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C. Virginia Fields

Legislator C. Virginia Fields was born on August 6, 1946 in Birmingham, Alabama to Peter Clark and Lucille Clark. Fields earned her B.A. degree in sociology from Knoxville College, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1967; and her M.S.W. degree in social work from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1969.

Fields was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a teenager and marched with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham and spent six days in jail. After graduating from Indiana University, Fields moved to New York in 1970 to pursue a career in social work. She began her political career in 1981, when she was elected as chair of the Community Board 10 in New York City. Fields held that position until 1983. Fields was first elected to the New York City Council in 1989 as a representative of the 5th District. She was then re-elected to the New York City Council in 1993 as a representative of the 9th District. Fields served two terms as the president of the Manhattan Borough and was only the second African American woman to hold that position. She was also the highest ranking African American elected official at the time. Fields remained as president of the Manhattan Borough until her term ended in 2005. After her term as president ended, Fields became the first African American woman to run for mayor of New York City in 2006, although she lost in the Democratic Primary.

In addition to her political career, Fields was also active in her community. In 2008, she was appointed as president and chief executive officer of The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. Fields also served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Region II Health Equity Council after being appointed by Governor David A. Paterson in 2011. In 2014, she was appointed by Governor Anthony Cuomo to the New York State’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic Task Force. She has also served on the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Policy Committee and Public Justice Project Steering Committee. Additionally, Fields is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Links Incorporated and Abyssinian Baptist Church.

C. Virginia Fields was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

04/11/2017 |and| 12/8/2017

Last Name

Fields

Maker Category
Middle Name

Virginia

Occupation
Schools

Hudson Elementary School

George Washington Carver High School

Knoxville College

Indiana University School of Social Work

New York University

First Name

C.

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

FIE04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/6/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Legislator C. Virginia Fields (1945 - )

Employment

National Black Leadership Commission On AIDS, Inc.

Office of Manhattan

New York City Council

Favorite Color

Pink

The Honorable Terri A. Sewell

Lawyer and political official Terri A. Sewell was born on January 1, 1965 in Huntsville, Alabama to Andrew A. Sewell and Nancy Gardner Sewell. She graduated from Selma High School in 1982, and received her B.A. degree from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1986. In 1988, Sewell received her M.A. degree from Oxford University. She then went on to attend Harvard Law School, where she earned her J.D. degree in 1992.

Sewell began her political career working for Congressman Richard Shelby and Senator Howell Helfin. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Sewell served as a law clerk to Chief Judge U.W. Clemon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. In 1994, Sewell began working at the law firm of Davis, Polk, & Wardwell, where she served as a securities lawyer for more than a decade. She returned to Alabama in 2004 and took a position as partner at the law offices of Maynard, Cooper, & Gale, P.C. Sewell distinguished herself as one of the few African American public finance lawyers in the State of Alabama. Her clients included the City of Selma, Dallas County Water Authority, Alabama State University, and Stillman College. In 2010, Sewell was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a representative from Alabama’s 7th District and as the first African American woman to serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation. Sewell was reelected to the House of Representatives three more times.

Sewell has served in numerous organizations, including as the chair and treasurer of St. Vincent’s Foundation’s board, as a board member of the Girl Scouts of Cahaba Council, as a board member of the Alabama Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, on the Community Advisory Board for the University of Alabama-Birmingham Minority Health and Research Center, on the Governing Board of the Alabama Council on Economic Education, and as a member of the Corporate Council for the Birmingham Art Museum. Sewell has also provided free legal services to the homeless, mentored girls of color through Dreams into Action, and served on the Alumni Advisory Board of Sponsors of Educational Opportunity.

Sewell has been awarded for her successful career and contributions to her community. In 2005, she was named one of the “Top Birmingham Women” by the Birmingham Business Journal. Sewell has also been listed in the magazine, Alabama Super Lawyers, and was named a “Woman of Influence” by Alabama Today. She was also awarded the Minority Business Rising Star Award by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2007.

Terri A. Sewell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.096

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/05/2017

Last Name

Sewell

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Cedar Park Elementary School

R.B. Hudson Middle School

Selma High School

Princeton University

University of Oxford

Harvard Law School

First Name

Terri

Birth City, State, Country

Huntsville

HM ID

SEW01

Favorite Season

Spring, Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beach

Favorite Quote

As A Person Thinks So Is He.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

1/1/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops

Short Description

Lawyer and political official Terri A. Sewell (1965 - ) was partner at the Birmingham law firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and was the first African American woman to serve in the Alabama delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

Morgan Stanley

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP

State of Alabama

Firstone Library

U.S. Congress

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Terri A. Sewell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her maternal family's roots in Lowndes County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her father's early influences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her father's legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes the sights and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her parents' betrothal

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her family's reasons for moving to Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her home in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her twin brothers' mischief making

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls the start of her education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her community in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers Cedar Park Elementary School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers the civil rights leaders in her community in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls visiting the Selma Public Library

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls trying to fit in at Westside Junior High School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers losing her academic awards because of poor conduct

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell describes her achievements at Selma High School in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her mother's influence

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls being approached by Julian McPhillips

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her admission to Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her early interest in law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers enrolling at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls being elected vice president of her freshman class

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her friendship with Michelle Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell talks about her summer employment on Capitol Hill

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her time at Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her graduation from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her bachelor's thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers enrolling at the University of Oxford

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her production of 'For Colored Girls' at the University of Oxford

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers publishing her master's thesis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her experiences at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers protesting for a black female professor at Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her deferment from Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell recalls her work after completing her law degree

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers the civil rights leaders in her community in Selma, Alabama
The Honorable Terri A. Sewell remembers her clerkship under Judge U. W. Clemon, pt. 2
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Did you have any black friends?$$ I did. I had lots of black friends who were usually friends--they were usually children of my parents' friends. Remember my parents [Nancy Gardner Sewell and Andrew Sewell] were, my parents were educators in the school system. And, and I think middle class black Selma [Alabama] were educators, they were teachers, they were, they worked for the government. They were preachers. And, and so growing up I, I don't think I really realized how poor, or (pronunciation) poor my parents were until I went to Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey]. I kind of grew up thinking that we were doing okay (laughter). And, because my parents were well respected in the community, I didn't feel like there were any limitations on my ability to do or be anything. That's a real credit to my parents. But, it's also a credit to the community that nurtured me, and that, that community re- consisted of blacks and whites. And so yeah, so I can remember when the Cedar Park [Cedar Park Elementary School, Selma, Alabama] was integrated. And I also--it's interesting to me, my, my sixth grade teacher was Miss Jackson [Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson]. Well, Miss Jackson I, I grow up to learn that Miss Jackson and her husband [Sullivan Jackson] would entertain Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] in their house. And Miss Jackson's house was where they gathered to, to you know, to really map the march from Selma [Alabama] to Montgomery [Alabama]. (Gesture) Miss Jackson mi- Jean Jackson my--Jean Jackson who taught me in sixth grade. It's interesting that you can live your life surrounded by people who are legendary in the Civil Rights Movement. I guess growing up in Selma that's, that's--I'm--it never ceases to amaze me to find out about the people who I saw as teachers and my preacher [at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, Selma, Alabama] or my you know, the, you know the grocery store owners. And to find out that they were iconic or, or very pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement.$And I took serious when he said, "We're the judge," and he said, "I want you all to brief, brief me on the trials that are coming up." And one of the things that the federal judges have to do, they have to review the social security cases that are on appeals. And so, it's mostly about disability. And I will never forget spending a whole weekend on the first case that I had to brief him on. I concluded that the person who was the plaintiff could walk. That the person did not deserve to have disab- disability insurance. Because, because this, while the doctors all said it in favor of her, I found this special piece of evidence and 'cause I had spent all weekend long trying to. And you know, Judge Clemon [HistoryMaker U.W. Clemon] just, he was awesome. I come in with this you know, twenty page opinion about a social security case, that I had worked all weekend long. And my conclusion was that the lower court, the, had was, you know, the administrative court had--findings were true and that she should be denied social security benefits, disability benefits. So, he looks at me he says, "Sewell [HistoryMaker Terri A. Sewell]," he looks, peers over his glass he says, "I have three questions for you. First, did you go to medical school? What medical degree do you have? Second question, in all of this evidence that you poured over was there medical proof that she had had a disability? That she was disabled?" I said, "Well yes, her doctor said this, but this doctor said that and this nurse said that. This doctor--," so I'm trying to make up. And he says he stops me and he says, "And my final question, how many years did she work for this company? Twenty-three." He closed his book, he closed my, he took my paper and put it in his file, closed the file and he said, "Give the woman her money." The lesson I learned, aside from that I didn't need to spend a whole weekend on a social security case, the lesson I learned was that tremendous power in being a judge and we see evidence, facts through the lenses of our own experience. And that it matters who's, who our judges are. Diversity on the bench is important, diversity not only in gender and race, but in experience. Having someone who's been a public defender as a federal judge or as a [U.S.] Supreme Court justice is important. We see, we see and review facts and evidence I mean, through the lens by which we live our life. So, having judges and having lawyers and having them with different backgrounds and experiences matters. There's a lot that Judge Clemon taught me but I learned a lot that day. And I'm very blessed my dad [Andrew Sewell] had a series of strokes that left him in a wheelchair and I can truly say for the fifteen years that my dad was unable to put up curtains or hang pictures that Judge Clemon really stood, stood in the gap. And I'm very grateful to him for that. And so, when I decided to run for [U.S.] Congress there were two people that I talked to about it before I made my mind up and Judge Clemon was one of them. And he stood by me even thought that I was--that I was raising way too much money and not shaking enough hands. Very--he was very old school politician shaking enough hands, and meeting enough people, knocking on enough doors. Not--I didn't have a big enough sign out there. And he hung in there with me. And I'm a member of Congress today because my mentor believed in me and didn't leave me, didn't leave me all those thirty years ago when I was a law intern, and he hasn't left me now, and I feel very blessed to have him as a, as a, as a mentor and as a, as a, a real father figure.

Matrice Ellis-Kirk

Management executive Matrice Ellis-Kirk was born on March 9, 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her B.A. degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1982.

Ellis-Kirk began her career as an officer in commercial banking at MBank in Dallas, Texas. In 1987, she became the director of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Office of Management and Budget, and remained in that position until 1993. Ellis-Kirk then joined Apex Securities as vice president and office manager until 1995, when she began serving as a consultant with Spencer Stuart. In 1999, Ellis-Kirk was hired by Heidick & Struggles International, Inc. and later became a managing partner at the firm. She joined RSR Partners in 2014 as the managing director.

Ellis-Kirk received the Spirit of the Centennial Award from the City of Fair Park, Texas in 2001. She was also the recipient of the Dallas Historical Society’s Jubilee History Makers Award in 2015. The following year, Ellis-Kirk was named to D Magazine’s “Dallas 500” list.

Ellis-Kirk served as a board member for many organizations, including for the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, The Woman’s Museum, the Dallas Symphony Association, and North Texas Tollway Authority. She also served on the board of directors for ACE Cash Express, on the Executive Committee for the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, on the executive board for Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, and on the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Visitors. She was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Women’s Empowerment, a member of the advisory board for the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a trustee for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation, a member of the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and chairwoman for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In 2013, Ellis-Kirk was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships by President Barack Obama.

Ellis-Kirk and her husband, Ron, have two children, Elizabeth and Catherine

Matrice Ellis-Kirk was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/16/2017

Last Name

Kirk

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

John W. Raper Elementary School

Lulu Diehl Junior High School

East Technical High School

University of Pennsylvania

Mount Greylock Regional High School

First Name

Matrice

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

ELL07

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Life Is Choices, You Have A Choice Every Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/9/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard greens

Short Description

Management executive Matrice Ellis-Kirk (1961 - ) served as an investment banker with Apex Securities for several years before becoming an executive search agent with RSR Partners. Ellis-Kirk also served as the first African American first lady of Dallas, Texas.

Employment

Mercantile National Bank

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Apex Securities

Spencer Stuart

Heidrick and Struggles International Inc.

RSR Partners

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Matrice Ellis-Kirk's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her mother's family background pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her likeness to her paternal great grandmother and grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls briefly living with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her father's early death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her childhood interests

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers advocating for sensible dress codes in schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers the Friendly Town initiative in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls the popularization of the term L7

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her educational aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her early interest in investment banking

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her friends at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her mentors at Mount Greylock Regional High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her return to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers playing sports at Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her activities at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her early interest in the arts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the challenges facing first time African American mayors

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her decision to move to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers working for Mercantile National Bank in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her early community involvement in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls joining Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers marrying Ron Kirk

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about working at Apex Securities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's decision to run for mayor of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her husband's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls her husband's election as mayor of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes the mayor's reading program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about Texas Governor Ann Richards

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes Texas' political structure, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes Texas' political structure, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls becoming an executive recruiter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her duties as first lady of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's senate run

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her board involvements

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her role in Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk recalls serving on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers working at RSR Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about the value of civic involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Matrice Ellis-Kirk describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$5

DATitle
Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her early interest in investment banking
Matrice Ellis-Kirk remembers her husband's decision to run for mayor of Dallas, Texas
Transcript
And my dream was, when I was eight years old I wanted to be an investment banker. So my [paternal] grandmother [Lillian Miller Bowden (ph.)] had talked about it. I first thought I wanted to be a nurse and then I saw blood and I passed--almost passed out so that, that went by the wayside before I was even eight years old.$$Now there aren't many youth that come up with the idea that they want to be an investment banker. So how did you--did you ha- did you know somebody who was an investment banker (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) So grandmother ran the dry cleaning business. So she got The Wall Street Journal and the newspaper, I later learned that she had it and was looking at the stock market because that's how they figured out what the numbers were. But she would help me look at the names of companies and we would look at the New York Stock Exchange [New York, New York] and I would learn what the tickers were of those companies. So then I started reading and started asking questions what's capital, what's equity and so she would have me pull up my World Book Encyclopedia and we would talk about it and I started reading it and just would read about an investment banker. I said, "That's what I want to be--that's what I want to be." So I was reading The Wall Street Journal and that's how I made that decision. Her belief was that, well if they're in The Wall Street Journal they are doing something right. Their names are on buildings. And so it was Morgan Stanley [Morgan Stanley Wealth Management] and places like that, Manufacturers Hanover [Manufacturers Hanover Corporation] you know, all of the names of the banks from way back when, National City Bank [First National City Bank; Citibank, N.A.]. So in the summer I would go and do summer internships through the city 'cause they had these little paid internships for inner city kids and you could work at the banks. So I would work at the bank and clip coupons, J and L Steel [Jones and Laughlin Steel Company] coupons. But I just knew that I wanted to be an investment banker. I wasn't really sure exactly what it was but then over time--by the time I was in the seventh grade I knew what an investment banker was so and that's really what I wanted to do.$$You knew they were around a lot of money and had money.$$I knew they made money yeah exactly. And you know, I didn't--I was good in school so when I was good in math and science and everything I read said that's what you could do with math and science so that was what was interesting. Then when I went off to high school [Mount Greylock Regional high School, Williamstown, Massachusetts], you know I had teacher who I would tell him I really wanted to go to a school that was good in math and science. He says, "Well you want to go to the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] that's where, that's where really--people that are good in math and science that's where they go."$So that--that was for two years. But what--did the company [Apex Securities, Dallas, Texas] do--(unclear) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The company was doing great.$$Okay.$$I was doing everything that I wanted to do and then my husband [HistoryMaker Ron Kirk] came home and told me he wanted to run for mayor. And, and so I just started crying (laughter) because first anybody in politics that we knew, they had a dysfunctional family. So I was like ugh, I've got two kids [Elizabeth Alexandra Kirk and Catherine Ellis Kirk], we were happy, it's a great family situation, I loved my husband, we have fun together. You know, but everything you've read in politics either the husband was cheating or it was dysfunctional; I was like oh my Lord look at what I've gotten myself into on one aspect of it. And on the other side of it was I'm finally doing everything that I want to do from a career standpoint. I've dreamed since I was eight years old and if you become mayor and you win this thing, I'm going to have to quit because the business did business with entities around or affiliated with the city. It's not just the city, but then the city had a piece of the ownership of DFW Airports [Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas], so you can't do work there. The city had pieces to do with water utilities and other markets, you can't do anything. So my company was going to basically have to say I love you but I'm going to miss you because otherwise they could not participate in all those types of revenue opportunities. And that just, that was not good business and it didn't make business sense. So he runs--$$And now, did you see this coming at all that he might--was he that kind of--was he popular like that then (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, a little bit. So I kind of knew what I was getting. I kind of knew what I was getting. I can't fain complete ignorance as much as I would like to. When we were in our session with our minister when we were getting married in '86 [1986] he says, "One of the things one should do is talk about yourself aspirationally so that you can see if you can even grow together." Mine was I wanted to be a billionaire philanthropic donor to the arts and education. I wanted to be Alice Walton redux and he wanted to be mayor. So yes I kind of knew what I was getting.$$Okay. All right. So, so you quit your job--this is your favorite job and you quit it basically to help your husband run (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So that he could, so that he could--yeah absolutely. And it was the right thing to do because he was the right person. I mean, you know, one of the things my [paternal] grandmother [Lilian Miller Bowden (ph.)] always said when we were young was that if you have--that you have to give back and you have to find a way to do it in a way that's going to bring people along with you. So you can't, you you can't--my grandmother was completely against people who wanted to be the only ones. It was if you get something you have to bring people along with you. You cannot do this by yourself. And him being mayor--I too would have the highest impact by him being in that role. It would long term serve everyone well because you would be able to use that bully pulpit to further all of the things that you're talking about. And you know we had conversations in our house always about what can we do to bring along the next generation. What can you do to create wealth in these various communities so that they can have the resources to accomplish their goals and what can you do to impact education. The city, the city here--government does not impact the school district. There's two different elections but you have a bully pulpit by which you can talk about the importance of education, the importance of investing in ensuring kids not to drop out, the importance of nutrition and getting a meal, the importance of early childhood education, the importance of families being together at mealtime, the importance of kids having afterschool study and tutoring and the importance of their ability to serve others so that they understand what service looks like. So you have the pulpit to do all of those things that here you are as one person trying to impact in a community. So it was the right thing to do and I had to give up my job for it. I could always go back after he was done was the way I looked at it. But I was too young to have a mindset that I couldn't.$$Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Plus the fact you, in my house you can't say you can't do anything. That's just, that's blasphemy if you say, "I can't," that, that--you get excommunicated (laughter).

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley was born on September 7, 1969, in Kansas City, Missouri. Billingsley graduated from Madison High School in Houston, Texas in 1987, and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her B.A. degree in broadcast journalism in 1991.

Billingsley began her career in 1993 as an associate producer for KTRK-TV, an ABC-affiliate in Houston, Texas. After a year at KTRK, Billingsley moved to the NBC-affiliate KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas, as an anchor, reporter and talk show host. In 1996, she accepted a position in Houston, Texas as a reporter for KPRC-TV, the NBC-affiliate. From 1997-2003, Billingsley was a reporter and anchor for the NBC-affiliated KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 2003, she returned to Houston as a reporter for KRIV-TV, the Fox-affiliate, where she remained until 2007. Billingsley published her first book in 2001 My Brother’s Keeper, which was picked up by publishing company Simon & Schuster the following year. She became a National Bestselling Author of over forty fiction, non-fiction, and teen fiction books. Billingsley has also served as a reporter and editor for the Houston Defender since 1993. She served as a host and producer for KPFT’s From Cover to Cover literary talk show from 2009 to 2013, and KTSU’s The Sista Xchange from 2011 to 2014. She, and fellow Simon & Schuster author Victoria Christopher Murray, co-founded Brown Girl Books in 2014. Her books The Devil is a Lie and Let the Church Say Amen were adapted into television movies for TV One and BET.

Billingsley has also served as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack & Jill of America, and the Durham Library board. Billingsley received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in 2012 for her book, Say Amen, Again, and was nominated in 2013 for The Secret She Kept, which was adapted into a television movie for TV One. She was nominated for the award once again in 2015 for Mama’s Boy.

Billingsley and her husband, Dr. Miron Billingsley have three children; Mya, Morgan and Myles.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/1/2017

Last Name

Billingsley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Tate

Occupation
Schools

James Madison High School

Petersen Elementary School

Retta Brown Elementary School

Audrey H. Lawson Middle School

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

ReShonda

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

BIL05

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos

Favorite Quote

Stop Talking About Doing It And Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/7/1969

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Author and journalist ReShonda Tate Billingsley (1969 - ) served as a reporter and news anchor in Texas and Oklahoma, and was a national bestselling author of over forty fiction, nonfiction and teen fiction books.

Employment

Simon and Schuster

Houston Defender

KRIV-TV

KFOR-TV

KPRC-TV

KJAC-TV

National Enquirer

Favorite Color

Pink, Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of ReShonda Tate Billingsley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her mother's early years and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's storytelling

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her father's supper club

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her father's carpentry skills

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her neighborhood in Smackover, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her parents' divorce and moving to Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her favorite middle school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her first published story

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her church involvements

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her early reputation as a writer

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite teacher at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls enrolling at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her activities at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her favorite professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her early broadcasting experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers graduating from the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls working for the National Enquirer

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers working as a producer at KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls her transition to anchoring for KJAC-TV in Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls worked as a reporter at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her first book, 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley recalls self-publishing 'My Brother's Keeper'

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the controversy around 'Let the Church Say Amen'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes the themes of her books

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books 'Help! I've Turned into My Mother' and 'I Know I've Been Changed'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her books that were published in 2007

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her teen fiction books

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her books, 'The Devil is a Lie' and 'Holy Rollers'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her acting career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her book, 'The Secret She Kept'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her parenting style

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'A Family Affair'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the film adaptations of her books

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her screenwriting aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her awards and accolades

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley reflects upon her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her writing process

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her favorite writers and books

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about the growth of her writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her publishing company, Brown Girls Books

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - ReShonda Tate Billingsley narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
ReShonda Tate Billingsley remembers her active imagination
ReShonda Tate Billingsley talks about her book, 'Let the Church Say Amen'
Transcript
Now didn't your mother [Nancy Kilgore Blacknell] tell you at one time that making up a story is a lie unless you write it down and then it's a fiction (laughter)?$$Yes, then it's a story. If it comes out of our mouth (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Then it's a story, right, right.$$--it's a lie, if you write it down.$$If you write it down then it's a story?$$Yes, and so you know and that was one of the things because I would--I remember when my mother, my parents were still together. I would just out of the blue start acting out a story. I had written a story about a little girl that had passed out and we were in Smackover [Arkansas], we were going from Norphlet [Arkansas] to Smackover, and my sister [Tanisha Tate] told my parents, "ReShonda [HistoryMaker ReShonda Tate Billingsley] won't, won't wake up, she won't sit up." And so, my father [Bruce Tate] pulled over to the side of the road, the truck actually broke down, and I would not lift my head. I just--my whole body was limp because that's what I had written in my story and so my parents were freaking out. They ended up flagging down somebody passing by, they took us to the hospital in Smackover to--there was a small like clinic and the doctor, who my grandmother [Tate Billingsley's maternal grandmother, Pearley Hicks Kilgore] cleaned for he examined me. My mother was crying and I'm just, I'm still not lifting up. My eyes are rolled back in the back of my head and Dr. Warren [George W. Warren] was his name and he came in, he examined me and then he said--my mother was like, "What's wrong with her?" And he told me he said, "Sit up gal," and I just kind of sat there, he said, "I said sit up, gal," and I just kind of sat up, and so my parents freaked out. They said, "Why would you do all of that?" And I said, "That's what the little girl did in my story, so I was just trying to carry it out," and my mother ended up having to leave the room before she killed me. My dad was always the, the buffer, but he, and he explained to me, "You know you can't do stuff like that." But I said, "That's how when I wrote it and she did--she never woke up." And so, little stuff that made no sense in my mind and I think I was ten at that time, no, I might have been eight at that time and it made no sense in their minds, but it made perfect sense because that's, that was the story that I wrote.$$So, you had a very active imagination.$$I did.$$And internal life that was--yeah.$$I don't know where it came from, I mean I just out of the blue I would come, and the reason my--the whole--my mother said that it was a lie 'cause I had come in, I said my sister broke her arm outside playing at--we used to gather up the leaves to burn the leaves and so I came in and my mother said, "Well, where's your sister?" I said, "Oh, she's out there. She just broke her arm jumping in the leaves." So, of course my mother ran out there and my sister is just playing in the leaves, and so my mother said, "That's, you know, that's a lie coming out of your mouth." And I said, "Naw I was trying to work through a story in my head," and so it would get me in trouble a lot (laughter) and so, I, I have no idea why I used to--I would, I just don't know why I did stuff like that, but it was just that imagination always at work.$And your next book in 2004 was 'Let the Church Say Amen' [ReShonda Tate Billingsley] which is the foundation of a trilogy, basically?$$Yes.$$Let--it's about two families, right?$$It's about a, about a family and a pastor who gives his all to the church, so much so that he doesn't see how he's neglecting his family and what I wanted to do was show--even though this is a pastor, this could be any man in any job who works so hard for their job that they don't realize how their family needs them just as much, and so that's what I wanted to write about. What ended up happening was because the book had a church title, people started classifying it as Christian fiction, and I caught a lot of flak behind that because it, is not Christian fiction. I did, I had a couple of curse words in it. I have--and you know I don't write gratuitous, I don't write gratuitous sex, I don't write gratuitous cursing. Everything I write has a purpose, but when you pick up a book and you think you're about to read Christian fiction, so I caught a lot of flak, to the point that sometimes I would read the reviews and they would have me in tears, but for every bad review, I would get ten great reviews, but you know how we do, we focus on the bad. But that book is what ended up putting me on the map.$$What were the responses good and bad to your work, I mean what did people like about it?$$A lot of people liked the truth, I mean because what happens is many of us will go to the club Saturday night and then we get up and to the club--go to church on Sunday morning, and so those are the type of characters that I would write about, so people could relate. So, one of the, the biggest things that I got from people and one of the most positive things were, "Your characters are so relatable. This story is relatable." There were people that would say, "I'm struggling, my family is struggling just like the people in this book," so in terms of the positive side, I got that a lot. The negative was the people that said, "I picked this up because I thought it was a Christian fiction book, and you had this character say a bad word, so I'm mortified." There was--I got a couple of, "You're gonna rot in hell" emails, and those are the ones that sent me to, to tears because they would said, "Well, your character is homosexual and he didn't pray hard enough," you know. And you'd wanna reply, "Write your own book," (laughter), but you know you take, try to take the high road, but I would get a lot--I caught the biggest amount of flak because my character didn't pray the gay away, and I think at that time when that was released you saw that was big, a big, the whole DL thing was a big, down low thing was a big thing going around.$$Right, I remember that.$$And people kept saying, "He could just pray this away," and I don't have--I didn't have that in my book. I had this family really struggling with one of their son's dealing with that, and I, let the family deal with it and not say okay, now he's cured at the end of the book. So, I caught that. One lady said she, the book was garbage and she was gonna use it to hold up, her coffee table that had a bad leg. So, I would get that kind of thing all the time. There was one station in Virginia that was going--had me come in for a book signing and they ended up canceling it because they said they read the book after inviting me, and they called the book soft porn, and I was mortified because I don't have any, I don't have anything like that in there, but they said they ended up canceling it and the bookstore was a Christian bookstore started selling the book behind the counter like it was a Hustler magazine, and so the way I found out was a woman contacted me and said, "I don't know who you are, but bought your book because they didn't wanna sell it to the woman in front of me." And so, that kind of, the controversy ended up making more people go and read the book, and then when they read it, they were like okay, this isn't bad, but that's what me on the map.$$Was the controversy had, did it have more to do with having gay characters or, infidelity, or what was the major issue (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The, the primary one was the gay character, the gay son and then the only, what they considered soft porn there was a line that said, "She lowered her head in his lap," and I moved on, I didn't say anything else, but they considered that soft porn, which was just crazy to me, but that, you know that was their prerogative, but the, the biggest thing was not, not having him pray that gay away, and people kept saying in the black church, "He's a father, but he's a minister, so how is he gonna just accept that his son is gay," and so you know I, I caught that a lot. It just, it was really shocking to me, but that's what created a lot of the controversy.

Yvonne Atkinson Gates

Political leader Yvonne Atkinson Gates was born on June 10, 1956 in Henderson, Nevada to Bobbie Davis Atkinson and Eddie Atkinson. Gates graduated from Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas and went on to earn her B.S. degree in political science and journalism in 1979, her M.P.A. degree in 1982, and her Ph.D. degree in public administration in 2012, all from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Following her graduation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Gates worked as the research and planning manager for Clark County’s Department of Social Service, as well as personnel manager for Clark County’s Department of Aviation. From 1985 to 1992, Gates served on the Clark County School District Board of Trustees in Las Vegas. In 1992, Gates was elected as the youngest and only minority member to serve on the Clark County Board of Commissioners for District D in Las Vegas, becoming its first African American female chair in 1995. She was chosen as a super-delegate for the Democratic National Committee; and, in 2002, she chaired the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus. As chairwoman, she worked with black female elected officials like Donna Brazile and Minyon Moore to found the Women Building for the Future Political Action Committee. Throughout her political career, Gates advocated for strengthening public education and daycare programs nationwide. After resigning from the Clark County Board of Commissioners in 2007, Gates was appointed by Senator Harry Reid to serve as a Democratic National Committee super-delegate in 2008 for Hillary Rodham Clinton, although Gates later shifted her support to Barack Obama. In addition to her political career, Gates founded the construction firm of ECO Construction LLC in Las Vegas.

Gates was a recipient of the Community Image Award from the Professional Black Women Alliance in 1989, and a recipient of the Community Service Award from the Westcoast Black Publisher's Association in 1990. In recognition of her public service, the Clark County Board of School Trustees opened the Yvonne Atkinson Gates Center in 1996. In 1997, Gates was named Outstanding Democrat of the Year by the Democratic Party of Nevada. In 2002, she received an Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the DNC Women's Vote Center; and in 2006, she received a human rights award from Church Women United.

Gates and her husband, former Judge Lee Gates, have four children.

Yvonne Atkinson Gates was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.061

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/25/2016

Last Name

Gates

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Atkinson

Occupation
Schools

Madison Elementary School

William E. Orr Middle School

Ed W. Clark High School

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

First Name

Yvonne

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

GAT05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Nevada

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere on the Water

Favorite Quote

The Greatest Achievement Requires Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

6/10/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Political leader Yvonne Atkinson Gates (1956 - ) represented District D on the Clark County Board of Commissioners, where she was the first African American woman to serve as chair.

Employment

ECO Construction, LLC

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Clark County, Nevada

City of Las Vegas

State of Nevada

Favorite Color

Blue, Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:240,4:1293,14:6441,222:12068,301:12676,309:13284,318:13816,328:14196,334:14728,342:15792,361:16096,367:16476,373:25175,466:26031,475:29470,512:29726,517:30174,526:38430,664:44414,770:48720,794:49016,804:49460,811:51014,846:51310,851:52050,865:52864,878:55158,908:55602,915:56268,926:56638,932:57674,950:58488,963:58784,968:59228,975:60930,1006:61818,1036:76685,1221:79260,1231:80106,1243:80576,1249:81140,1256:83490,1281:84054,1289:84994,1304:85652,1313:86780,1326:88566,1353:95080,1395:95736,1404:96310,1413:97786,1437:104790,1530:106302,1559:107310,1572:108570,1585:109410,1597:110082,1608:111594,1645:112098,1652:116550,1657:117230,1670:117502,1675:117910,1685:118522,1699:121017,1716:122676,1744:123071,1750:123782,1760:124177,1766:127258,1831:128443,1855:128996,1863:129549,1871:131050,1901:132314,1923:138700,1971:139470,1979:140020,1985:140680,1992:143082,2002:143838,2014:154172,2035:154718,2043:158722,2218:159632,2231:160906,2251:162362,2275:163545,2294:164000,2300:164546,2307:165092,2319:165638,2326:166366,2337:173600,2383:175448,2424:175833,2430:176141,2435:177219,2453:179452,2499:179991,2507:182831,2518:186950,2568$0,0:15946,192:16485,200:16870,207:17486,217:19334,254:19873,262:21182,290:22183,310:26852,333:27383,346:27914,357:32606,432:33822,452:34658,466:35950,486:40000,498:42240,532:43120,550:48240,649:48880,658:51877,667:52399,676:56053,774:71070,988:73284,1079:74924,1116:75990,1130:84344,1304:85828,1346:89886,1398:90242,1404:91844,1430:93980,1472:94781,1482:101884,1554:105012,1622:106984,1661:107664,1693:118310,1784:120680,1824
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Atkinson Gates' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers segregation in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her likeness to her parents and paternal aunt

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her father's work as a brick mason

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her neighborhood on the Westside of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early education in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her athletic involvement in high school

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers building a homecoming float

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers a student demonstration at Ed W. Clark High School

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the casino industry in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her start at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her experiences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the Runnin' Rebels basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers her professors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early political activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers her early employment with the City of Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the growth of Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her early employment with Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her appointment to the Clark County Board of School Trustees

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her work on the Clark County Board of School Trustees

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes the jurisdiction of Clark County, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her decision to run for the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the riots of 1992 in West Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her husband's career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls joining the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the authority of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the authority of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the congressional representatives for the State of Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her advocacy for early childhood education centers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers campaigning for President Bill Clinton

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her divestiture from Fat Tuesdays

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the gubernatorial campaign of Joe Neal

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls speaking to the Democratic National Committee in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her work at the McCarran International Airport in Paradise, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon the presidential election of 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about chairing the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the population growth in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls the conviction of four Clark County commissioners for corruption

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers the presidential election of 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls her decision to leave the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates recalls becoming a Democratic National Committee superdelegate

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon Barack Obama's first presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about the legalization of marijuana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about superdelegate reform in the Democratic National Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her support for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her family and community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her chairmanship of the Clark County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Yvonne Atkinson Gates reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

16$11

DATitle
Yvonne Atkinson Gates remembers a student demonstration at Ed W. Clark High School
Yvonne Atkinson Gates talks about her divestiture from Fat Tuesdays
Transcript
You mentioned earlier, and I didn't ask you what happened, but you said the black organization had demonstrated--$$Yes, we did (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) at the school [Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, Nevada]. What was the issue?$$We had a walk out (laughter) because we didn't think that African American kids were being treated fairly; and at the time, Brian Cram was the principal, and I was an officer, and we had a walk out, but he was able to calm everyone down, and, you know, kids came back, back into the school, but we, you know, we really voiced our opinion when we felt that something wasn't right.$$Okay. So did, did things change at the school as a result of the walk out in the?$$I would, I would say, yes, because--and, and Dr. Cram, at the time was really--he was more of a people person, so he was able to calm the kids down. We had meetings and discussions and so forth, and things improved a great deal. But we had students who were really active and wanted to make sure that the treatment of African Americans was fair and we received the same as other students.$$Okay. You--do you have any stories about discrimination at the school that--I mean, or a personal story about it?$$No. Actually, actually, I never really experienced, experienced that so much, but I do recall a conversation with one of my--he was the president of the, of the--of my class. I remember having a conversation. We had a conversation one day, and it really struck me as very--it, it touched a nerve. Let's put it that way. And he lived in a neighborhood that I later purchased a home as an adult in, and he said to me that the reason that they did not want blacks to live in their neighborhood was because if a black moved--a black person, a black family moved in a white neighborhood, then it would decrease the value of their property because African Americans didn't take care of their homes and their property the way in which they did. And I--you know, I never forgot that, and later as an adult, I purchased a home in that very same neighborhood, and I remember it vividly.$$Okay, okay. Now, did, did they have--did everybody go to the same prom?$$Yes. We all went to the same prom.$$Okay.$$There was no segregation in that respect; and blacks and white actually got along pretty well at the school when I was growing up.$$Okay, okay.$$Never--you know, no tension or anything of that nature. But there were times, as I said, when, you know, we felt that we weren't being treated fairly and equally, and, and we had the one walk out, sit-in.$In 1997, there's something that--there's some kind of scandal around Fat Tuesdays or something?$$(Laughter).$$What is that about?$$At the time, I was--I, I wasn't--I was a--start- well, I was working with a friend of mine to open a business, and we were talking about Fat Tuesdays. Hadn't been opened at that time, and we were just right in the process of doing it, but we weren't, we weren't open. We weren't--hadn't created the company, or we were doing our due diligence, and, you know, a few people didn't want me to have any connection to the business, and so I just stepped to the side and let my friends go ahead, and they actually got the business open. I wasn't a part of it. I abstained because they were friends of mine because they had to come to the county commission [Clark County Board of Commissioners] to get approved, and that was the extent of it.$$There's a couple questions on this. Now to what extent does being on the county commission handcuff you from being involved in--$$Well--$$--regular business?$$--you can be involved in business. You can be involved in business, and many of my commissioners were. You know, Paul Christensen owned Christensen Jewelers [M.J. Christensen Jewelers; M.J. Christensen Diamonds, Las Vegas, Nevada]. He was on the county commission, but there was different standards for African Americans than there were for whites. I--they, you know, just didn't want me to be involved, and especially when some of the locations were in casinos and so forth. I could have abstained but never had the opportunity to do that because it never came before us. I divested myself and wasn't involved, and--but I still abstained. So you can do that, and long as you abstain, there is no ethical conflict.$$Okay.$$And so I--of course I never got that far, didn't get that far.

Sandra Miller Jones

Marketing executive Sandra Miller Jones was born on August 6, 1946 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1968, Jones received her B.A. degree in sociology from Howard University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She then became the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business when she received her M.B.A. degree in 1971.

Upon graduation, Jones was hired as the first African American woman manager at Quaker Oats Company, where she managed several of the company’s major franchises including the $100 million-plus Quaker Oatmeal franchise. In 1978, Jones left Quaker Oats and founded Segmented Marketing Services, Inc. (SMSi), a national marketing services company. SMSi’s client list includes Procter & Gamble, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Revlon, Quaker Oats, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and the United States Postal Service, among others. In 2013, Jones founded SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, whose mission is to help underserved consumers acquire affordable health insurance. She also became an adjunct professor of marketing at Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Management.

Jones helped establish the National Black MBA Association and the Chicago Minority Purchasing Council, and helped start a business initiative for the League of Black Women in Chicago, Illinois. She has served as board chair of the Jack and Jill of American Foundation’s WIN (We Invest Now) for Tomorrow, a program that teaches financial and investment skills to African American teenagers. She has also served on the boards of Family Services, Inc. and Summit School in Winston-Salem, as well as board chair of the Winston-Salem YWCA. In addition, she was active in women’s and youth activities at Goler Memorial AME Zion Church in Winston-Salem.

Jones is married to her business partner, Lafayette Jones. They have one daughter, Bridgette.

Sandra Miller Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 14, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.214

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/14/2014

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Miller

Schools

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

Kimberley Park Elementary

Paisley IB Magnet School

Howard University

First Name

Sandra

Birth City, State, Country

Winston-Salem

HM ID

JON39

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

8/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Marketing chief executive Sandra Miller Jones (1946 - ) was the founder and CEO of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Employment

Quaker Oats Company

Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Job Corps RCA

Winston-Salem Journal

First National Bank of Chicago

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:5250,62:9436,198:49136,840:49808,848:58040,984:60315,1047:71680,1206:74110,1261:74470,1266:76360,1294:91136,1478:97080,1561:97935,1574:104015,1695:104490,1701:108005,1747:117442,1911:119193,1935:119914,1944:120532,1950:124432,1976:126588,2009:126980,2014:127960,2022:128352,2027:128842,2033:129724,2045:130704,2056:131586,2068:132272,2078:138924,2113:140902,2178:141762,2207:142106,2212:144084,2324:145116,2391:161630,2563:184712,2845:187400,2867:187958,2873:188702,2882:189167,2889:190748,2914:191957,2931:192329,2936:192794,2942:195677,2989:196049,2994:196700,3006:197630,3018:198188,3024:206050,3121:206626,3128:208930,3174:215503,3226:219598,3283:220334,3292:227786,3438:233377,3566:233791,3572:235630,3595:236070,3601:240646,3663:241174,3669:247450,3740:248300,3751:249745,3791:250595,3803:250935,3808:260030,3906:260800,3920:269348,3987:270644,4001:271940,4014:273776,4047:289442,4220:290351,4234:291664,4249:292775,4263:296613,4317:305568,4403:306304,4412:306856,4419:307316,4425:307684,4430:313960,4492$0,0:2772,43:14060,123:23606,286:30394,359:37090,458:37927,468:38671,477:39415,489:39787,494:47070,561:48855,594:49620,604:49960,609:50470,616:50810,621:58029,726:61935,801:62400,807:72260,869:72685,875:74130,896:74895,906:76255,923:77105,950:100758,1095:106510,1356:115950,1540:123089,1838:142700,1950:144026,1965:152989,2077:156742,2118:157066,2123:160954,2187:162979,2228:167824,2262:171432,2311:174248,2390:180510,2432:193748,2548:207610,2644:208576,2710:218340,2855
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sandra Miller Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her father's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Kimberley Park Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Sandra Miller Jones describes the African American community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers John W. Paisley Senior High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the Safe Bus Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the entertainment of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her favorite teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of Winston-Salem Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls her decision to study sociology at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the takeover of the administration building at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her decision to attend the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her extracurricular activities at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her experiences at the Graduate School of Management in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the influence of sociology in business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her position at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers the black business leadership of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones recalls the founding of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Charles H. Curry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the administration of the Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her role at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her accomplishments at the Quaker Oats Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her reasons for founding Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers her first client at Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her parents' involvement in her company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the early clientele of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers meeting her husband, Lafayette Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones remembers Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the logistics of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her civic involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her success as an entrepreneur

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon the success of Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about the future of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sandra Miller Jones reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sandra Miller Jones shares her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sandra Miller Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sandra Miller Jones talks about her adopted daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sandra Miller Jones describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sandra Miller Jones narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
Sandra Miller Jones talks about the development of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions
Sandra Miller Jones remembers working with minority businesses at the Quaker Oats Company
Transcript
Oh, 1999, you launched Shades of Beauty. Now that, that's--is that again Lafayette's, or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's Lafayette's.$$Okay.$$Yes, yes.$$But--okay. And how is that different from Urban Call? Did it have the--did it focus on the cosmetology industry?$$Well, that's a Lafayette [Jones' husband, HistoryMaker Lafayette Jones] question, so--$$Okay. All right. All right (unclear).$$(Laughter) All that is his--all that publishing stuff is, is his area.$$Okay. Well, then I'm going to jump way ahead, you know (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay (laughter).$$Past the election of Barack Obama [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] and everything else to 2013--$$Okay.$$--to the founding of SMSi Health Insurance Solutions [Winston-Salem, North Carolina].$$Yes.$$Yeah.$$Yes.$$So this is an affordable health--$$Yes, yes. When we found out that the Affordable Care Act [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010] was coming into existence, we knew that the message was not getting out to our community, African American community especially and Hispanic community secondarily, because we weren't hearing anything. All that we knew was what we heard on the media, and that was so often very negative, and we knew that there was--that, that having people insured was a good thing, so we had to find a way to get that message out. We wrote to the president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina [Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina], Brad Wilson [J. Bradley Wilson, Jr.], and asked him if we could come in and talk to his people about sponsoring an outreach effort, and we were able to get that done, so we went in, and we talked to Blue Cross Blue Shield about starting an outreach effort to inform African Americans throughout North Carolina about the Affordable Care Act, and although our business [Segmented Marketing Services, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina] is national, to be able to focus on North Carolina, we had to build territories that--just as though they were in some other part of the country or part of the world, so instead of our territory being the Chicago [Illinois] market, now we built a territory that was the Greensboro [North Carolina], High Point [North Carolina] market, and the Durham [North Carolina], Wake [Wake County, North Carolina] market until each one of our markets in North Carolina we treated as a separate market as opposed to just a part of the--of one whole state execution. So we built teams in each of those markets just like we have in our other cities, and these teams of people went out and developed relationships and continue to do so now with the gatekeepers in churches and community organizations; beauty salons, barbershops, to help us get the message out about the Affordable Care Act. We were able to do this. We were able to reach about a half million households in North Carolina with a message and face to face presentations to over three thousand opinion leaders, and, as a result, we were part of the movement in North Carolina that enabled us, as North Carolina, to be the fifth largest state in terms of number of people signing up for the Affordable Care Act in the nation, and by far, the largest state in the nation that did not accept Medicare [sic.]. North Carolina--the Medicare expansion that was offered as a part of the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina was one of the states that didn't accept that Medicaid expansion. South Car- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) With a Republican governor [Pat McCrory] or something or--$$Absolutely.$$Yeah.$$And South Carolina, for example, right next to us, North Carolina did about 350,000 enrollments, and South Carolina did about thirty-two thousand enrollments, so you can see the difference between the efforts that were made here despite the fact that we didn't have the support of the government here and the results. One of the things that we learned as we were doing our executions is that there just are not enough agents servicing our community to even sign up or enroll, help the people to enroll, into the Affordable Care Act, so that's why we decided to start an agency, and that's SMSi Health Insurance Solutions, so that we could; one, provide this excellent job opportunity to people in our community to be their own boss because that's what an insurance agency is, their own boss. They're an entrepreneur. And to--to develop some residual income while also being of such a significant service to the community at large.$And would you--how--now how did you--were, were you able to--well, how much of your job had anything to do with, you know, marketing the products to the black community specifically?$$None.$$Okay.$$But I did connect with the black community only because I had an interest there and did some outreach to the community, and that's why I knew all of the African American advertising agencies. I worked very hard to get agencies both advertising and promote and marketing research agencies at that time. I didn't know of any black promotion agencies, but marketing research, yes. Tried to get them contracts with Quaker Oats Company. I brought them in and introduced them to the powers that be who could make those decisions, and whenever I was able to make a decision that would enable me to work with a black supplier, I did that, so I was quite aware of the need to, to bring more blacks into the marketing world, to the--$$Were they working with any black or, or contractors before you started?$$Probably not. Probably not, yeah.$$That's what I would guess. Just--$$That's what I would guess at that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I, I figured I would ask.$$Yeah. (Laughter) Yeah.$$And were you ever criticized for, for bringing in too many black people?$$No.$$No, okay.$$No, no, no, never was. I, I think it was quite a fascination for them. We brought groups in to, to do things with us, and, so, yeah.$$Well, that's good because there's some many times I hear the story that someone gets into a position to hire black contractors that have never been involved before in, in the--that--in a particular business, and then they criticize for you're, you're only, you know, you're trying to make our organization--make all the contractors black and that sort of thing.$$Yeah. No. It wasn't that.$$But, but you never did get that.$$Never that problem.$$Okay.$$[HistoryMaker] Byron Lewis who started UniWorld advertising agency [UniWorld Group, Inc.] recently had a tribute to him in New York [New York] and invited us to come and speak at--to be one of those people who talked about him. And, oh, he always credits me with saving his agency, and that can't be so, but he credits me with that. He says that his agency was on the skids, and we came to Quaker Oats Company. And I was able to help them get a major contract to do a black soap opera ['Sounds of the City'], as a matter of fact, that was what they had proposed, and that contract he maintained saved his agency. He was able to go on and build from there, and so I'm always pleased about that.$$Right. Well, that's, you know, heretofore, and I guess, prior to '68 [1968] or so, there were very few blacks in business that had--that got any contracts from major corporations.$$Absolutely.$$For any reason, so--$$Yeah.$$--so this is, this is all ground breaking at this time, so Byron Lewis, okay.

Jessie Carney Smith

Librarian, author and educator Jessie Carney Smith was born on September 24, 1930 in Greensboro, North Carolina to James Ampler and Vesona Bigelow Carney. Smith attended Mount Zion Elementary School and James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro. She graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with her B.S. degree in home economics in 1950. Smith pursued graduate studies at Cornell University and then received her M.A. degree in child development from Michigan State University in 1956, and her M.A.L.S. degree from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1957.

In 1957, Smith was hired as an instructor and head library cataloger at Tennessee State University. In 1960, she enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois, and worked as a teaching assistant from 1961 to 1963. Smith then returned to Tennessee State University, where she was hired as an assistant professor and coordinator of library services. In 1964, she became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in library science from the University of Illinois; and, in 1965, she was hired as a professor of library science and the university librarian of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was named the William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities at Fisk University in 1992, and appointed dean of the library in 2010. Smith has also lectured part-time at Alabama A&M University, the University of Tennessee and the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Smith served as consultant to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Office of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the American Library Association. She directed three institutional self-studies at Fisk University, resulting in the institution’s reaffirmation of accreditation by SACS. In addition, Smith has directed multiple projects funded by NEH and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and served on several Fisk University campus committees.

Smith has published numerous research guides and reference books. In 1991, she released the award winning, Notable Black American Women, and went on to publish Notable African American Men in 1999. Her other books include Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century, Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience, and Black Firsts: 4000 Groundbreaking and Pioneering Historical Events, among others.

Smith received the Martin Luther King Black Authors Award in 1982 and the National Women's Book Association Award in 1992. She received the Candace Award for excellence in education, Sage magazine's Ann J. Cooper Award, and distinguished alumni awards from both the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois. She was named the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year from the Association of College and Research Libraries in 1985; and, in 1997, received the key to the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 2011, Smith was awarded the Global Heritage Award from the Global Education Center and the Outstanding Achievement in Higher Education Award from the Greater Nashville Alliance of Black School Educators.

Jessie Carney Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.011

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/22/2014

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Carney

Schools

Mt. Zion Elementary

James B. Dudley High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Cornell University

Michigan State University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

First Name

Jessie

Birth City, State, Country

Greensboro

HM ID

CAR28

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

9/24/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Nashville

Country

United States

Short Description

Librarian, author, and educator Jessie Carney Smith (1930 - ) is the dean of Fisk University’s library and the William and Camille Cosby Professor in the Humanities. She has worked at Fisk University since 1965, and has published numerous research guides and reference books, including the award-winning Notable Black American Women. In addition, Smith was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in library science from the University of Illinois.

Employment

Fisk University

Tennessee State University

Peabody College of Vanderbilt University

University of Tennessee

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Patricia Bath

Medical scientist Patricia E. Bath was born on November 4, 1942 in Harlem, New York. Bath’s father, Rupert, was a Trinidadian immigrant and the first black motorman in the New York City subway system; her mother, Gladys, was a descendant of African slaves and Cherokee Native Americans and worked as a housewife and domestic. Bath attended Julia Ward Howe Junior High School and Charles Evans Hughes High School. In 1959, Bath received a grant from the National Science Foundation to attend the Summer Institute in Biomedical Science at Yeshiva University in New York, where she worked on a project studying the relationship between caner, nutrition, and stress. Bath went on to graduate from Hunter College in New York City with her B.S. degree in chemistry in 1964. She then attended Howard University Medical School. Bath graduated with honors in 1968 with her M.D. degree and also won the Edwin J. Watson Prize for Outstanding Student in Ophthalmology.

From 1970 until 1973, Bath was the first African American resident in ophthalmology at new York University’s School of Medicine. During this time, she married and gave birth to a daughter, Eraka, in 1972. In 1973, Bath worked as an assistant surgeon at Sydenham Hospital, Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospital, and Metropolitan Surgical Hospital, all in New York City. In 1974, she completed a fellowship in corneal and keratoprosthesis surgery. Then, Bath moved to Los Angeles, California where she became the first African American woman surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center. She was also appointed assistant professor at the Charles R. Drew University. In 1975, Bath became the first woman faculty member of the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute.

In 1981, Bath conceived of her invention, the Laserphaco Probe. She traveled to Berlin University in Germany to learn more about laser technology, and over the course of the next five years, she developed and tested a model for a laser instrument that could be tested to remove cataracts. Bath received a patent for her invention on May 17, 1988, and became the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention. She continued to work at UCLA and Drew University during the development of her laser cataract removal instrument, and, in 1983, she developed and chaired an ophthalmology residency training program. From 1983 to 1986, Bath was the first woman chair and first female program director of a postgraduate training program in the United States. In 1993, Bath retired from the UCLA Medical Center. Bath was inducted into the International Women in Medicine Hall of Fame in 2001.

Patricia E. Bath was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 29, 2012.

Path passed away on May 30, 2019.

Accession Number

A2012.243

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/29/2012

Last Name

Bath

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Charles Evans Hughes High School

Hunter College

Howard University College of Medicine

Julia Ward Howe Junior High School 81

P.S. 68

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BAT10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Yes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/4/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fruit

Death Date

5/30/2019

Short Description

Physician Dr. Patricia Bath (1942 - ) was a professor of ophthalmology at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, California. She invented the laserphaco probe, a device used in cataract surgery.

Employment

Yeshiva University

Harlem Hospital

Columbia University

New York University

University of California, Los Angeles

Charles R. Drew University

American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Patricia Bath's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her mother's move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her paternal great-great-grandfather, Jonas Mohammed Bath

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her father's experiences as a merchant seaman

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers the Harlem community in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her early education, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls her aspiration to become a doctor

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her early education, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls the era of school desegregation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her high school science fair experiment

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers Charles Evans Hughes High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her early scientific achievements

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls her scholarship to Hunter College in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls her activities at Hunter College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers the social organizations at Hunter College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls her admission to the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her mentors at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her early interest in ophthalmology

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes the medical licensing process

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls her internship at New York City's Harlem Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her role in the Poor People's Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers the birth of her daughter

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her decision to become a single parent

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls joining the faculty of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her fellowship in keratoprosthesis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes the founding of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls the start of her medical career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes the development of community ophthalmology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her study of blindness in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers inventing the laserphaco probe, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers inventing the laserphaco probe, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about the advancements in ophthalmological laser surgery

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath recalls becoming the chief of ophthalmology at the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes the procedure for cataract surgery

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers her decision to retire

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her artistic interests

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her involvement in the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her involvement in the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Patricia Bath reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Patricia Bath reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Patricia Bath remembers the support of her parents

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Patricia Bath talks about her daughter

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Patricia Bath describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Dr. Patricia Bath describes her role in the Poor People's Campaign
Dr. Patricia Bath describes the founding of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School
Transcript
I neglected to ask you about 1968 at, at Howard [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.]. Now were you on, you were, I guess, on the verge of graduation when Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed, right?$$Yes, yes, yeah, that, that, you know, I wanted to mention about Dr. King earlier, and somehow it escaped me, but when I pledged AKA [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority] as an undergraduate at Hunter College [New York, New York], my chapter [Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.] nominated me for a national office which I did win, and I became the highest ranking undergraduate officer on the board of directors, second (unclear) basileus is what they called it and in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], when King, Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking at the boule, I had the honor of introducing him to the boule. And so I met Dr. King and it was a brief interaction, you know, moments, minutes, but he was the type of charismatic person that could change (laughter) your whole perspective and so it had a great effect on me. And when I later went to medical school, and when he was killed, it, it did have a big effect on me and I participated in Resurrection City. I organized the medical students so we could provide healthcare, to some extent, during the Poor People's Campaign. You know, we had, that was really, it turned out to be a linchpin in the success of Resurrection City because they were trying to close it down for whatever reason and they didn't want to close it down because they didn't want poor people at the mall that would have not been an American way of closing it down, but, so they thought they could close it down based on health reasons, you know, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and that's where the medical students came in and my role, with the role of some others, but we established the medical coordinating committee for the Resurrection City. Dr. Mazique, Ed Mazique [Edward C. Mazique], I recall, and Reverend Fauntroy [HistoryMaker Reverend Walter Fauntroy], they were the ones--and Joseph Rines [ph.] from Seventh-day Adventist, they were the ones who came up with this concept and, you know, the medical students supported it and so every time the Department of Health [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] would come up with an excuse to close it, you know, we'd put our heads together and find a way to mitigate, you know, whether it was clean water testing, food preparation, number of infections, kids who needed shots, you know, it was my first field, battlefield experience.$$Okay, now this happened, I guess the march, the Poor People's Campaign was a dream of Dr. King's and took place after his--$$Death.$$--assassination, and--$$Yes, yes, '68 [1968].$$--after the riots and all those--$$Yeah.$$--were over, basically--$$Sixty-eight [1968].$$Yeah, '68 [1968]--$$Um-hm, the year I graduated [from Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.].$$Yeah, so was that in, did that take place in June, May or June of that year?$$Well, the Poor People's Campaign was for several months--$$Yeah.$$--but, you know, and, of course, when I graduated in May, I stayed, I stayed there until July, had to start my internship [at Harlem Hospital; Harlem Medical Center, New York, New York].$$Okay.$$So I left.$$So, yeah, my recollection is that it, yeah, it started maybe a month or two after Dr. King was assassinated then, with the march, then occupation of the Mall [National Mall, Washington, D.C.]--$$Yes.$$--you know, so, okay so you there until Ju--$$It was great to be a part of that.$$Okay.$$And I have an article on that too. That's, that was published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, there's a shot of myself and Dr. Mazique and the coordinating committee there and our story, what we were doing.$$Okay.$Now, once again, Charles R. Drew [Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School; Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine, Los Angeles, California], now, was Charles Drew conceived of as a hospital to give opportunities for African American and maybe even minority medical students?$$Now keep in mind, I'm in New York [New York] and they, they founded this institution before I arrived. My understanding is that Charles Drew medical school was founded as a result of the McCone Commission. There were riots after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] and--there were riots in Los Angeles [California] and a commission was set up. One of the findings of the commission was that the area of Watts [Los Angeles, California] and South Central [Los Angeles, California] was not only impoverished, but the people lacked access to medical care. So, the McCone Commission determined that one of the positive things that they could do was to promote the establishment of healthcare. So two things happened. One, they built Martin Luther King Hospital [Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center; Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center, Los Angeles, California], which was the county; and secondly, the Drew medical school was created to nurture the hospital, in the same way that Columbia [Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York] would nurture Harlem Hospital [Harlem Medical Center, New York, New York]. The problem though was that Drew had not existed as an established medical school. It's not as if it was a transplant of Howard [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.], which couldn't be done. So in order to empower the newly established Drew medical school, the leadership at Drew decided that they would affiliate half of their departments with UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine; David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California] and half of the departments with USC [University of Southern California School of Medicine; Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California]. They felt that that way Drew could maintain autonomy. Had they only affiliated with UCLA, then they would, they felt they would lose autonomy or the same would happen if they had only affiliated with USC. But they felt that by having two major strong institutions that they could maintain autonomy and grow and then eventually, if decided, cut ties with both. So, it was mainly established to provide service to the underserved community of Watts and South Central.

Dolores R. Spikes

Esteemed college professor and mathematician Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes was born on August 24, 1936 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Margaret and Lawrence Richard. She received her elementary and high school education by attending Baton Rouge’s parochial and public school systems. Throughout her youth, Spikes’ parents strongly advocated the value of a college education and upon her enrollment at Southern University in 1954, her father volunteered for overtime hours at his job to help pay for her expenses. She went on to earn her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1957 from Southern University where she was initiated as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and met her future husband, Hermon Spikes.

After graduating, Spikes moved to Urbana, Illinois and pursued her M.S. degree in mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While pursuing her master’s degree, Spikes gained a passion for teaching and decided that she would give back to her community by teaching at a historically black college. In 1958, she returned to Louisiana and accepted a teaching position at Mossville High School in Calcasien Parish. While serving in that capacity, Spikes helped to improve the school’s ratings by introducing independent study programs. Then, in 1961, she returned to her alma mater, Southern University, and served as an assistant professor of mathematics.

In 1971, Spikes made history by becoming the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Louisiana State University. She went on to serve as the chancellor for Southern University-Baton Rouge and Southern University-New Orleans in the late 1980s. Spikes was the first female chancellor (and later, president) of a public university in the State of Louisiana. She was then appointed as a board member of Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management in 1987, and in 1988, she made history once again when she was appointed as president of Southern University and the A&M College System, becoming the first woman in the United States to head a university system. Later, in 1996, Spikes became the president of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore where she served until 2001.

Spikes has received numerous awards and recognitions for her accomplishments in academia, including: the Thurgood Marshall Educational Achievement Award and Ebony Magazine’s “Most Influential Black Women in America.” She has also served on the board of advisors for historically black colleges and universities; the board of directors for Education Commission of the States; and the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities.

Spikes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2008.

Spikes passed away on June 1, 2015.

Accession Number

A2008.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/27/2008

Last Name

Spikes

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Schools

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School

McKinley Senior High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Louisiana State University

First Name

Dolores

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

SPI02

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere With Libraries

Favorite Quote

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

8/24/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baton Rouge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

6/1/2015

Short Description

Math professor and university president Dolores R. Spikes (1936 - 2015 ) served as the president of the Southern University System, and was the first woman in the United States to head a university system. She also served as the president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore from 1996 to 2001.

Employment

Southern University at Baton Rouge

Southern University at New Orleans

Southern University System

University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

Favorite Color

Sky Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dolores R. Spikes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her family's surname

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her family's work in the construction industry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the culture of South Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her Native American ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her paternal family's practice of voodoo, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her paternal family's practice of voodoo, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the Creole language

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers the impact of urban renewal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers her childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls the demolition of St. Francis Xavier High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls the demolition of St. Francis Xavier High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers McKinley Senior High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her early social activities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her paternal family's musical legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her time at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers Southern University President Felton Grandison Clark

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about Louisiana's historically black colleges

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls Felton Grandison Clark's departure from Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her activities at Southern University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her experiences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her living situation at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her decision to return to graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her experiences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her the subject of her dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her mathematical influences

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her ambition to become a mathematician

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her transition to higher education administration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her vice chancellorship of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her chancellorship of Southern University at New Orleans

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spike remembers becoming president of the Southern University System

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls her challenges at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her separation agreement with the Southern University System

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls negotiating a consent decree to integrate Louisiana's public universities, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls negotiating a consent decree to integrate Louisiana's public universities, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the engineering and physics programs at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about the funding of graduate programs at historically black universities

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the challenges facing higher education organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes recalls being offered the presidency of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her presidency of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes remembers her decision to retire

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes reflects upon her life and legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dolores R. Spikes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dolores R. Spikes describes the Head Start program at Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dolores R. Spikes talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dolores R. Spikes reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dolores R. Spikes describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dolores R. Spikes narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Dolores R. Spikes recalls her experiences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dolores R. Spike remembers becoming president of the Southern University System
Transcript
First day I walked into one of my classes at LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana], I sat sort of in the middle where I could see the board well and I could hear well. There was nobody--I was the only African American in that room. Nobody sitting in front of me, nobody sitting right behind me, and nobody sitting directly on either side of me. I remember it was quite obvious that they weren't (laughter)--I mean it was so obvious. But it didn't bother me. I had made it known that look, I've got a Ford Foundation fellow [Ford Foundation fellowship] for three years. I'm gonna get a Ph.D. in three years. I don't have time to linger around. I'm, you know, my business is to study math.$$Now, now what year is this, and--$$This is 1968.$$Okay, now how long had there been black students at LSU at this point do you think? What--about maybe three years?$$Oh, there had been--no, there had black students since, oh, earlier than that. I imagine in the late '50s [1950s] 'cause my neighbor across the street who's deceased now was there for her master's [degree] in one of the vocational programs. But he was shot at and everything else.$$Okay, so it wasn't easy.$$No. No, no, no.$$But he, he was--but they were there before--$$Yes.$$--you. 'Cause you know like we hear, we, you know, many have seen this story, you know, pictures of George Wallace in the door, State of Alabama.$$Yeah, yeah. Oh--$$Other people trying to integrate the University of Georgia [Athens, Georgia], you know, [HistoryMaker] Charlayne Hunter-Gault.$$Yeah, yeah.$$Other, other--you know, real big struggles trying to--$$Um-hm.$$So there was a struggle here at LSU?$$Absolutely a struggle at LSU.$$Here in Baton Rouge [Louisiana], same city that Southern's [Southern University; Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College] in.$$Same city.$$And people were shot at and--$$Yes, indeed. They were shot at and discouraged and everything else. It took a strong, strong willed person to go through that. But I was the first one to--first African American to get a Ph.D. in mathematics from there. They didn't have anybody to get a degree in that area before. So I was an oddity in that respect I guess. So--but, but there were good people there too. I mean there were enough faculty members who were really nice, good people who weren't racist or anything, who helped me. Who told me, "Don't go to this instructor. You know, stay away from this person." And because you know, they knew that they would not treat me fairly. And, and that was good. And my major professors were, were excellent and they helped me out a lot. But when we had our first test in this class, a teacher'd given us back our papers and as I found out later, he was really one of the good guys. And everybody was trying to lean over to see what I had made on the test. (Laughter) Well it turned out that I had the highest score I believe than anybody in the class. And so the next time I went to class, I had people right--sitting right in front, right on each side and in the back. All of a sudden the stereotype had been broken down by one test score. And so black women can learn mathematics, you know. It's something that just occurred to them. So anyway they--from then on it was a matter of, you know they wanted me to come to functions they had. But the truth was I was limited in interacting with them because I was a homemaker too and I was a mother [to Rhonda Spikes Brown]. And I, and I really didn't have time to socialize. By the time I got through with my, my studies and all, there just wasn't any time left. And even then, I was hardly sleeping at night. Wasn't enough hours in the day. So when I, when it got around to--this was during the period in which I had told you that in '71 [1971] I was winding down on my dissertation and my father [Lawrence Granville Richard] passed away. And that really set me back a semester or so. But come the end of the summer, I had finished the dissertation completely. And all I had to do was to type it. So it was being typed during the fall semester. And I marched across that stage in December of 1971, and was awarded the doctor of philosophy in mathematics. But by that time it didn't mean as much to me anymore. I realized then that maybe I was doing this for my father who had missed out on something that was within his reach had he been given the opportunity. And so it was just another credential for me to go to work.$And, but then I came to a board meeting in Baton Rouge [Louisiana] in 1989, and little did I know that I would walk away from that meeting with an offer of presidency of Southern University [Southern University System]. Seemed like they fired the then-president [Joffre T. Whisenton] like on the spot. Asked him to leave right on the spot. He was a nice fellow, I liked him, he was good. I think what happened was that some of his close associates really undermined his work, which was unfortunate. And he, so he said, "Well Dolores [HistoryMaker Dolores R. Spikes], if anybody's going to take my place, I'd feel better if you took it." And so I, I felt better about entertaining the notion, but I told them I needed to go home and talk to my husband [Hermon Spikes] first. So I did. But as is the case usually with Southern University, there's some politics involved. Fellow named Buddy Roemer was the governor. Seems that Buddy holds the idea that he wanted to have Huel Perkins [HistoryMaker Huel D. Perkins] for president and that I could be chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus [Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]. I said well, "Joe," that's the chairman of the board was Joe Charra [ph.]. I said, "Joe," when he called with that notion that night, I said, "now I'm, I'm not--I'm happy at New Orleans [Southern University at New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana]. I'm not asking for either one of these positions. But the problems are all here on the Baton Rouge campus, and the only way I'm gonna solve them--." You got money problems, the campus was in financial exigency, the faculty was on the verge of an explosion because the board had allowed at that time salary increases for the system officers. And you just don't do that if you've got financial exigency on any one of your campuses. And the third thing was that there was an inspector general who was finding all sorts of wrongdoing on the campus, with some people even being arrested. And two years from then there was a Southern Association [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools] for accreditation visit coming up within in two years. I said, "Now with all of that going on, I'll take the Baton Rouge campus if you're gonna give me the same salary or more that you're gonna give Huel Perkins." "Well we can't do that Dolores. He's the president." I said, "Yeah, but I'm the work horse that you want and so I'm just telling you that, you know, I don't mind. Get anybody you want for the job. But that's it. So--and it's fine with me, you know, I really--if, if that's the way the governor and you all want," I said, "I'm, I'm fine at New Orleans. We're doing fine there." Getting fat with these people bringing me big cinnamon rolls and po' boys every day (laughter), but, but we're getting along fine. So the next--I kind of figured, you know, that they were gonna go along with the governor. So the next morning they called me, the board called me back for an executive session. So they said, "We want to offer you the presidency of Southern University." I said, "Will you also delay appointment of a chancellor to the Baton Rouge campus because what you really want me to do is to clean up this mess on the Baton Rouge campus. And you can't put somebody in between my doing this and, you know, and getting the job done right." So they said, "You will be chancellor for a couple of years if you want to be as well." So I held both positions.$$Now this is 19--$$This is 1989--$$--eighty-nine [1989] (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) to 1991 in which I held both positions.

Larzette Hale-Wilson

The 17th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. Larzette Golden Hale-Wilson was born in Idabel, Oklahoma, to Thomas and Mary Golden. Under Hale-Wilson’s leadership, the AKA Sorority underlined the accomplishments of contemporary African American women through the founding of its Heritage Series. She is also the first black female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States to also hold a Ph.D. in accounting.

Hale-Wilson was initiated into the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Langston University in 1937. She went on to graduate summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in business administration and secondary education in 1937. Hale-Wilson then married her college sweetheart, Dr. Henry William Hale in 1940. After completing her undergraduate studies, Hale-Wilson worked as a secretary to the business manager at her alma mater. She later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her M.A. degree in accounting and finance in 1943. In 1951, Hale-Wilson passed the Certified Public Accountant Examination, and in 1955, she earned her Ph.D. in accounting. She established her own CPA office in Atlanta that same year .

In 1958, Hale-Wilson was elected to the office of International Treasurer at the Golden Anniversary Boulé and used her professional skills to initiate the AKA Sorority’s coordinated central accounting system. She went on to serve as the Basileus-Elect in 1964, and in 1966, she was elected as the 17th International President of the Sorority. In 1968, Hale-Wilson began the Heritage Series and produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.

In 1971, Hale-Wilson and her family moved to Utah, and she was hired as a professor of accounting at Utah State University. She went on to write several articles in various business education journals including The Balance Sheet and the Journal of Business. In 1974, Hale-Wilson was appointed by the governor of Utah to the State’s Committee on Cultural Awareness and later she served as chair of the supervisory committee of the Utah State University Credit Union.

Larzette Hale-Wilson passed away on February 5, 2015.

Accession Number

A2008.056

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/17/2008

Last Name

Hale-Wilson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Golden

Schools

Langston University

First Name

Larzette

Birth City, State, Country

Idabel

HM ID

HAL13

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

6/8/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)

Death Date

2/5/2015

Short Description

Accountant and association chief executive Larzette Hale-Wilson (1920 - 2015 ) was the first black female CPA in the United States to also hold a Ph. D. in accounting. As president of the AKA sorority, she initiated the sorority’s coordinated central accounting system and began the Heritage Series, which produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.

Employment

Utah State University

University of Utah

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larzette Hale-Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers the Industrial Institute for the Deaf, Blind and Orphans of the Colored Race

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls becoming First Lady of Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson explains why she ran for Alpha Kappa Alpha supreme basileus

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls starting an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers becoming the supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about the problem of hazing in sororities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her proudest accomplishments with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls what she learned from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her vision of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her tenure as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson shares advice for future Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. leaders

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls rewarding experiences as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about The HistoryMakers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Transcript
Why do you think you were successful [as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. supreme basileus]?$$I had special expertise, I was a CPA [certified public accountant], I think that gave the sorors trust that we were handling the money right, because that's so important. I think that was the encouragement to think that I could make a difference and I did help us refine our accounting system, set up an investment fund so that we would have some savings to look forward to and I understand that that fund helped when we built the new building in Chicago [Illinois]. Two things, well, three things I did. I had a program for high school students, writing contest about black heritage and those who, papers who won, we had nine region, we'd have one from each region to win, toured the United States, very historical black places that--places where blacks had made real contributions. The other was, each, from each of the nine regions, this, the, the soro- the undergraduate soror who made the highest average, was given a free trip. After boule, we always went abroad and they would have that free trip and during the years, since then, I've had so many sorors say, "I won the trip to travel," (laughter) because that gave 'em a chance to travel abroad which they wouldn't have, some of them would not have otherwise.$$Okay, now how--$$And the third thing I did was to develop the heritage brochure [Negro Heritage Brochure] which was a little book, a booklet, that told the story of blacks who had achieved in various areas like black lawyers, black doctors, black nurses and that, it's just the size you could carry in your pocketbook but it, it was distributed to high schools over, over the country which I thought helped blacks be known by their own group.$$I remember that series. We had a--$$Oh, do you.$$--set of them at Wright State University [Dayton, Ohio], we used to use them for, like the Upward Bound program that we'd call Wright Start in those days. I remember that series. It had an illustration--$$That's wonderful.$$--on the cover, had black women in dentistry and law and different professions, yeah, I remember that.$$I think it helped encourage the undergrads too to see how people had achieved in various areas.$Who were some of the sisters that you really depended on when you were supreme basileus?$$Sumlin [HistoryMaker Bernice Irene Sumlin] was number one. She was chairman of my standards committee [National Standards Committee] and she and a soror from Clark College [Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia]. I had a committee of about seven sorors and they were, they were supportive and if we had problems, I would send the committee to solve it, rather than try to solve all of them by myself and the young lady who became after me, Mattelia Grays [HistoryMaker Mattelia B. Grays] from Houston [Texas], sometimes the incoming, the present basileus and the incoming basileus don't get along too good. Well, Mattelia and I have the record of being the best team and we've been friends ever since that. So, these seven ladies, and then I tried to pick at least one or two sorors from each region that I could relate to and they would alert me if we were having difficulties in any place and you could put out the fire before it became too dangerous.