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Milton Irvin

Investment banker Milton Irvin was born on June 18, 1949 in Orange, New Jersey to Milton M. Sr., and Dorothy W. Irvin. A graduate of Essex Catholic Boys High School in 1967 in Newark, New Jersey, Irvin received his B.S. degree in marine engineering in 1971 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York and his M.B.A. degree in finance in 1974 from the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Irvin joined Chase Manhattan Bank as corporate lending officer and assistant treasurer from 1974 to 1977. He then went to work for Salomon Brothers, Inc. in New York City from 1977 to 1988. Irvin then served as managing director at Paine Webber Inc. from 1988 to 1990 and then re-joined Salomon Brothers, Inc. as managing director, and the firm’s first African American partner where he worked from 1990 to 1998 and handled short-term debt securities for Salomon’s clients. Irvin was appointed to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation as chair of the Advisory Committee by President Bill Clinton and served from 1995 to 1998. He then joined Blaylock & Partners as president, chief operating officer and partner. Irvin was named managing director at UBS Investment Bank where he led the strategic and tactical execution of diversity initiatives. He also served as UBS global head of career mobility advisor office, talent executive for Leadership Development Program (ASCENT), and global head of recruiting and training for the Fixed Income, Rates and Currency Department from 2002 to 2012.

Irvin was appointed by President Barack Obama for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He also was appointed chairman of the Board of Advisors at CastleOak Securities in 2012. He served as non-executive chairman at NexTier Companies, LLC., a multi-disciplined consulting and investment advisory in 2013. Governor Nikki Haley appointed Irvin to serve on the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees in 2015. Irvin was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees for South Carolina State University in 2018.

Irvin was named one of The 25 Hottest Blacks on Wall Street by Black Enterprise magazine.

Milton and his wife Melody have three adult children including Brandon, Viola and Kesi.

Milton Irvin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.145

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/23/2018

Last Name

Irvin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School

Essex Catholic High School

United States Merchant Marine Academy

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

First Name

Milton

Birth City, State, Country

Orange

HM ID

IRV02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Antigua

Favorite Quote

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Birth Date

6/18/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hilton Head

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Investment banker Milton Irvin (1949- ) was managing director at UBS Investment Bank and before that, he was managing director at Paine Webber Inc. and Salomon Brother and prior to that, president and chief operating officer of Blaylock & Partners.

Favorite Color

Blue

Lloyd G. Trotter

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter was born on April 9, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio to Lillian Trotter and Reverend Lee Trotter, Sr. He graduated from John Adams High School in 1963, and entered an apprenticeship program with Cleveland Twist Drill. He studied at Cleveland State University while working at Cleveland Twist Drill, graduating in 1972 with his B.A. degree in business administration.

Trotter was promoted to a full-time product design and application engineer at Cleveland Twist Drill in 1967. He began working for General Electric (GE) as a field service engineer in 1970, where he was named vice president and general manager of manufacturing for the Electric, Distribution and Control division (ED&C) in 1990. That same year, he helped found the GE African American Forum, a mentor group for African American GE employees. While working in management at GE, he invented the Trotter Matrix, a tool for evaluating standards across various plants which was quickly adopted throughout the company. In 1991, Trotter became the president and CEO of the Electric, Distribution and Control division, and then to president and CEO of GE Industrial Solutions in 1998. In 2003, Trotter became senior vice president of GE Industrial, followed by executive vice president of operations at in 2005. In 2008, after almost forty years, Trotter left GE to become a managing partner at the private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners, which he founded with Ronald Blaylock, Arthur Harper and James Shepard.

Starting in 2008, Trotter served on the board of directors of PepsiCo as well as Textron, Inc., Meritor, Inc. and Daimler AG. Trotter also served on the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He received the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, and the GE Chairman’s Award for three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005. Trotter received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Cleveland State University, North Carolina A&T School of Business and Saint Augustine University. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) honored Trotter with a schoarlship established in his name, and the Harlem YMCA presented him the Black Achievers in Industry Award.

Trotter and his wife, Teri, have three children.

Lloyd G. Trotter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2016

Last Name

Trotter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

George

Schools

Cleveland State University

Bolton Elementary School

Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School

John Adams High School

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

TRO02

Favorite Season

Fall in US

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard - Sandy Lane

Favorite Quote

God Grant Me Patience, And I Want It Right Now.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/9/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern cuisine

Short Description

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter (1945- ) worked for GE for nearly forty years, where he served as a president and vice chairman of GE Industrial. In 2008, he became the full-time managing partner of the private equity firm, GenNx360 Capital Partners.

Employment

GenNx360 Capital Partners

General Electric

General Electric Industrial

Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd G. Trotter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his parents' move to Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls experiencing racial discrimination as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his immediate family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls the racial demographics of the neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the election of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about race relations at John Adams High School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls accepting an apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his promotion at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles as field service engineer and project lead

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working in Brazil

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the scope of his work at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls interviewing at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his brief career at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his first executive job at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about African American managers at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers Jack Welch's leadership style

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as a general manager at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his experiences as General Electric's first African American executive

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the Trotter Matrix

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his relationship with Jack Welch

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls pushing for greater diversity at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the founding of the African American Forum

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his relationship with NBC executives

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the African American Forum

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the changes at General Electric during the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter explains General Electric's business strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his challenges at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his interactions with government officials

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his involvement on non-profit boards

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the leadership of Jack Welch and Jeffrey R. Immelt

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the founding members of GenNX 360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as director of Genpact Limited at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles at GenNX360 Capital Partners and General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the success of GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the effect of government on GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his relationship with General Electric after retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his involvement in the National Association of Guardsmen, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his philosophy on mentorships

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter shares his advice to young professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his plans for the future

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric
Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric
Transcript
You start selling these tools that you have previously made and then designed and come across GE [General Electric]. Tell us about that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right. Well, what happened there was and I say selling but we were the technical support behind the distributors who had sales guys and one of our distributors had sold some tools to GE that made specialty equipment for making light bulbs. We call them lamps because you can get more money in margin by changing the name of it. But they sold light bulbs and they built this piece of equipment that was going to cut aluminum and it wasn't working and they were blaming it all on the tool. I got a call from our distributor; I need some technical help here. I went out and looked at it and I said, "Yeah the tools are not right for your application and I'll fix that for you but this is got to be your first chip cutting application that you've ever done." They guy on the other end of the conversation was a GE employee and he said, "How would you know that?" And I said, "Well the tools aren't right that's for sure but your speeds and feeds the way you're holding the part, the coolant that you're using to cool down the part they are all wrong too," (laughter) you know, kind of thing. And he looked at me and he says, "You sound like you know what you're doing," and I said, "Well let me tell you about my background," and he said, "Well would you be willing to help us?" I said, "I live down the street why don't every Monday we do a debrief and I'd tell you what I would do if in fact I was doing this application." They probably accepted 90 percent of my ideas.$$And you volunteered to do this?$$Well it's part of the job, you know. I want to sell more tools, I want my distributor to sell more tools and that was a part of the technical support for what you do. So they then had a run off date, we had the new tools there and so on and it went really, really well and what I noticed is it was over a six month period at a time, you know. So I noticed that there were a lot of more white suits and ties around for this run off than there was for the first one that failed. The guy that I worked with for that six month period at a time, he says, "I want you to meet my bosses' boss," and I said, "I'm glad to meet you and I hope we didn't let you down, we really want more of your business. The distributor here who ultimately is supporting you, he says they have a really great relationship so help us." He says, "Well let me talk to you one on one." He said, "Would you feel offended if I offered you a job?" I said, "Yeah I would, I have a job. If you're talking about a career I'd be willing to listen but I'm not out looking at all." He said, "I meant a career," and I said, "Well, let me make sure you understand. I don't have a resume I can put something together and I don't have a college degree at this point and I'm not starting over." He said, "Are you committed to getting a college degree?" I said, "I am not for you or not for anybody else because that's what I know I need to do." He said, "Well we want to talk to you about a career," and it was like I don't know three months later I got an offer and I was a GE employee as a field service engineer for their lighting division at Nela Park in Cleveland [Ohio] and that started my career.$As you are growing in your position [at General Electric], because you--it's at a pretty fast clip.$$Yeah.$$I mean you are being promoted almost every year it looks like. Who are your mentors?$$Well a lot; once you become a senior executive ban really Fairfield [Connecticut] takes over on placement and what you're going to do next. So a lot of the mentors that would maybe make a difference are in Fairfield the Jack Welch's of the world, the Ben Heinemans [Benjamin W. Heineman] of the world, you know people like that. But then on the sideline there are individuals who are your peers that you're also taking coaching from and having to get advice. But more importantly by then--by the time I got to leading a bigger business there were other officers of the company--twelve of them in fact that were in similar positions where we could mentor each other. Just because I was maybe a step ahead or whatever doesn't mean that they can't give you great advice and you can capitalize on what they're seeing and mold it into what you ought to be thinking about. So it comes from people below you, from people who are peers and people above you. Some of the best help I ever got in my manufacturing career was from hourly employees who gave me advice about you better watch your back (laughter). Now I remember early on in my career where I was an industrial engineer at a manufacturing plant and literally I had this brilliant idea that now in retrospect it wasn't that brilliant, it was really pretty bad and the plant they were threatening a strike, they were doing this and all of a sudden magically it started working and I'm standing there at a machine where I had done this it was like reduce the workforce by a third. They didn't get laid off, they went to other areas of the plant but we were going to do three times as much work with a third of the people and I thought it was great. I thought I had really thought it through and this young lady, Sadie [ph.] I remember her. She was a twenty-five year employee, African American female and I'm standing there watching it work, smiling and she said, "You're pretty proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah it's finally beginning to gel and it's working." And she said, "You are really proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah, I am." She says, "Well the reason it's working has nothing to do about you." I said, "Yeah? Tell me about it." She said, "Look they were getting ready to go out on strike, I've been here for twenty-five years and we had a meeting in the ladies' room." 60, 70 percent of the employees in the lighting plant are female. I said, "What went on in the ladies' room?" She said, "I told them we have dumb ideas for white folks, we're going to do dumb ideas for this black kid so get out there, we ain't going on strike, go to work." And she was the turning point. She was the turning point. I said, "Why would you do that for me?" She said, "I have a grandson about your age and he's out there doing dumb ideas too and I hope somebody saves his butt" (laughter). But all my life I've had secretaries and people like that who I had gotten to know who from different ways helped me, saved me, if you will, in some cases. If you are so arrogant you're not listening, you won't see that you know, kind of thing. But I've had people again below that were huge supporters and they did it in their own way. People who were peers who have been huge, huge supporters and they did it in their own way and then people from the top pulling me up. So it was that triangulation that really was the difference I think.

Khephra Burns

Author, fiction writer, and scriptwriter Khephra Burns was born October 2, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, to Isham and Treneta Cecelia Burns. In 1972, Burns received his bachelor’s degree in English literature and drama from the University of California at Santa Barbara, after which he moved to New York to launch his writing career.

In 1978, Burns joined the staff of PBS television affiliate WNET-Thirteen as a writer and associate producer. Burns remained associated with PBS and educational programming, producing documentaries about different aspects of the African American experience. Burns’s body of work includes several acclaimed books, including Black Stars in Orbit, Mansa Musa, and Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom that has Shaped Our Lives, which he wrote with his wife, writer and editor Susan Taylor. Burns also contributed to several monthly publications including Essence , Art & Auction and the Boulé Journal.

In addition to television and print media, Burns is also active in the theater arts; in 1981, he was commissioned by Harry Belafonte to write Stackalee, a full length stage drama. As a playwright, Burns also wrote African Odyssey, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1997, and Tall Horse, which played both in South Africa and in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in 2005. Burns has served as the Grand Graptor for Sigma Pi Psi and as a member of the Guardsmen.

Khephra Burns was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.215

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

9/13/2005

Last Name

Burns

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

University of California-Santa Barbara

McKinley Elementary School

Simi Valley High School

St Albert The Great Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Khephra

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

BUR13

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Asia, West Africa, India

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/2/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Author Khephra Burns (1950 - ) has written books, plays, and works for television; his work can also be seen in monthly publications including, Essence magazine, Art & Auction and the Boulé Journal.

Employment

Essence Magazine

Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.)

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Khephra Burns' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns describes the upbringing of his mother and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns describes how his family moved from New Orleans to Los Angeles

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns describes Los Angeles, California during his parents' childhoods

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Khephra Burns describes his father's upbringing and ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Khephra Burns recalls his father's career in aviation

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns describes the childhood of his father and his father's siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns describes his father's jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns recalls his childhood neighborhood in Compton, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns describes his elementary school experiences in Compton, California

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Khephra Burns describes attending St. Albert the Great Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns recalls the Watts riots of 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns recalls his experience with racial violence during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns describes his experiences at Simi Valley High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns reflects on his college years

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns recalls moving to the San Francisco Bay Area after college

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Khephra Burns recalls racial injustice during the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Khephra Burns reflects on his involvement with the Black Panther Party

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns reflects on the limits of nonviolent civil rights activism

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns describes his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns recalls getting a job at Golden State Mutual Life Insurance

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns recalls his influential friends from the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns describes coming to work for WNET-TV in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Khephra Burns describes his work for WNET-TV in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Khephra Burns recalls his early freelance career in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns describes how he met his wife, HistoryMaker Susan Taylor

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns recalls writing about African American culture for TV

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns recalls working on documentary films with William Miles

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns describes his career as an author

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns describes his career as a playwright

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Khephra Burns describes his play 'Tall Horse,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Khephra Burns describes his play 'Tall Horse,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Khephra Burns describes his membership in the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Khephra Burns describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Khephra Burns describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Khephra Burns reflects on political controversies of the 1990s and 2000s

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Khephra Burns reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Khephra Burns narrates his photographs

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Khephra Burns describes coming to work for WNET-TV in New York City
Khephra Burns recalls working on documentary films with William Miles
Transcript
Turns out his friend was Ellis Haizlip, who was a producer in New York [New York] at Channel 13 [WNET-TV] here in New York. Ellis, back in the late '60s [1960s], early '70s [1970s], Ellis produced a famous series for PBS [Public Broadcasting Service], a weekly show called 'Soul!,' introduced black culture to the nation through this public television show on NET, Channel 13.$$What date, what's the date?$$This was back in the late '60s [1960s] and early '70s [1970s], you know? But a lot of folks who, people of the world had never heard of, they first saw them on television on 'Soul!,' you know? Jazz musicians who you never saw on television, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, [HistoryMaker] Nikki Giovanni, Anna Horsford [Anna Maria Horsford], who was associate producer at the time, she went out and did some TV and she's in L.A. [Los Angeles, California] now, Anna was working there with us, I mean just, Ashford and Simpson [Nick Ashford and HistoryMaker Valerie Simpson], first time you ever saw them on TV. But just--Amiri Baraka, Louis Farrakhan [HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan], just black folks, anybody, who's who in the arts or in politics that you had never ever seen on television, you saw them on 'Soul!' for the very first time, you know? So, it was really a revolutionary groundbreaking program, so that's who came to stay in the house, and Ellis saw the treatment I had written, took it back to New York, I heard back from him a couple of weeks later, people at Channel 13 loved it, he wanted to fly me to New York, to meet with people at Channel 13 to talk about producing this and, you know, it turned into this TV miniseries, and everybody loved it. The only problem was, 'cause I didn't know what I was doing, you know, I was just writing a story, only problem was, there's things that dictate whether or not you can get a project done, and I didn't know any of that. I was very naive, I had a cast of thousands, it was a period piece with costumes and you know, location shots and this stuff is very expensive, Tammy, Tammy, oh what's Tammy's last name, Tammy Brown [ph.]? Ah, Tammy, I forget, she's still at Channel 13, I believe, but Tammy was program director at Channel 13, said, "You know, we all love this, there's only one problem," and Tammy's black, she can level with me, she said, "we totaled this up and this is about an $11 million project," now, we're talking 1978? Nineteen seventy-eight [1978], she said you know it cost them that much to do the Adams chronicles, which was a, you know, a series about the Adams and, you know, Quincy Adams [President John Quincy Adams] and, you know, the presidents and stuff, it cost them that much, said, "They're not gonna put that kind of money into a black project," I mean, you know, and she said that this is the reality of it, you know, she's just letting me know. And they didn't, and, but subsequently, [HistoryMaker] Harry Belafonte picked the option up on it for, 'cause he wanted to do it and he thought he could get money from NEH [National Endowment for the Humanities], and later, I think [HistoryMaker] Quincy Jones had it for a while, it never got produced. But enough people paid me the option on it sequentially that, you know, I was able to stick around in New York while I was trying to get work and I became a writer and associate producer at Channel 13 in Ellis' unit, a production unit and, you know, gradually built a career for myself here in New York.$How did you get into documentary filmmaking and what year did that come about?$$Again, just New York [New York] is such that you meet people at various functions and whatnot, there's a well-known filmmaker, Bill Miles, William Miles, who did 'I Remember Harlem,' 'Different Drummer' ['The Different Drummer: Blacks in the Military'], and some others, we did 'Black Champions' together, and which was a three hour series, documentary on black athletes, it covered all the sports.$$What year was that?$$Oh man, I don't know, is it on the resume, does it say, it was in the '80s [1980s], it might have been '86 [1986]?$$Okay.$$It might have been 1986, I think, when we did 'Black Champions,' and subsequently, I think a couple of years later, maybe in 1989 [sic. 1990], we did 'Black Stars in Orbit,' about the black astronauts at NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] and also the black scientists there working behind the scenes at NASA, and also, you know, African Americans in aviation that inspired those astronauts and that, you know, brought us up to that like the Tuskegee Airmen. So, that's, and that was a, I think that that documentary might have been two hours, you know? So, I did those two documentaries with Bill Miles.$$And a spinoff from that documentary led you into?$$Well some kind of way, I guess people at Harcourt, Brace and Company [Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich] saw the documentary, 'Black Stars in Orbit' and asked me if I would be willing to write a children's book based on that documentary, taking that same information that we, that we gave in the documentary, using stills and text to communicate this to children, you know, like around twelve-year-old kind of age, I guess, was the target or somewhere in there, you know? So, and I said, sure, so I did that and they liked it a lot.