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Calvin "Kern" Grimes

Entrepreneur Calvin “Kern” Grimes was born on January 12, 1940 in Boston, Massachusetts to Calvin Grimes, Sr. and Marguerite Grimes. The same year, his father founded Grimes Oil Company, which grew to become the largest and oldest minority owned and operated oil company in New England. Grimes grew up in Roxbury and Dorchester, Massachusetts, and graduated from Brighton High School in 1958.

Upon graduating from high school, Grimes began working in his father’s business. In 1958, the company expanded to a second truck, which was driven by Grimes. In 1969, the company was incorporated as Grimes Oil Company, Inc., and Grimes assumed the role of president and chief executive officer. Throughout the following decade, he led the company’s transition from a residential gas supplier to supplying corporations that included the Polaroid Corporation and Raytheon Company. In 1979, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. reported $30 million in sales. By 1988, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. had opened offices in New York City, Newark, San Francisco, and Miami. However, the company faced financial difficulties in the 1980s after two major clients failed to pay their debts, and Grimes negotiated a deal with its suppliers that allowed the company to continue to remain in business. In 1993, the company joined Intergy, Inc., a conglomeration that included Captree Chemicals and Aimtek Gas Company that invested in redevelopment projects in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

In 1979, Grimes Oil Company, Inc. appeared on Black Enterprise’s list of top black owned businesses in the country and was ranked at number nine. The company was also named in 1989 on the magazine’s list of “Companies to Watch in the 1990s.”

In addition to his career, Grimes was active with the Union Methodist Church, Prince Hall Mason, the Boys and Girls Club in Boston, and the Dimcock Community Health Center Foundation. The Grimes Oil Company also created a partnership with WGBH Boston in 1984 to fund programming for African Americans.

Grimes and his wife, Cheryl Grimes, have five children: Darlene M.C. Grimes, Lori B. Grimes, Kern Mitchell Grimes, Ashley Smallwood-Grimes, and C. Trevor Grimes.

Calvin “Kern” Grimes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 17, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.133

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/17/2017

Last Name

Grimes

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

David A. Ellis Elementary School

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

Martin Luther King, Jr. K-8 Inclusion School

Brighton High School

First Name

Calvin

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

GRI11

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

Have A Great Day

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

1/12/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sirloin Steak With All The Fixings, Fish

Short Description

Entrepreneur Calvin “Kern” Grimes (1940 - ) served as president of Grimes Oil Company, featured on Black Enterprise magazine’s list of top black-owned businesses.

Employment

Grimes Oil Company, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:472,4:1298,13:1770,18:9883,158:10417,165:10951,172:17646,215:18582,232:20382,262:20670,267:22398,307:22830,317:23478,327:27206,454:34200,553:63702,838:63958,844:64214,849:69950,892:81784,1010:82512,1073:95209,1251:96452,1312:107170,1479:141045,2128:143880,2177:144720,2186:149596,2213:160290,2420$0,0:3348,57:9560,165:10298,172:16372,225:16676,230:20628,321:24135,335:28164,431:36575,500:36915,506:38190,531:41335,590:44395,681:45075,690:45840,701:53398,874:54478,922:54838,928:56278,959:56782,967:67318,1109:70434,1162:87860,1256:88370,1263:89390,1281:93045,1427:93640,1440:96275,1495:96615,1506:106164,1632:110632,1724:112222,1749:113494,1771:114024,1777:114660,1785:120578,1903:123620,1949:124385,1964:125320,1983:125745,1989:126085,1998:129315,2063:129655,2068:132460,2155:133140,2164:133480,2169:138484,2188:140140,2215:140716,2224:141076,2230:142516,2259:142876,2265:149140,2447:152495,2460:152843,2468:162500,2722:163144,2731:163604,2737:176532,2987:178557,3020:179367,3037:180177,3048:181068,3076:188612,3214:189038,3223:190529,3287:190813,3292:193298,3396:196635,3491:197558,3506:197913,3512:198481,3521:200043,3550:203532,3563:205557,3604:211521,3656:223810,3870:243390,4144:243870,4151:244190,4156:248782,4202:250400,4211:254448,4276:261986,4397:268045,4625:301264,5179:304562,5247:312030,5346:312866,5360:313322,5368:313778,5376:319234,5472:320017,5478:320626,5486:324848,5505:325499,5514:326243,5523:327570,5554
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin "Kern" Grimes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the changes at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers living in the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls the racial demographics of his early community

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his early household

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers his parents' friends

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls Boston's black social scene

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes the creation of Grimes Oil Company

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about working with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers his early responsibilities at Grimes Oil Company

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls acquiring a contract with Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes the benefits of President Richard Nixon's SBA programs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the 8(a) Business Development Program

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes recalls his growth strategy for Grimes Oil Company

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers Grimes Oil Company's recovery from bankruptcy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about working with contractors

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes remembers the death of his father

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes a corporate agreement involving Grimes Oil Company, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about Grimes Oil Company, Inc.'s current contracts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his hopes for Grimes Oil Company, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon the progress of young African American professionals

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the importance of minority set aside programs

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Calvin "Kern" Grimes reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about his father's career
Calvin "Kern" Grimes talks about the 8(a) Business Development Program
Transcript
And what did your father [Calvin Grimes, Sr.] tell you about growing up? Did he ta- was he, did he talk about his years of growing up there?$$ Well, he, he always talked about how hard it was and, and--try to get something, or do something for yourself, or go into business for yourself. He worked for a couple of companies before he did that, but he always was a, an entrepreneur I would say and worked hard, but it was about family and I always was with him. I always was and he'd pick me up from school, change your clothes in the truck and go to work and that was it.$$That, that was that, right.$$ That was that, that was that.$$Um-hm, so 'cause you were part of the family business [Grimes Oil Company; Grimes Oil Company, Inc.], right?$$ Right, right.$$But did he--how would you describe your father though, I mean was he you know, what kind of person was he?$$ Very stern, very businesslike. I mean he, he, he was--my mother [Marguerite Perry Grimes] was more, more, more outgoing. He was more business, more--and my sister [Rae Grimes Wells] was like him, more business. I was--I liked my mama.$$Okay, so, so did he talk a lot? He didn't share (simultaneous)--?$$ (Simultaneous) Oh he talked.$$He talked a lot?$$ He talked a lot; what you should do, how you do it.$$But why, why did he call Boston [Massachusetts] hard back then?$$ Well, I imagine that was during, a lot of time was during the Depression [Great Depression] when he started and he said that people had ration stamps to get a gallon of oil and everything, gas was high and things were high and you know, he, he, he told me one day that, "You put these quarters in the refrigerator." I said, "Well what, what does that do daddy?" He says, "That's how we pay it. If you feed the refrigerator it stays on, your food stays cold and then the man comes once a month, empties the vegetable bin, like a parking meter" and that was how he paid for the refrigerator, it was a Philco, I'll never forget. I was a little boy. My job was to--he'd come home with a pocketful of money and I would punch the quarters and he'd put so much in, but he was always an entrepreneur. And it was, it was a, a business that was--there were other fuel dealers, but everybody had basically their territory--their own territory; and then in the summer we sold vegetables. We had another truck and we would have the same route and we sold vegetables, yeah.$What other--once you got into the 8--now how long did it take you to get certified into the 8(a) program [8(a) Business Development Program]?$$ A lot of paperwork, you're right. Once you got your paperwork in order I think that they were ready to, to roll. Once we got in we got, I don't think we waited more than six months to get certified, you know, get all your paperwork and all that and everything.$$So now were you going around to different conferences and exhibits or things like that, or what, what did having the 8(a) program, being 8(a) certified, what did it allow you to do besides the Polaroid [Polaroid Corporation] business?$$ It gave me advantage for, for new business within the government agencies. That's what I told you I had the [U.S.] Army bases, we had the VA hospitals [Veterans Administration; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs], we had the post offices [U.S. Postal Service]. We had all these companies. All--they put that package together and we brought oil to these customers and my big supplier was a major company, Global Petroleum. That was, that was big doings.$$So what, what did your annual receipts go up to at that point?$$ Oh, what we did in those years. We were, we were high. We did big sales, probably twelve million, thirteen million [dollars].$$That's a lot of money (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Yeah--$$--in the 1970s--$$ --but the volume was this, 'cause it was based on the price of a gallon of oil so your sales--if the oil was high, your prices were high, your volume was high, your gross sales were high.$$Okay, but what were your, what were the margins that you were offering on it?$$ Oh, the, the margins, we worked, if we worked on, on the government stuff we worked on about sixty cents a gallon, fifty cents a gallon. It was a decent margin. They, they, they wanted that program to work. They, they didn't squeeze you to the point you know, give you a, a hiccup and then squeeze you on price and then you can't make any money.$$Um-hm, okay and then what--so you're saying business was just coming in. Now, how (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) No, no, I mean we picked up new business from that, but the, the government helped, kept us together while building where some of these other companies depended on the government stuff and didn't pick up no new business.$$I see, I see.$$ That, that, that was our key [for Grimes Oil Company, Inc.].$$Okay, but I saw, I saw that, I mean some of your clients who were they?$$ Digital, you may not remember Digital (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Equipment Corporation [Digital Equipment Corporation], um-hm.$$ Digital--We had Gillette [The Gillette Company], South Boston [Boston, Massachusetts], which we still have now.$$You had Bethlehem Steel [Bethlehem Steel Corporation].$$ Yep.$$You had Honeywell [Honeywell International, Inc.].$$ Oh, yep, yeah, those were a lot of the companies that moved.$$Didn't, didn't you have Raytheon [Raytheon Company]?$$ We still have Raytheon. Those are, because they are government agencies and they've got to spend the minority dollars for the federal funds. That's--$$I see. And do you, do you still have Kraft [Kraft Foods Group, Inc.]?$$ We have, we have Procter and Gamble [Procter and Gamble Company]. We don't have anything with Kraft, Procter and Gamble, that's Gillette; they bought Gillette, Procter and Gamble. We have (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So you mean this, who else are you competing with in the country? What other minority business in this sector, you know, of oil distribution or--?$$ There's one guy in Cleveland [Ohio], if I can think of his name. He's pretty big. He hooked up with, BP [BP P.L.C.], British Petroleum is his supplier and he's got all the Kroger's [The Kroger Company] and all those type markets; the same type of thing. I'll think of his name, his company. What else did we do? Oh, Con Edison [Consolidated Edison, Inc.] was good to us. And how we worked that Con Edison deal, they, they bought barges, big shiploads of oil, but they had Archie Bankston [Archie M. Bankston, Jr.] who was clerk of the corporation and a senior vice president, black man and Joy Crichlow was the minority person and when we, we did it, it was with my supplier, if prime falls and doesn't produce, our supplier would pick up the contract at no extra cost to them, so that made the purchasing people feel comfortable (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's right.$$ --'cause no one wants to do it if you let them down and they lose their job you know how it is--$$That's right.$$ --so we, we set up a thing between the supplier, Global Petroleum and myself and we voted and signed that, that they were guaranteed that they would get product--$$I see.$$ --and that was when Con Edison was good to us years ago.$$I see.$$ Yeah, they had a nice program, yeah. They had a nice-- Joy Crichlow was the minority person there. She's retired so a lot of these people are gone.$$And with--I, I--and what happened in 1973 when you had the oil crisis? Did that affect you?$$ No, we got our, we got, we got our share, we got our (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay, so that didn't matter?$$ No.$$Okay.$$ It would--it tightened up--the prices went up, you know how it is when there's, when there's a crisis.$$Okay, and then what about your buying a half an acre of land at--on, on Callender Street in Dorchester [Boston, Massachusetts]?$$ Yeah, that was a st- small storage facility.$$And you paid six thousand dollars for the land?$$ Um-hm.

Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr.

Religious leader Jerry Alexander Moore, Jr. was born on June 12, 1918, in Minden, Louisiana, to Mae Dee Moore and Jerry Alexander Moore, Sr. Moore graduated from high school at Webster Parrish Training School in 1936 before receiving his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1940. Moore then received his B.D. degree from Howard University in 1943, the same year the NAACP sponsored student sit-ins on Howard University’s campus.

In 1946, Moore became the pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. In 1957, Moore earned his M.A. degree from Howard University, and one year later became the University’s Baptist chaplain. In 1969, Moore temporarily left the ministry to become a city council member in Washington, D.C., where he served until 1984. During Moore’s term, he served as “Member-At-Large” for the council seat alongside District of Columbia Commissioner Walter E. Washington, Vice Chairman Sterling Tucker and Chairman Gilbert Hahn, Jr.

Moore co-founded the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) in 1971. This organization was created to provide a forum for senior level minority professionals in the transportation industry. After Moore left the Washington, D.C. City Council in 1984, he became the chaplain for the D.C. Detention Facility, an inmate detention center that offers programs in HIV/AIDS prevention, education and intervention services, individual and group counseling services, religious services, among other life skills development and religious skills.

In 1985, Moore became the executive secretary for the Home Mission Board at the National Baptist Convention (NBC) until 1997. During his time at NBC, he was nominated to be the United States Ambassador to Lesotho, a position previously held by Robert M. Smalley. In 1994, Moore ended his fifty year tenure as pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

Moore received numerous civic awards throughout his career including the Minority Transportation Officials’ Award, the Washington Area Contractors Award, the Capital City Rep Club Lincoln Award, and the NAACP service award.

Moore passed away on December 19, 2017 at age 99.

Accession Number

A2007.171

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2007

Last Name

Moore

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Webster Parrish Training School

Howard University School of Divinity

Morehouse College

Dillard University

La Salle University

First Name

Jerry

Birth City, State, Country

Minden

HM ID

MOO12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

A City

Favorite Quote

Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Submit To Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/12/1918

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cabbage

Death Date

12/19/2017

Short Description

Association chief executive, city council member, and pastor Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. (1918 - 2017 ) was the former pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and a former city council member for the City of Washington, D.C.

Employment

Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Howard University School of Divinity

D.C. City Council

Council of the District of Columbia

Washington Baptist Seminary

Baptist World Alliance

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:249,14:2905,61:8440,95:11672,130:12680,142:28080,286:28850,297:30530,330:31370,342:58168,564:59104,576:73987,753:75301,784:90094,923:100500,1058:125135,1429:138618,1572:139098,1578:140930,1633$0,0:2162,70:12180,202:13710,269:33120,535:50389,755:57584,888:62372,957:64424,1132:85676,1357:87880,1369:90770,1385
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his father's position as a school supervisor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his father's influence in the community

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls segregation in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the discrimination in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the influences on his education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his church activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers a tornado in Minden, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls learning about black history

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Charles Dubois Hubert

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision not to attend the Julliard School of Music

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Benjamin Mays' guidance

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his musical activities at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about color bias at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his mentors at the Howard University School of Divinity

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his employment while at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls becoming a student minister

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers attending chapel as a college student

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his activities at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls working for the United Service Organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his decision to return to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Walter Henderson Brooks

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the programs at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the gentrification of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the congregation of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the black community in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving as Howard University's Baptist chaplain

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the March on Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his early voting initiatives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers teaching at Washington Baptist Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls Walter E. Washington's appointment as mayor-commissioner of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls the start of integration in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his decision to join the Republican Party

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving on the Washington, D.C. city council

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the role of non-voting representatives in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls founding the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls founding the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes the District of Columbia Home Rule Act

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the representatives of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his appointment to the Washington, D.C. city council

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls moving the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his work with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his position at the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his nomination as an ambassador to Lesotho, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his nomination as an ambassador to Lesotho, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers retiring from the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his philosophy of life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls his Ph.D. degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his life after retirement

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. talks about the Baptist World Alliance

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. shares a message to future generations

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Reverend Jerry A. More, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Jerry A. Moore, Jr. recalls serving on the Washington, D.C. city council
Reverend Jerry A. Moore, Jr. remembers Benjamin Mays' guidance
Transcript
Explain to me what, you were a member-at-large, explain what that entailed.$$Under the charter that [U.S.] Congress issued to the District of Columbia [Washington, D.C.], I might say, the charter giving the District limited home rule, two seats were reserved for minority parties. The Republican Party is a minority party in the District of Columbia. So, I ran to be a councilman-at-large. That's what it means. All over the city instead of a ward. By that time, I conceived politically. I had established enough identity and performed enough service in the District of Columbia, be known by a good percentage of the people everywhere. And, so, I ran on that platform that I wanted to be a council member-at-large. And, I won.$$Did you get much backlash from, since this is a Democratic city basically, from black who were Democrats?$$I got wonderful cooperation. Many of them changed their party to vote for me. That is in the primary. And, then they switched back so they could vote in their party in the final.$$What was some of the committees that you worked on as a council member?$$I was assigned to the committee on public works [Committee on Public Works and Transportation]. That's--and, I reminded there for the entire period of my council-matic activity. Public works included all the streets, all the alleys in the District of Columbia. It included the air, the water, the garbage, sewerage, everything that affects the environment I had that under by charge. Now, I was appointed. Centered also included transportation, I was appointed to the Metro board [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority].$So, when you came (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No--you see, I was living in the president's house, Dr. Hubert [Charles Dubois Hubert] was acting president. He lived in the acting president's house which was on campus [of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia]. The president [Samuel Howard Archer] had died [sic. resigned], and that house was vacant. And, they put me in there as a scholarship to watch the house and I lived there. The board of trustees called a new president, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays [Benjamin Mays]. And, he came to look at the house and I happened to be in the house when he came in there. And, he asked me, "What was I going to do?" When he ascertained that I was a college graduate. And, I told him that, I was not sure. That I thought the Lord had called me to preach and I wanted to go to a seminary. I didn't know one to go to and I was just sitting there trying to figure it out. And, he said, "What if I offer you a scholarship to come to school of religion at Howard University [Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, D.C.]?" I didn't even know there was a school of religion. That was the only and the best offer I had. So, I took him up on it. These rest is history.$$How long after you graduated did you, did it take you to get to Howard? Was that right away when you, after you met--?$$That was that fall.$$That fall, okay.

Betty Francis

Government lawyer and state government administrator Betty Hager Francis was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Her father, William Henry Hager, was a supply clerk for the United States Department of Treasury and a part-time carpenter, while her mother, Helen Brown Hager, was a homemaker and owner of a catering business. Francis and her siblings were raised in a devout Catholic home. Her childhood neighborhood exposed her to prominent African Americans such as Charles Houston and Edward Brooke, III, whose niece, Peggy Amos, was Francis’ best friend. In 1963, Francis graduated from high school at the Sacred Heart Academy where she headed the student council.

Francis attended Howard University on a four-year academic scholarship while also working in the Capitol Hill office of Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. She took a year off from college to work on the 1966 United States Senate campaign of Edward Brooke, III in Boston, Massachusetts. Francis got married shortly before graduating from Howard with her B.A. degree in political science in 1967. She then returned to Boston to work at Harvard University's Astrological Observatory. In 1971, she began working at the Harvard University Press, where her boss persuaded her to go to law school. She attended Suffolk University Law School at night, earning her J.D. degree in 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, Francis worked on family and probate cases as an attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services. She then worked at the Boston Housing Authority where she handled landlord-tenant disputes, civil rights issues and labor and personnel cases. In 1984, she was appointed Deputy Chief Counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works. Three years later then-Governor Michael Dukakis appointed her Associate Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Public Works. Francis directed the maintenance and operation of roads and bridges and worked on a variety of other transportation issues, including the multi-billion dollar project to build the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel (also known as "The Big Dig"). She also served as Chief Administrative Law Judge in that agency. Francis was elected the first President of the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials, serving from 1988-1994.

In 1991, Washington, D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly appointed Francis as Director of Public Works, making her the first woman to hold this position. She received particular recognition for improvements to vehicle registration and parking management; for the initiation of curbside recycling; and for the successful reengineering and delivery of snow removal services within the District. Francis was named Director of Prince George's County, Maryland's Department of Public Works and Transportation in 1995. She was the first African American and the first woman to hold the position in the County's history. She led a dramatic increase in capital investment in the County’s transportation infrastructure, the development of its regional and community-based transit services and significant improvements in land development and emergency response operations. She served in this post until 2004. Francis has three children and two grandchildren.

Betty Francis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 18, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.052

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/18/2004

Last Name

Francis

Maker Category
Schools

Park View Elementary School

Sacred Heart School

Suffolk University Law School

Howard University

First Name

Betty

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

FRA04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks And Caicos Islands

Favorite Quote

Get Over Yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/11/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Potatoes (Mashed)

Short Description

State government administrator Betty Francis (1946 - ) worked as an attorney for the Boston Housing Authority, was appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, Director of Public Works in Washington, D.C., and Director of Prince George's County, Maryland's Department of Public Works and Transportation.

Employment

United States Senate

Campaign of Edward W. Brooke for U.S. Senator of Massachusetts

Harvard University College Observatory

Harvard University Press

Greater Boston Legal Services

Boston Housing Authority

Massachusetts. Dept. of Public Works

District of Columbia Department of Public Works

Prince George's County (Md.). Dept. of Public Works and Transportation

Hager Management Group, LLC

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Betty Francis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Betty Francis lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Betty Francis describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Betty Francis describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Betty Francis talks about her ancestors and her parents' courtship

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Betty Francis describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Betty Francis describes her siblings and daily life during her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Betty Francis describes her childhood neighborhood of Petworth in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Betty Francis describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Betty Francis describes her experiences in elementary school in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Betty Francis describes her junior high school years at Sacred Heart School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Betty Francis describes her religious upbringing in the Roman Catholic faith

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Betty Francis describes her high school experiences at Sacred Heart Academy in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Betty Francis describes her experiences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Betty Francis talks about her parents' pride in her academic achievements

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Betty Francis describes working on the 1966 U.S. Senate campaign of HistoryMaker The Honorable Edward Brooke

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Betty Francis talks about her impressions of the Civil Rights Movement and her ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Betty Francis talks about graduating from Howard University in 1968 and moving to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Betty Francis talks about her experiences at Suffolk University Law School in Boston

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Betty Francis describes her first jobs as a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Betty Francis talks about her tenure at the Massachusetts Department of Public Works

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Betty Francis talks about her tenure as director of public works for Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Betty Francis talks about her tenure at the Department of Public Works in Prince George's County, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Betty Francis reflects on her achievements in her career in transportation administration

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Betty Francis considers the benefits and pitfalls of working with elected officials

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Betty Francis describes recent trends in the transportation industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Betty Francis talks about future plans for her career

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Betty Francis talks about the adult lives of her siblings Beryl and William

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Betty Francis reflects on her relationships with family and friends

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Betty Francis considers her aspirations and things she wishes she had done differently

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Betty Francis describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Betty Francis describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Betty Francis talks about why she believes history is important

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Betty Francis considers the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Betty Francis offers advice for those looking to work in the transportation industry

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Betty Francis reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Betty Francis narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Betty Francis describes her first jobs as a lawyer
Betty Francis talks about her tenure at the Department of Public Works in Prince George's County, Maryland
Transcript
And after law school [Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts], what was next for you?$$After law school, I had a series of--I left Harvard University Press [Cambridge, Massachusetts] where I learned to edit. I could edit with the best of 'em, 'cause I really did learn from the best about how to edit. So in 1980 I went first to Greater Boston Legal Services [Boston, Massachusetts] in the Family Law Unit. And in the Family Law Unit we did a lot of things, guardianships, divorces. We were the pioneers for open adoption. I keep reading about open adoption now, and I remember that we really were working on that back then. And it was a hard sell. But it was a little bit depressing, 'cause I was still a little naive, and I had to sort of boogie away from there. And then I went right--$$Depressing, how so?$$Well, because it was people who did not have means. And they had, you know, all the social problems and kids that were being--you know, I had to get cart guardianships for children whose parents were either not present, or neglecting them, or abusing them, or whatever. And so, it was just a little difficult. Then I went to Boston Housing Authority [BHA, Boston, Massachusetts].$$What year was this?$$That was 1980, probably '81 [1981]. And during that time, you know, the Boston Housing Authority had fallen into deep disrepair, and so a court order put it into receivership. And this wonderful young man by the name of [Lewis H.] Harry Spence was the receiver and really turned it around so that all--really rehabilitated some old public housing and integrated. And so for three or four years I worked there as an attorney, a staff attorney in the Boston Housing Authority. And one of the senior attorneys there at the Boston Housing Authority moved over to the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, which is the Massachusetts Highway Department. And about, you know, six months after she was there she asked me to come over there to be deputy general counsel, so that was big news in Massachusetts at that time. And so I was very happy to do that. But while we were at the Boston Housing Authority I did a lot of landlord tenant law, and so that was an interesting, exciting time.$And what did you do next?$$After that [director, Department of Public Works, Washington, D.C.] in 1995, when we lost the election, [HistoryMaker] Mayor [Sharon Pratt] Kelly [later, Sharon Pratt] lost the election, and then it was just about that time that another one of my guardian angels, whose name was Major [F.] Riddick [Jr.]. You might know his name. He was chief of staff to Governor [Parris N.] Glendening. And a friend of mine in Chicago [Illinois] came together. She, her name is Christine Boulware, and she had an executive search firm. And a young man by the name of [HistoryMaker] Wayne Curry had just been elected county executive in Prince George's County, Maryland, which I didn't know very much about, but they told me that was my next assignment. You know, my friends told me this is your next assignment. And so I came to work. I met with Wayne Curry, and I was just so impressed with him now. He, too, is a brilliant person, one of the most articulate people I have ever met. And he had a vision for Prince George's County that made me understand immediately what I was to do. I mean he didn't have to sit down and write me a letter. Once he told me what he saw as Prince George's County, I knew what the transportation component needed to be. So all these other experiences I had led me to this, and I really believe that very, very profoundly. And he really transformed Prince George's County. I mean it was a sort of, it was PG County [Prince George's County], it was sort of backwater. I think now we have a recognition as being the only jurisdiction in the country that has gone from a predominantly white, blue collar place to one that is predominantly African American. It has the highest household income of African Americans in the country, which means the world. It has the highest educational level of African Americans in the country, which means the world. And some of the things that have hap- that are happening here in Prince George's, I really do, I know that Wayne Curry was responsible for raising the bar. And I mean even the newspaper doesn't call us PG County anymore. If you've noticed, the newspaper refers to us as Prince George's County. Prince George's County is 500 miles, square miles, 820,000 people. It's almost a thousand people, so it's a major force in this, in this Washington [D.C.] metropolitan region. We have the second, we, we are the second highest technology center in the State of Maryland. We are the number one center for artists in the region. If, you know, people may not know that. But anyway, that's my Prince George's County spiel.