that. And it had some quizzes in it and this, this sort of thing and it started out, the first thing we did, we'd, we'd get in front of a group of people and this was the first thing you would say, "Good morning, my name's Greg Jones [HistoryMaker Gregory Wayne Jones], and I'm a nigger." That's how it started. Now the intent of that was to get people's attention, number one and then to say, now let's analyze what I just said. And then you go into all that: why do people use this term and why, you know, why is that degrading and that, that whole kind of thing, you look back on it, now you kind of flinch, you know, like you just did. But it was State Farm's first attempt to really begin to sensitize people that this organization was going to be different.$$That kind of follows a pattern that, [HistoryMaker] Timuel Black, who interviewed, he's a historian of Chicago [Illinois], he talks about when he was in the [U.S.] Army at World War II [WWII]. There was a manual his commander was reading called, 'How to'--'How to Manage the Negro Officer' [ph.] or something like that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I've got the book back in my credenza, I'll show it to you, it's, it's very, it's very interesting.$Now tell us about the program, I saw it in your office, an article about Achievement Matters, is that the name of it?$$Yes.$$Yeah, okay.$$Achievement Matters is a program that State Farm [State Farm Mutual Insurance Company] and myself together helped create. Initially, back in 1995, and initially we created it to start out as kind of an awareness program to, to say to kids who were live--who were and still are to some degree living in kind of an anti-achievement culture where, you know, it's not cool to do well in school, you know it's not cool to achieve. I really felt it was necessary to have something that said to kids, achievement matters, your achievement does matter, we need for you to achieve in the classroom and outside of the classroom. So we started the program. I went to Dallas, Texas and I visited with a, a very poor school in Texas, Roosevelt High School [Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and Academy of Health Sciences, Dallas, Texas] I believe it was in Dallas, Texas and I spent the day with students there and we talked about opportunities and we talked about the need to achieve and we talked about education, why it's important. And there is a group of those students that I worked primarily with, ten students and we spent all day together. None of those students had ever, none of those students families had ever been to college, moth--many of them had not finished high school. These kids wanted to learn, they wanted to succeed and we talked about that and, you know, I'm really proud of that, that out of those ten kids, eight of them went to college, five of them that I know of have graduated from, from college, most of which, and one of 'em worked for State Farm, most of which I stay in touch with or they stay in touch, you know, with me. And so, I think, you know, it, it takes each and every one of us to kind of reach back and now one of the challenges I think we have today is finding ways to share the lessons we've learned.$$That leads right into 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]. Now you were the founder of the Northern California chapter of 100 Black Men right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Exactly. Yes. Yes. And, again part of that interest was the same thing. It was 100 Black Men. We needed a way to reach out to African American kids who were struggling and, and w- I knew and I felt that us as business professionals had something to offer and, and I had heard about this organization because organizations started before me, 100 Black Men of America. And, and it started actually in New York [New York], a number of years ago, but I felt we needed an organization like that in Northern California because we weren't reaching our kids whose many of which are struggling in schools. So, I formed this organization, got a lot of other people interested in it and all of that and we formed the 100 Black Men with the intent of being mentors and counselors and even fathers to, you know some, some of these kids, not just male kids, male and female kids. And to help them see the opportunities and we all, we kind of adopted some kids, we adopted a whole school back there and I, I, I, the first young man I worked with na- a young man by the name of Toby Kane [ph.]. Toby came from a family, his mother was on drugs and getting ready to go to prison, his father was dead, he lived with his grandmother who was raising I think nine of her grandchildren from other of her kids who had just kind of abandoned the kids. Toby was in ninth grade he had a point zero seven grade point average, basically he was told, you know, you need to go join the [U.S.] Army and, if you can, bright kid though, I could tell that. Toby and I, I spent a lot of time with him and, you know I'm proud of him because his grades started to get better, it got to the point, he went to high school and he graduated from high school with a, with a two point three average and, and we stayed in touch and about four years ago, or it was longer than that, about seven, eight years ago, I got a call from Toby Kane that said, "Will you come to my graduation from college?" He graduated from Occidental College [Los Angeles, California] and now he's got a job working in the retail business as I recall. But again, you know it's just, it's just, there are so many kids I've found that just need somebody to take interest in them, that's all.