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Joanne Collins

Political leader and city council member Joanne Collins was born on August 29, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri to William and Mary Frances Mitchell. She attended Attucks Elementary School, Northeast Junior High School, and Sumner High School. Collins attended the University of Kansas from 1953 to 1955, and went on to receive her B.A. degree in political science from Stephens College and her M.A. degree in business administration from Baker University.

After attending the University of Kansas, Collins worked as a postal clerk in Kansas City, Missouri, as a real estate agent for Robert Hughes and Company, and in community outreach at a local bank. During this time, she was an active member in the League of Women Voters and the Missouri and Jackson County Republican committees, and was appointed vice-chair of the Missouri advisory committee for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 1974, she was the first African American woman elected to serve on the Kansas City Council. Collins was re-elected to the position in the 1975, 1979, 1983, and 1987 general elections before retiring in 1991. During her tenure as councilwoman, she served as chair of the youth development committee, the community action committee, and the finance and audit committee, and as mayor pro-tem and acting mayor. Collins also worked part-time at United Missouri Bank while on city council.

Collins has volunteered with over fifty organizations. She served on the MOKAN Advisory Board and the Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center Advisory Board/KU. She was a member of Salvation Army, Church Women United/KCMO, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and a lifelong member of the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church/KCKS. She was also a member of the Black Women’s Political Congress, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Midwest Christian Counseling Center, and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

Collins received the Harriet Tubman Award from A.M.E. Zion in 1976, the Living Legend Award from the Heartland Women’s Leadership Council in 2010, and the James C. Denneny Spirit Award from the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City in 2013.

Collins has two children, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, two step-children, and six step-grandchildren.

Joanne Collins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.123

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/7/2019

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Marcella

Organizations
Schools

Crispus Attucks Elementary School

Northeast Junior High School

University of Kansas

Baker University

Charles L. Sumner High School

Stephens College

First Name

Joanne

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

COL39

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago

Favorite Quote

None

Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

8/29/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Kansas City

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Political leader and city council member Joanne Collins (1935- ) was the first African American woman elected to the Kansas City council, serving from 1974 to 1991.

Employment

Hull House

Kansas City Post Office

Robert Hughes and Company

Kansas City City Council

United Missouri Bank

Clendenning Medical Library

Kansas City, Missouri City Council

Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company Junior Association

Hall's Crown Center - Retail Sales Division

Wheatley Provident Hospital

The Greater Kansas City Baptist and Community Hospital Association, Inc.

United States Department of Commerce

United States Post Office

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Sheryl Williams Stapleton

State representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton was born on July 30, 1957 in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to Clementine Hendrickson and Walter Hendrickson. Williams Stapleton and her family moved to Chicago, Illinois, and then to Queens, New York, where she attended Hillcrest High School. In 1978, Williams Stapleton received her B.S. degree in education from New Mexico State University. She received both her M.A. degree in education in 1987 and her Ph.D. degree in education administration in 2013, from the University of New Mexico.

In 1984, Williams Stapleton joined the Albuquerque Public School District as an elementary school teacher. In 1991, she was elected vice chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party, and later served as its chair. In 1994, Williams Stapleton was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives. She was the first African American woman elected to the New Mexico legislature. As a state representative, Williams Stapleton advanced legislation that created the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs, the Charlie Morrissey Research Hall at the University of New Mexico, the African American Day at the New Mexico State Legislature, the African American Alice Faye Hoppes Pavilion, and the Sheryl Williams Stapleton African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico. Williams Stapleton served on the House Education Committee and the House Safety, Workforce and Economic Development Committee. In 2004, Williams Stapleton served as House majority whip; and, in 2015, she served as House minority whip. In 2017, she was elected House majority floor leader. She was the first African American woman elected to the New Mexico legislature. During her time as a representative, Williams Stapleton continued her career in Albuquerque Public Schools, working as a school principal and director of Career and Technical Education.

Williams Stapleton was a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Council of Negro Women. She served as president of the Duke City Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.

Williams Stapleton has received multiple awards for her work. In 2001, she was nominated as one of the three women who received the Women of the Year Award. Williams Stapleton has also been awarded the Who’s Who in Women of the World and the Who’s Who in Black America. The state of New Mexico also recognized her as an “Honored and Respected Woman of New Mexico.”

Williams Stapleton and her husband Edreade Stapleton have three children: Veronica Williams, David Hendrickson, and Edreade Stapleton, Jr.

Sheryl Williams Stapleton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/23/2019

Last Name

Williams Stapleton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Mae Rose

Schools

Elena L. Christian Junior High School

Roswell B. Mason Elementary School

Hillcrest High School

New Mexico State University

University of New Mexico

First Name

Sheryl

Birth City, State, Country

St. Croix

HM ID

STA13

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virgin Islands

Favorite Vacation Destination

The Island of Nevis in the Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Lord Have Mercy Upon Us

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Mexico

Birth Date

7/30/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albuquerque

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Brown-Stew Chicken with Rice, Plantains, and Salad

Short Description

State representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton (1957- ) was the first African American woman to be elected as a member of the New Mexico State House of Representatives.

Employment

Quaker Oats Company

Albuquerque Public Schools

New Mexico State Legislature

Favorite Color

Purple

Margie M. Tuckson

Corporate executive Margie M. Tuckson was born on March 20, 1952 in Mobile, Alabama. Graduating from Murphy High School in Mobile, Alabama in 1969, Tuckson enrolled at the University of South Alabama, Mitchell College of Business in Mobile, Alabama where she was a founding member of the Delta Sigma Theta Iota Nu Chapter. She received her B.S. degree in marketing and accounting from the University of South Alabama in 1973.

After graduation, she went to work for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in Mobile as product administrator, where she specialized in market analysis, product placement, internal and external executive training and product development. There, she was integral in the automation of the State of Georgia’s Department of Human Services-Child Support Services Program. She served in several management roles at IBM, and retired from the company after over eighteen years of service in 1991. Tuckson then worked as a consultant for a global aerospace and defense technology company Northrup Grumman in Los Angeles, California from 1991 to 1997. She also became the program manager for the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs from 1997 to 2000. In 2013, Tuckson served as chief financial officer and manager for Tuckson Health Connections in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tuckson was a member of the University of South Alabama National Alumni Association board of directors and served on the finance committee. She was also active with numerous organizations including Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Penumbra Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, Morehouse School of Medicine, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Council of Negro Women, Georgia CHARLEE, United Negro College Fund, Iota Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The LINKS Incorporated, Hank and Billye Aaron Scholarship Fund, Leadership Mobile, Pre-School for the Deaf, Daniel Freeman Hospital, American Cancer Society and Tuckson Health Connections Community Outreach Programs. Tuckson was appointed to the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees by Governor Kay Ivey in 2017, and confirmed by the Alabama Legislature on January 16, 2018.

Margie and her husband Reed V. Tuckson have four children; Kobi, Nia, Dominic and Lance.

Margie Tuckson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 5, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.031

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/5/2018

Last Name

Tuckson

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Caldwell School

Central High School

Alabama A&M University

University of South Alabama

First Name

Margie

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

TUC33

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

Life is Short.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/30/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Corporate executive Margie M. Tuckson (1952 - ) worked at IBM for over eighteen years and served as chief financial officer and manager for Tuckson Health Connections.

Employment

Tuckson Health Connections

City of Chicago

Charles Drew University of Science and Medicine

IBM

Favorite Color

White

Reverend Marcia Dyson

Civic activist and public relations expert Marcia L. Dyson was born on October 29, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Arthur J. Dixon Elementary School and Bowen High School in Chicago, Illinois. Dyson received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois in 1983, and went on to complete the University of Chicago Executive Business program.

In 1973, Dyson was hired as a teacher at the Holy Angels School in Chicago, Illinois. She then worked as an external auditor for James Fields CPA. From 1980 to 1982, Dyson served as the first chief of staff for Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Operation Push International Trade Bureau. She then briefly served as Black Family Magazine’s community relations director before establishing Marcia L. Dyson Public Relations in 1982. From 1983 to 1985, Dyson worked as an account executive for Aaron Cushman. She was then named senior manager for Margie Korshak Associates in 1985, and then worked as senior vice president of R. J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations from 1987 until 1990.

In 1990, Dyson was hired as the public information officer for the Mayor's Office of Special Events for the City of Chicago, where she hosted foreign dignitaries and served as the liaison to the Illinois Tourism Board, McCormick Authority Convention Center Board, Illinois Film Office and Chicago's religious community. In 1992, Dyson co-founded and served as president and CEO of M and M Dyson, LLC, an international consulting firm. She also founded Women’s Global Initiative, a for-profit organization that works to enhance the lives of women. In addition, Dyson became an ordained minister in 1999.

Dyson served as a presidential scholar at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina; was a social justice think tank executive board member for Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas; and served as an advisor to Howard University’s international programs. She has also contributed to Essence magazine, New Deal 2.0, The Grio, The Root and Huffington Post online media, and has been a reoccurring political strategist on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Show.

Dyson was selected to serve on the Women’s Global Summit Leadership board, and co-hosted the Africa’s First Ladies Summit in the Washington, D.C. area. She also helped create a Modern Narrative for Muslim Women. Dyson was named the first Chaplain for the Coalition of Hope, and has been an executive advisor and consultant to the Conference of Black Mayors. She was also a consultant to the Clinton Foundation on behalf of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). Dyson served as a board member of Nap Advanse (We Advance), and has also been a member of many women's organizations, including the Black Women's Round Table, Face to Face, and the Middle East Peace Civic Forum.

She has received numerous awards, including a Unita Award from the National Conference of Black Mayors; the U.S. Coast Guard’s Citizens Award; an Appreciation Award from the Institute for Diversity-Health; and a Humanitarian Award from the Global Institute.

Dyson is married to Michael Eric Dyson. They reside in Washington, D.C.

Marcia L. Dyson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.092

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/21/2014

Last Name

Dyson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Louise

Schools

Francis Parkman Elementary School

Carrie Jacobs Bond Elementary School

Arthur J. Dixon Elementary School

Hirsch Metropolitan High School

DePaul University

Bowen Environmental Studies High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Marcia

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DYS03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Haiti

Favorite Quote

I Am My Sister's Keeper.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/29/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Macaroni And Cheese

Short Description

Civic activist and public relations chief executive Reverend Marcia Dyson (1951 - ) worked on the political campaigns of Barack Obama, Harold Washington and Hillary Clinton, and founded the Women’s Global Initiative.

Employment

Holy Angels

James Fields CPA

Operation PUSH

Black Family Magazine

Marcia L Dyson Public Relations

Aaron Cushman

Margie Koshak Ass.

R.J. Dale Advertising

City of Chicago

M and M Dyson

Clinton Foundation for Reconstruction of Haiti

Ordained Minister

Favorite Color

Pale Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Marcia Dyson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her mother's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her mother's marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers living in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers living in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the Chatham community in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her involvement with black militant organizations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her experiences at Arthur Dixon Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers Hirsch High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her experiences at James H. Bowen High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her motivation to join the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her interest in math and science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the Black Peoples Topographical Research Centers

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her decision to leave the Black Peoples Topographical Research Center

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the legacy of the Black Peoples Topographical Research Centers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers teaching at the Holy Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the Communiversity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls joining the Operation PUSH International Trade Bureau

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her decision to leave Operation PUSH

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her exploration of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her start in the public relations field

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her experiences at Margie Korshak and Associates

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls working on Harold Washington's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon Harold Washington's mayoralty, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon Harold Washington's mayoralty, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers attending the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her time at R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers working with Mayor Richard M. Daley

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers meeting her husband, Michael Eric Dyson

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her marketing activities for Barack Obama and Michael Eric Dyson

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls her activism in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her experiences in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her introduction to racial violence in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson recalls serving on the executive committee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her move to New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers writing about sexual exploitation in black religious communities

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her interest in black spirituality

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her writing and speaking engagements in the early 2000s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the Coalition of Hope Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her advocacy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers founding the Women's Global Initiative

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her support for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon the importance of local politics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her work with the African First Ladies Initiative

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her role in the Middle East Peace Working Group

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes the focus on entrepreneurship at the Women's Global Initiative

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about the World Leaders Forum Dubai

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2016

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her relationship with her father

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Reverend Marcia Dyson talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Reverend Marcia Dyson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Reverend Marcia Dyson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Marcia Dyson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her involvement with black militant organizations
Reverend Marcia Dyson remembers her time at R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations
Transcript
As a teenager, now you had a teenage life that sounds a lot like a friend of mine we were discussing, Pat Simpson Turner [Patricia Simpson Turner].$$Yes.$$Who's a part of a--did you become a part of the topographical research center [Black Peoples Topographical Research Center, Chicago, Illinois] too?$$I--gave my mother [Rosa Fields Smith] a heart attack. The Nation of Islam, they wanted to adopt me. I think I was the only girl in the '60s [1960s] who would leave the house in a mini skirt, go into a phone booth, which we had phone booths back then, and change into a long skirt, long sleeves and a scarf, and go off to Mosque 51 [sic.]. And I was so great at what I was doing and learning the language and taking in the culture of, of this new religion, that when they found out, the minister found out that my mother was displeased with my joining the Nation, that he and sister Sarah [ph.] were going to adopt me. But I was inquisitive as always, and asked them some questions around the message to the black man and black superiority, of some kind of form or fashion. I was--put in my hand was 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' [Malcom X and Alex Haley]. And I was so excited. I was working at Herbert Muhammad's [Jabir Herbert Muhammad] Tastee Freez in fact and I was telling the brothers when they came back from a meeting, I wanted to take a hajj, I wanted to go to Mecca [Saudi Arabia]. And they said, "How do I know these things?" I said "'Cause I'm reading this book by Malcolm X, who is this man?" And they told me that I was committing treason and that he was a traitor. And because I had that closeness to the minister, I sat down and asked him those questions about Malcolm X. And I asked him about you know, him saying that God was a God of all men and that he saw white men with blue eyes and they were all--there was only one God and we were all God's children. And because I've always been this kind of Marcia Dyson [HistoryMaker Reverend Marcia Dyson], sort of in your face and inquisitive and adventurous, they put me out. So I left as Marcia X striving for my Marcia Shabazz, my chosen name if I'd completed it because they told me I had too much power and influence over the young women, and I asked too many questions and I was not a girl of faith. And so that really sort of busted my bubble because I was seeking something then. So my future brother-in-law, my current boyfriend at that time who became my first husband and my children's father, came back from Vietnam War and joined the topographical center. And he (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Now Vietnam vets founded the topographical center.$$Yes, that's right. And Jimmy [ph.] was a Ivy League sort of guy, the (unclear), Brooks Brothers shirt and khaki pants and I'm going like wow, what, what changed your life to go into this deep black-centric sort of phenomena happening in Chicago [Illinois]? And so I followed him in there blindly. Did this study, took the tours, you know, this topographical tours in Wisconsin and you know all of a sudden becoming aware of the man and scaring my mother again to death because her adventurous daughter was now going into these more dangerous waters because it was a little bit more militant. I used to call it quasi-Black Panther [Black Panther Party] to explain it to my friends who didn't understand what the topogra- topographical center was, but one thing I learned about it was cooperative communities. We had our own school. We had--would go to the farms together. We had fish shops and record stores and we worked this together. I'm not embarrassed to say I used to sell 8 track tapes collectively with some of the women and men at the "L" station [elevated train]. I've done it all, so. But it was very entrepreneurial. We bought buildings in South Shore [Chicago, Illinois] when there was a migration of the Jewish community into the suburbs more, or further north.$$Right, 'cause you're right. South Shore was Jewish largely (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It was Jewish. And at twenty-five I bought a building with my first husband for twenty-five thousand dollars on 68th [Street] and Paxton [Avenue].$$So your first husband was a member of the top- ?$$He was also a member of the topographical center, yes.$$All right. And I know they built a black martial art--$$Black martial arts, yeah, it was all of it. We owned a good piece of property, you know, collectively, in South Shore. We helped to develop with our collective money, the South Shore Bank [ShoreBank, Chicago, Illinois] where people like Carol Adams [HistoryMaker Carol L. Adams] who took the lead on that to stabilize it. And these were very intelligent, young, African Americans. They had Ph.D.'s, they were going to school, they were, you know, accountants. So we had a little bit of a great community within the South Shore area during the early and mid-'70s [1970s].$$Okay. Yeah the South Shore was making that transition. I didn't realize it when I lived there, you know, how recently it had been Jewish.$$Yeah it was, yes.$And in '87 [1987] also you changed employment again and started working for Robert J. Dale (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I did. And I wanted to do that because of the things that I was doing for Margie Korshak [Margie Korshak and Associates; Margie Korshak, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]. Again, I was the only black person in the agency of forty women, all young Jewish women. And it was a wonderful position to have. I learned a lot. But it was also stressful because it was--I would say a little bit racist too. You know, anything that happened in agency, the black woman did it, you know. And I was the oldest person as well. But because I had a sense of community and had so many various experiences, I could do the work quick because I knew how to connect people. And they couldn't believe that the black woman could do something successful unless she honestly slept with somebody, you know, and that to me was very demeaning. And when I met Bob Dale, who was also my profess- one of my professors in marketing at Chicago State University [Chicago, Illinois], he hired me and appreciated what I had done for Margie Korshak and wanted to bring those skills and consecutiveness to the agency [R.J. Dale Advertising and Public Relations, Chicago, Illinois]. And I was more than happy to go there.$$Okay. Yeah, [HistoryMaker] Robert Dale, one of the advertising, the black ad agencies, directors in Chicago [Illinois]. So what was it like working for Robert J. Dale? What, what ad campaigns did you work on?$$We worked on the Illinois State Lottery, which was great. The executive director happened to have been African American as well. We worked a little bit somewhat on McDonald's [McDonald's Corporation]. But what was great about the Illinois State Lottery is that it was at a time when corporations during Black History Month only wanted to talk about the black kings and queens of Africa. They wanted to talk about the black athlete or the black businessperson. But I collaborated with Bob and told him again from my teaching experiences and always connecting back to the community, that our children were undereducated and I saw so much promise in the kids because of my own children [Mwata Dyson and Maisha Dyson Daniels] and some of their classmates as well. So we created a campaign called the Illinois Young Black Achievers. We didn't want them to be stellar students. These were the students who got up and went to school with bullets pouring over their heads, whose parents were in prison or drug infested communities. And we made it statewide because Illinois lottery was statewide. And what was amazing about that is that we got applications from people who were not the best writers, who told us stories about kids who got up early in the morning, who didn't have clothes, who mother may have been on the streets, but yet they went to school, was a B student. To me that was an achiever. And Mr. Johnson [HistoryMaker John H. Johnson] was alive at the time. And Mr. Johnson let us host these kids to have a judging, and Oprah Winfrey was one of my honorary chairpersons for that honor, to honor these students. And so when they selected these students who were not the stellar students, who were not the children from middle class environments, but came throughout the state. We had some of those students; we didn't try to ostracize those students who were great, but I really wanted the opportunity for those unseen children who had potential to know that, so their commu- they could go back to their community and have a badge of honor that other kids in their neighborhood might want to aspire to. What was so great about that, was that we took those students down to the state capitol [Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois] because Illinois lottery was a state entity. And the legislators in their communities who did nothing for those kids, had to acknowledge them because they were actually placed in the records of Illinois as being Illinois Young Black Achievers. They were written in their state's history, and they had to take pictures with them. That to me was one of my proudest moments in marketing. Those kids being acknowledged, being seen, the parents who wrote those letters in broken English being heard, was one of the most important things to me in my career as a marketing person.$$Yeah that's--so what did--are there some follow up stories to some of the kids that were involved that?$$Only the fact that that program itself continued. The students, no because again I'm moving on to other things and trying to engage children like the Beatrice Foods Marathon [Chicago Marathon], Chicago's marathon, the same thing. It was a sleepy marathon. Ten thousand people would come from around the world to run in Chicago. I looked at the city map where they were running. Most of the tour was around projects, and no black people were out there. So I was able to take some of those world citizens to the schools in the ghetto so that they can know off the map what that person language was like, what that person's culture was like. They got a chance to meet people from Ethiopia, they got a chance to eat their food. We had community events. The bands came out and lined the, the track, the, the racecourse of the marathon. Harold Washington was alive, he came out and we took pictures with the banners. And it because a lot--it was written up in Wall Street Journal [The Wall Street Journal]. And from that, we trained some of the children in the projects for the marathon to actually run in the marathon. Never had happened before. Some of them almost finished, I mean never a winner, but a lot of them finished at a very early pace. And from that training, too came Midnight Basketball 'cause we used basketball as one of the sports to train the children to run. So that was another proud, proud moment.

Ted Childs, Jr.

Diversity strategist J.T. (Ted) Childs, Jr. was born on November 26, 1944 in Springfield, Massachusetts to John and Clara Childs. He graduated from Classical High School in 1962, and received his B.A. degree in psychology from West Virginia State University in 1967.

Upon graduation, Childs joined IBM as a personnel administration trainee. He went on to work in several staff and managerial positions at IBM, including program manager of personnel operations. He was subsequently appointed IBM's vice president of global workforce diversity, where he oversaw the company's diversity programs and policies. From March of 1983 to September of 1984, Childs served as executive assistant to Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, executive director of the NAACP, on an IBM Social Service Leave. In 1989, he was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to the New York State Governor’s Advisory Council on Child Care; and, in 1995, Childs was appointed as an official delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. In 1997, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin, appointed Childs as an advisor to the Secretary’s Working Group on Child Care. In 2006, Childs retired from IBM and founded the consulting firm, Ted Childs, LLC, where he serves as a strategic diversity advisor.

Childs is a member of the board of trustees, and past chair of the West Virginia State University Foundation. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC); The Families and Work Institute board of directors; was installed as a Fellow of The National Academy of Human Resources in 2001; and has served as co-chair of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Work Family Advisory Board. Childs holds life memberships in the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, The National Council of Negro Women, Inc., The National Organization of Women (NOW), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the NAACP, the Sierra Club, and the Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society.

In 1997, Childs was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the 25 Men Friends of the Family who have made it easier for working parents to raise and nurture children. In 1998, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies presented Joan Lombardi, U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, and Childs with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Childs also received the Corporate Leadership Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2003, the Work/Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute in 2004, and the Trailblazers in Diversity Award from the Chief Diversity Officer’s Forum in 2006. In addition, Working Mother Media announced The Ted Childs Life / Work Excellence Award to be given annually to the individual who by their distinctive performance has contributed to the field of Life / Work in the business community. Childs has received Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees from Pace University, West Virginia State University and Our Lady of the Elms College.

Ted Childs was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 20, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.115

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/20/2014

Last Name

Childs

Maker Category
Middle Name

Theodore

Schools

Eastern Avenue Elementary Public School

Buckingham Junior High School

Springfield Central High School

Lincoln University

West Virginia State University

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

Springfield

HM ID

CHI03

State

Massachusetts

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/26/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

South Salem

Country

USA

Short Description

Diversity strategist Ted Childs, Jr. (1944 - ) was founder of Ted Childs, LLC. He retired as IBM’s vice president of global workforce diversity in 2006 after thirty-nine years of employment at the company.

Employment

IBM

NAACP

Radm. Lillian Fishburne

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Fishburne was born on March 25, 1949 in Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduating from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) with her B.A. degree in 1971, Fishburne enrolled in the U.S. Navy Women’s Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1973. Fishburne went on to receive her M.A. degree in management from Webster College in 1980 and her M.S. degree in telecommunications systems management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1982. In addition, she is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C.

Fishburne was first assigned as the personnel and legal officer at the the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In 1974, she reported to the Recruiting District in Miami, Florida as a Navy officer programs recruiter where she worked until 1977. She then served as the officer-in-charge at the Naval Telecommunications Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Fishburne reported to the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the assistant head of the Joint Allied Command and Control Matters Branch. In 1984, she became an executive officer at the Naval Communication Station in Yokosuka, Japan before being named as the special projects officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate.

In 1992, Fishburne was appointed as the commanding officer of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Key West, Florida; and, in 1993, she was assigned as the chief of the Command and Control Systems Support Division of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Systems Directorate of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Fishburne assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Eastern Pacific Station in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 1995, and then reported to the Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the director of the Information Transfer Division. On February 1, 1998, Fishburne was promoted to U.S. Navy Rear Admiral making her the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Fishburne’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/28/2013

Last Name

Fishburne

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

William Harry Blount Elementary School

Rock Terrace Elementary School

Shih Lin

Julius West Junior High School

Richard Montgomery High School

Dickinson College

Lincoln University

Women Officers School

Webster College

Naval Postgraduate School

Industrial College of the Armed Forces

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Patuxent River

HM ID

FIS04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

There is a reason for everything.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Rear admiral Radm. Lillian Fishburne (1949 - ) was the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy.

Employment

Macy's

Chase Manhattan Bank

Naval Air Test Facility

Naval Telecommunications Center

United States Navy

Naval Communication Station

C4 Directorate

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station

Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lillian Fishburne's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne speaks about helping her father study for the E7 exam and how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her older brother and which parent's personality she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her earliest childhood memory and the sights, sound and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her elementary school experience and move to Rockville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family's move to Taiwan, China

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the role church played in her growing up, and her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her career aspirations in high school and attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her studies at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her commencement at Lincoln University and spoken word artist, Gil Scott Heron

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her job search after college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her training in the Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne comments on the treatment of minority women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about black women officers in the U.S. Navy and her duties as an ensign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her recruiting duties in Miami and work as a communications officer in Great Lakes Region

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her post graduate education and how she met her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her telecommunications training, the birth of her daughter, and early FORTRAN computers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work for the Pentagon and in Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the confidential nature of her work for the Pentagon

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne describes her work as Commanding Officer for Naval Computer and Telecommunications in Key West

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her command of the Naval Computer Telecommunications Station in Hawaii

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about being the U.S. Navy's first African American woman rear admiral

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the U.S. Navy's progress concerning race

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her family and her retirement from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her and her mother's illness and her interest in helping children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lillian Fishburne reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family, her philosophy on managing people and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey
Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy
Transcript
All right, okay. So all right so your first assignment in, at the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst. So you're, you're a personnel and legal officer. So, so what--tell us about it. How, how your first assignment went.$$It, it was a nice assignment for an ensign, really, really because I had to do a lot of things. We tested arresting gear and catapult gear, you know when you see on the carriers when they shoot the plane off of the carrier deck and when the plane lands, this, this wire, it traps this wire. Well that's, that's what we did. We tested those systems. So I got to--during down time when it wasn't very busy, the pilot would say hey, Elaine, you wanna go up for a ride? So I'd get to, to go up and do cat shots and arresting gear, you know, traps, as an ensign. But first of all I had to come to Pax River [Patuxent River, Maryland]. So they flew me in our little old prop plane, they flew me to Pax River and I got my seat check, this cord which permit--I, I go--that was the first time I'd been back to Pax River since I was there at that dispensary. And so when I got back, I got to you know, go on the, go on the, the airplane trips. So that, that was fun. The other part was that I was there when the Blue Angels crashed. You remember that crash in Lakehurst? The--traditionally when you know they visit a base, they do a, they do a flyover prior to landing. And so we were having a picnic after, after a baseball game I believe it was, and the command was having this. And so some of my shipmates were explaining the patterns and all that were, you know that they were flying and they explained the whole, whole tradition to me. And--$$Of the Blue Angels and the--what they--$$Yeah, about they're doing the flyover.$$And they're, they're like--for those who are watching this and don't understand, the Blue Angels are a special Navy group of--$$Acro--flight acrobatic team, yeah.$$Yeah, so flight, yeah acrobatic team.$$Right. Yeah, so you know they were explaining, that was the fleur-de-lis and they were explaining the different, the different patterns to me. And then one plane kind of--the wing kind of flipped up and got into another one and they said uh-oh. And we were some of the first to arrive at the, at the crash site even before the emergency people got there.$$So this, this is in, this is in--in '74 [1974] '75 [1975], '76, [1976]?$$I believe that was '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974]. Okay I mean it, it can be checked out by anybody watching this, but just to--$$Yeah, '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974], okay. That must have been a horr--well--$$Yeah, we went out to the crash site and once the, you know, we were looking for survivors and once the emergency personnel came there, they, you know, they made everybody leave and you know--when I got back to the base, you know actually the bottom, of, of, of, of my shoes were, they were just burned.$$So it was hot still?$$Yes.$$Now did everybody die in that crash? All, all the Blue Angels?$$No, not all of them.$$Okay, just a couple planes.$$The planes that crashed.$$Yeah, were the pilots well known there at the--$$I, I don't, I don't know if they were well known there.$$Okay. National tragedy, right?$$Yeah.$Okay, okay. Now what were some of the challenges I guess for women in the Navy, you know, as--that you've seen over the years? You're someone that, that kind of crashed through some barriers, you know you, you went through a couple, couple of ceilings to become a rear admiral. But, but what were some of the obstacles and maybe challenges for a woman in the, in the services as an officer in the Navy?$$Some of the, some of the challenges were for a while we were not permitted to, to, to serve on combatant vessels and not even commanding a vessel, combatant vessel. There are certain specialties that, that were not open to us. And so you know every time you take--you know there's a limit put on there as to what you can do, then that says hey, that decreases your chances for promotion. The numbers are not going to be there. The base number is, it's just not going to be there. So you know, you kind of look for, you kind of look for that niche. I found that niche in you know, communications where I could be "in direct support" of the operating forces. And you look at all the other things, you know, you know what have other people done? What's the background of those getting promoted? And, and, and you know, you, you got to work a plan and you also have to for me, I always wanted to have an option, you know. When I originally came in, I could sign up for three or four years. I signed up for three years because if I didn't like it, that fourth year would seem awfully long. So I sort of set a timeframe. I said okay, if I'm in five years, I'll shoot for twenty. But I always try to keep my options open that I could walk any time that I, that I was unhappy.$$Was there ever a time when you thought you might not, you know, you might want to--$$Yeah, there, there were times, of course. I, I preferred being out in the field, working out at the activities, you know, providing that operational support. I you know, I, I, I--if I had my druthers, I, I, I you know but headquarters has its, you know because then that gave me the big picture. But I just didn't like staff work. It wasn't my favorite. So there were times when I said I'm going, you know, it's time to pull the plug. And my husband said when it's time for you to quit or retire, you'll know it because you won't talk about it, you'll just do it.

Toni Fay

Communications executive Toni Fay was born on April 25, 1947 to George E. and Allie C. (Smith) Fay. Fay received her B.A. degree from Duquesne University in 1968. She obtained her M.S.W. degree, four years later, from the University of Pittsburgh. She also received her M.Ed. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. Fay began her professional career in 1968 when she was hired as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Welfare. She was then named the director of social services for the Pittsburgh Drug Abuse Center in 1972. Fay was also appointed regional commissioner of the Governor's Council on Drugs & Alcohol for the state of Pennsylvania, serving in that capacity from 1973 to 1976. In 1977, she was named director of planning and development for the National Council of Negro Women. She was then hired as an executive vice president of D. Parke Gibson Associates, a public relations firm.

In 1982, Fay was named manager of community relations for Time-Warner, Inc. in New York. After only a year with the media conglomerate, she was promoted to the position of director of corporate community relations and affirmative action. She would go on to serve in that role for ten years before being appointed Time Warner’s vice president and corporation officer. After eight years as vice president, Fay launched her own management consultant firm TGF Associates in Englewood, New Jersey.

In addition to her corporate career, Fay was a member of the transition team for former U.S. President William Clinton in 1992. She was also appointed by President Clinton to the boards of the National Institute for Literacy and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Fay has served on a number of boards for civic, social and educational entities, including that of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, UNICEF, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and Library, the Apollo Theatre Foundation, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Bethune Cookman College, the Coro Foundation, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, among many others.

Toni Fay was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.162

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/1/2012

Last Name

Fay

Maker Category
Middle Name

Georgette

Schools

Duquesne University

University of Pittsburgh

A Whizz Kids Preschool Inc Ii

A-Karrasel Primary Grade Center

Benjamin Franklin Junior High School

Teaneck Senior High School

P.S. 169 Robert F Kennedy School

First Name

Toni

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

FAY01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France, Morocco

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/25/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Englewood

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Communications executive Toni Fay (1947 - ) was vice president of Time Warner, Inc.

Employment

New York City Department of Welfare

Pittsburgh Drug Abuse Center

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

D. Parke Gibson Association

Time Warner, Inc.

TGF Associates

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Toni Fay's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Toni Fay lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Toni Fay describes how her maternal grandparents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Toni Fay describes her maternal grandfather and great uncle's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Toni Fay remembers visiting her grandfather in New Jersey after the 1967 Newark riots

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Toni Fay describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Toni Fay talks about her family's relationship to the Presbyterian Church

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Toni Fay recaps her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Toni Fay describes her mother's childhood in Harlem, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Toni Fay talks about her father and paternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Toni Fay talks about her father and paternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Toni Fay describes her father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Toni Fay talks about her father's start of an African American high school football league

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Toni Fay talks about her father's draft into the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes her family's perspective toward the draft

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Toni Fay explains how her parent met and fell in love

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Toni Fay describes her childhood home in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Toni Fay describes her parents' dispositions and considers her likeness to them

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Toni Fay describes experiencing discrimination in the Teaneck, New Jersey schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Toni Fay recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Toni Fay describes her childhood activities in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Toni Fay describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Toni Fay remembers beating Roosevelt "Rosey" Brown in ping pong

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Toni Fay talks about the distinction between Harlem and Washington Heights

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Toni Fay describes her experience at P.S. 169 elementary school in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Toni Fay describes her experience at Stitt Junior High School and moving to Teaneck, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Toni Fay describes playing in the band at Stitt Junior High School in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Toni Fay describes leaving New York City for Teaneck, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes how she avoided being held back from the eighth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Toni Fay talks about her neighbors in Teaneck, Jersey, including the Isley family, and northern migration to the suburbs

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Toni Fay describes attending summer camp and other structured activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Toni Fay describes the racial discrimination she experienced in Teaneck, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Toni Fay talks about entertaining her parents' friends

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Toni Fay talks about her father's establishment of a football team in Teaneck, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Toni Fay recalls attending the March on Washington in 1963 and boycotting companies that were segregationist

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Toni Fay talks about Malcolm X and remembers visiting "Southern" cousins in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Toni Fay talks about her decision to attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Toni Fay explains why she elected not to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Toni Fay describes her undergraduate experience at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Toni Fay talks about HistoryMaker Ronald Davenport, then-professor in the Duquesne University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes being accepted into graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Toni Fay talks about her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Toni Fay talks about her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Toni Fay talks about heading the Governor's Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Toni Fay talks about her parents' mentorship

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Toni Fay talks about C. Delores Tucker, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Toni Fay describes moving to San Francisco, California briefly after leaving her job in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Toni Fay talks about C. Delores Tucker, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Toni Fay talks about moving back home after spending one year in San Francisco, California

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Toni Fay describes interviewing with and being hired by HistoryMaker Dorothy Height

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes initiatives she oversaw at the National Council of Negro Women

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Toni Fay describes being hired by the D. Parke Gibson Association public relations firm

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Toni Fay describes being hired at Time Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Toni Fay describes her experience at Time Inc. and relationship with executive William J. Trent, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Toni Fay describes making connections with Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, and others through the Black Leadership Family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Toni Fay talks about the members, requirements and objectives at the Black Leadership Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Toni Fay describes the development of her literacy program at Time Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Toni Fay describes the literacy program she developed at Time Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Toni Fay talks about Time Inc.'s merger with Warner Communications Inc. in 1990

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes working on 'Songs of My People' photography book

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Toni Fay describes meeting HistoryMaker Quincy Jones and her involvement in the Listen Up Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Toni Fay talks about becoming Time Warner's first African American officer

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Toni Fay describes working on 'Americanos: Latino Life in the United States' and Gordon Parks' 'Half Past Autumn' at Time Warner

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Toni Fay talks about the external projects she worked on, including the Business Policy Review Council

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Toni Fay explains why the Business Policy Review Council stopped operating

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Toni Fay talks about her retirement from Time Warner

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Toni Fay talks about challenges surrounding the preservation of the Apollo Theater

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Toni Fay talks about her role in the revitalization of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Toni Fay remembers HistoryMaker Ossie Davis

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Toni Fay describes her role on President Bill Clinton's transition team

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Toni Fay describes her literacy work with the Clinton Administration and Time Warner Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Toni Fay lists various boards she has served on over the years

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Toni Fay describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Toni Fay reflects considers what she might have done differently

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Toni Fay considers her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Toni Fay talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Toni Fay shares her advice to young professionals

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Toni Fay describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Toni Fay narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Toni Fay narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Toni Fay talks about heading the Governor's Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Pennsylvania
Toni Fay describes working on 'Songs of My People' photography book
Transcript
And I got--as I said, I think I've been blessed my whole career. All of a sudden, there was a brand new agency being started by Governor Milton Shapp in Pennsylvania. And it was to be the single-state agency for drug and alcohol abuse. Again, this was a whole new wave in the whole health and mental health arena nationally. So he started it, and the single-state agency was called the Governor's Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. And for some reason, I was hired to be head of the whole region, which put me in charge of twenty-four counties in western Pennsylvania in allocating their drug and alcohol money for their county programs and other things. It's the first time I'm managing a staff, first time I was traveling statewide to look at programs. So I learned so much, and the first time I had to deal with administration, with panels. So I was taken from a community-based activity, thinking about, you know, we're just gonna improve the lot of people, to an administrative position dealing with budgets and money and plans and, and more racism, which was easier because outside of Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], if you know western Pennsylvania and you should coming from Dayton [Ohio], I mean it's Appalachia in some places. I remember going to one of my counties and the, the county commissioner was blind. And I'm walking in to introduce myself, and he said, "Oh, yeah, I heard this, this colored gal got that job." I said, yes, and she's right here in front of you, you know (laughter). And what, and, and you have a request before me, you know. So, you know, I learned those--it was like the sum total of the things I had learned from Teaneck [New Jersey] (laughter), that I had to bring to that experience too. But it was a great job. I mean it propelled me totally out of traditional social work into now looking at this whole understanding of public health systems and administration and managing people.$There were two things going on that propelled me in getting my officer's stripe, which was unbelievable. First, I had this, "what the hell" attitude. I'm just gonna keep my head down and not stay in the gossip, rumor mill about who's on first, who's on second. My boss, who was then Jerry Levin [Gerald Levin], who became the chairman of Time Warner later on and did the AOL deal to our, our chagrin, Jerry said, call me only if you need me 'cause he was in his own political battle. So, you know, we were all just holding on. None of us were gonna put our hands up to say, "I'm leaving" 'cause they said, "Oh, at least let's get a package if we're gonna leave." So that's when I was approached to take on this project called 'Songs of My People.' I had gotten a call from a couple of the photographers that were looking at some way--quite frankly, they were a little outraged that this project around black women had traveled all around the United States and gotten such notoriety and there weren't any black photographers engaged in it. So many of them had gotten together, who were the top photographers in many of the newspapers around the country to say, let's do a day-in-the-life kind of concept. They brought it to me. I said, this is fabulous. Now, how am I gonna talk this company into it? I went to our book company and said, you all got to do this. They said, it sounds good. I said, I want us to get into the exhibition thing. We could travel this to all of our markets because in the newspaper--I'll never forget, when I went to the chairman, I said, "Look, Jerry, every paper is talking about records and synergy and movies and synergy. Not one is mentioning books, not one is mentioning magazines, not one is mentioning--it's all about now, this new entertainment complex. I have a book project that I wanna get all of our businesses engaged in." And it's gonna propel our agenda in terms of saying to the black community, we are here and the white community too. And think about all these museums. You like culture. Well, I sold it to Jerry to say--he said, "Toni, I like your thought." He said, but I don't even know how we're gonna pay for this. If we have to commit to fund an exhibition, all our money's tied up in this deal. Do you know how I got the exhibition funded? There was a line that the banks had not attached that was the retirement gift for Dick Munro, who was the outgoing CEO. That was the only line not attached in the deal we're paying for this merger (laughter). So if you ever see any literature from 'Songs of My People,' 'cause it traveled in over a hundred countries, you know, through the State Department [U.S. Department of State]. I mean it's just great. It always says, and "Is dedicated to Dick Munro through his retired," (laughter). It went on for five years. It was a major book, gangbusters exhibition. And what I liked most about it, and I think why people remember me and always come up to me and all of our executives in the company and said, "I'm one of the 'Songs of My People' photographers. They all got better jobs. Some became the press secretaries for Clinton [President William "Bill" Clinton] and everybody got promoted at their newspapers. And that's also how we got so much press 'cause when we would hit town, all of a sudden they could go to their publisher and say, look, I'm in this exhibition, and this is in our town. So you're gonna get some play. I mean it was just gangbusters. It was a landmark thing for the craft of photography. So that was one--

Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake

A co-pastor at one of the largest churches in New York, Reverend Elaine Flake was born on July, 2, 1948 an only child to Leroy and Lorene McCollins in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1970, she graduated with her B.A. degree in English from Fisk University and went on to get her M.A. degree in English from Boston University. In 1993, Flake earned her Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She was also awarded a D.D. degree from United Theological Seminary in Ohio where her husband, the Reverend Floyd Flake was an alumnus.

In 1976, Flake assumed a leadership role at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York alongside her husband. Through their work, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral became the 57th largest church in America and was featured nationally in media like Ebony Magazine and The History Channel. In 1983, she co-founded the Allen Christian School in Jamaica, NY, serving over 500 African American students. She went on to found the Allen Women’s Resource Center providing services to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. The Center is also partnered with New York’s ‘Superwoman Program’ to help women find untraditional career fields. That same year Reverend Flake began the Allen Prison Ministry, the Allen Cancer Support Ministry, and the Allen HIV/AIDS Spiritual Support Ministry. These resources together made the Cathedral a central point in Queens, New York. For twenty-seven years, she has also hosted annual spiritual retreats/conferences for women. In 1999, she became the co-Pastor of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York.

In the late 1990’s Flake contributed to publications about spirituality including the Women of Color Study Bible compiled by World Bible Publishing and Souls of My Sisters: Black Women Break their Silence, Tell Their Stories, and Heal Their Spirits edited by Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy. In 2003, Flake and her husband co-authored their own book Practical Virtues: Everyday Values and Devotions for African American Families Learning To Live With All Our Souls filled with historical narratives related to spiritual values. Together they also wrote the African American Church Management Handbook and in 2007, Flake alone wrote God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Flake lives in New York City with her husband Floyd and they have four adult children, Aliya, Nailah, Robert, and Harold.

Elaine Flake was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.006

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/27/2010

Last Name

Flake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hamilton Elementary School

Fisk University

Boston University

Union Theological Seminary

United Theological Seminary

Hamilton High School

Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Elaine

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

FLA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

There Is No Substitute For Common Sense.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake (1948 - ) was a pastor at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in New York City, a co-founder of the Allen Christian School and the author of God in Her Midst: Preaching Healing to Hurting Women.

Employment

Newton Massachusetts School District

Allen Christian School

Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Favorite Color

Peach

Timing Pairs
0,0:5742,132:6264,139:10106,159:11708,185:12153,191:12598,198:17092,253:30567,544:31260,551:33493,585:44800,665:45175,671:45700,680:48775,746:49075,751:50200,769:50500,774:50950,781:51925,806:53575,834:54025,841:54325,846:57925,964:77470,1250:84070,1405:84370,1410:94022,1555:94638,1565:109758,1823:116688,1946:121355,1970:121805,1978:123005,1995:124430,2024:124880,2031:131180,2150:134255,2223:143210,2265:144890,2289:145478,2298:152799,2380:153075,2385:153903,2403:154593,2415:156732,2456:158595,2490:159837,2511:160458,2521:160734,2526:164590,2538:165211,2549:166750,2573$0,0:9072,261:9912,282:50743,835:51155,841:57876,903:59168,929:59624,936:65172,1030:65780,1039:67984,1110:68592,1119:70568,1151:76648,1253:76952,1258:86646,1342:87482,1355:88090,1364:88470,1370:89002,1378:94626,1452:110882,1611:112701,1632:113129,1637:125370,1730:126099,1754:129420,1831:138654,1948:144302,1989:144830,1995
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her family's land ownership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her paternal uncles' departure from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her father's U.S. Navy service

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers segregation in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake compares the racial climate in Tennessee and Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her schooling in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the class distinctions within the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the integration of public accommodations in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her social life at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her experiences at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers moving to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the reactions to President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers joining the African Methodist Episcopal Church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls founding the Allen Christian School in Queens, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the Allen Christian School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the founding of the Allen Women's Resource Center

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the challenges faced by female ministers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her reception as a female preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the election of Bishop Vashti McKenzie

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls her theological education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes the ministries of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about her concerns for the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the reassignment of pastors in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake talks about the importance of female ministers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake remembers her calling to the ministry
Reverend Dr. Elaine Flake recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Transcript
I did not ask you, what was the nature of your call to the ministry (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) My call?$$Yeah.$$I think, to be honest with you--now, I've always loved church. I'd never seen a female preacher. And remember I said when I heard the Reverend Nurjhan Govan preach at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Cambridge [Massachusetts], I cried for a week. I just couldn't stop crying. So my pastor then, John Bryant [John Richard Bryant], said to me, "Are you okay?" He said, "Are you sure you're not being called to preach?" And of course that was a foreign concept to me, because I never knew that women--and I can't say that that was the call. But I think that may have opened the door, or that may have been the beginning of it. Then when we came--and I've always been involved in church, always loved church. So, I worked very hard at the church there in Cambridge. Then when I married Floyd [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake] and we came here [Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Jamaica, New York], it was just kind of a natural fit. I just do church; I just love church. And so I took the missionary society, I took the women's department. And then people began to ask me to speak, ask me to come and speak for Women's Day, and to speak for different occasions in the church. And so then I was out there doing it. And then finally somebody said, "Well, you may as well make it official." In fact, I think it was my former pastor who said, "You know, you're jack legging. You may as well make it official." So I cried and prayed, and I went to see Dr. Jim Forbes [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.] down at Union Seminary [Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York], because I needed a voice that was not--you know, kind of a detached voice--not my husband, not people who knew me well. And I had met Dr. Forbes and I asked for an appointment, and he listened to me. And he said, "I just think you just are hard to convince. But I think that, you know, God is really calling you." And he encouraged me to go to the seminary. And that's kind of how it happened. It was kind of a--you know, I was not knocked off my donkey on the Damascus Road. It was just kind of an evolution into ministry. I've always done ministry in terms of working and fundraising and missions, outreach. But all of a sudden, people were just asking me. I was getting all these invitations to come and preach, to speak, not preach. And so I just kind of went into it that way, very cautiously, asking for signs all along the way.$Now you were out of high school [Hamilton High School, Memphis, Tennessee] when Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was killed.$$Well, I was at Fisk.$$You were at Fisk.$$I went to Fisk University [Nashville, Tennessee].$$Okay.$$On April 4, 1968. I remember we were, we were at--a friend of ours had gotten her boyfriend's car, or her brother's car, and we were driving around listening to the cassette tapes then. And when we got to campus, we saw the campus was deserted. And I remember the dean of students running across campus telling us, "Get in, get in." You know, they just, Dr. King had just been assassinated. So, I remember it was just hysteria. And we had to run to our dorms, because the riots, there were riots in Nashville [Tennessee] that night. And I can remember just the anger. And the girls, you know, they made stay in the dorm. The boys somehow got out. And I remember hanging out of a window throwing Coke bottles [Coca-Cola] down to the boys so they could go take them. And they were throwing bottles into the--I don't know if I should be telling this. They were throwing bottles into the car windows of people. You know, just the rage, the anger, that was felt. And the girls couldn't do anything. The only thing we knew to do was to give them ammunition. So, in the girls dorm--and then I remember the National Guard walking across our campus and surrounding our dorms trying to keep us calm.$$Now, what did Martin Luther King mean to you?$$Well, for us, Dr. King was the engineer of the Civil Rights Movement. He was our voice, he was our hero, he was our Moses. So, the idea that someone would assassinate him produced, evoked a kind of rage that--it was even hard--it was hard to contain, it was hard to express. The tears, the anger--you know, it was a mess in there, in that dorm, you know. People were just angry, but we couldn't strike out at each other. They were hitting walls and breaking bottles, you know, just--it was awful.

Bunnie Jackson-Ransom

Bunnie Jackson-Ransom was born on November 16, 1940 in Louisburg, North Carolina to Burnell James Hayes and Elizabeth Day Hayes. She attended North Carolina College in Durham, North Carolina, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in business and a minor in education. Jackson-Ransom then received her M.S. degree in business from North Carolina Central University School of Business and Economics in 1969.

Jackson-Ransom was hired as an instructor of business and supervisor of secretarial services at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She then joined Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc., where she was a contract specialist, program coordinator, director of planning and program development during her five-year tenure. In 1965, she met and married Maynard Jackson, who went on to become the first black mayor of Atlanta in 1973; Jackson-Ransom and Jackson divorced in 1976.

In 1975, Jackson-Ransom founded firstClass, Inc., a company specializing in marketing, community affairs, communications and public relations. With firstClass, Inc., she has worked with many clients including The National Conference of Black Mayors, Waste Management, Inc. and the Burger King Corporation. Jackson-Ransom is responsible for designing and implementing many on-going community action projects for her clients, working to include the goals of the urban community that benefit and enhance the lives of the least fortunate. In 1978, Jackson-Ransom worked with Bernadette Carey, publicity director of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, on a line of black cosmetics. She would later marry Raymond Ransom, a bass player for the musical group, Brick. From 1979 to 1983, Jackson-Ransom was owner and operator of Airport Amusement Concessions at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. She also managed the careers of several performing artists between 1978 and 1988 when she served as Chief Administrative Officer of a conglomerate company under the umbrella of Atlanta Artists. For Atlanta Artists Management, Jackson-Ransom served as president. She managed multi-million dollar record sales, toured the world with performances and promotions, negotiated production deals for her artists (which included CAMEO and Larry Blackmon, The SOS Band and Cashflow) and carried her artists to gold and platinum record status. She also served as an instructor at Georgia State University teaching a course called “Artist Representation” from 1981 to 1990 and in 1995.

Jackson-Ransom is a member of the Atlanta League of Women Voters (organizer of the Cascade Heights Branch), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Executive Committee member of the Atlanta branch of the NAACP, the Azalea Chapter of The Links, Inc., the Metropolitan Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women and the National Council of Negro Women. Her awards include Outstanding Young Women in America (1970-1980). Jackson-Ransom has been listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in Georgia and Who’s Who in Black America from 1981 to the present. She was listed in Dollars and Sense Magazine as one of “America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women” in 1985. She was also listed among Atlanta’s “Top 100 Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League from 1997 to 2005 and received a community service award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in January of 2008.

Jackson-Ransom is the proud mother of four (Beth Jackson Hodges, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Rae Yvonne Ransom and Maynard H. Jackson, III), grandmother of five (Isabella Daisy Jackson, Luke Benjamin Jackson, Hayes Jackson Edmond, Brooke Lee Irene Edmond and Cassandra Elizabeth Edmond) and is an active member of Cascade United Methodist Church.

Jackson-Ransom was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.113

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/27/2007 |and| 7/13/2010

Last Name

Jackson-Ransom

Maker Category
Schools

Franklin Country Training School

North Carolina College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Bunnie

Birth City, State, Country

Louisburg

HM ID

JAC24

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, seniors, women's groups.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Adults, seniors, women's groups.

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any City

Favorite Quote

Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/16/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Marketing entrepreneur and music manager Bunnie Jackson-Ransom (1940 - ) owned and operated Atlanta's Airport Amusement Concessions and managed the musical groups, The SOS Band and Cameo.

Employment

firstClass, Inc.

Bennett College

Economic Opportunity Atlanta

Georgia State University

The North Carolina Fund

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her community in Louisburg, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers harvesting tobacco

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her relationships with her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the Franklin County Training School in North Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the South Main Street Baptist Church in Louisburg, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the Franklin County Training School in North Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls the television programs and music of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls the teachers at the Franklin County Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls North Carolina Central University at Durham in North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her marriage to Donald Burke

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers returning to school after her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her work at the James E. Shepard Memorial Foundation, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers earning her M.B.A. degree

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls teaching at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her introduction to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Julian Bond

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work at Economic Opportunity Atlanta, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work at Economic Opportunity Atlanta, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the planning department of Economic Opportunity Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes Maynard Jackson's political career, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes Maynard Jackson's political career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's election to Atlanta vice-mayor

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls her volunteer work in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Maynard Jackson's first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work with formerly incarcerated women, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work with formerly incarcerated women, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about representing artist Ernie Barnes

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers founding firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls becoming the sole owner of firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the development of her clientele at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her celebrity clients at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her divorce from Maynard Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers meeting Ray Ransom

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work in the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her marriage to Ray Ransom

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her community engagement at firstClass, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her organizational affiliations, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her organizational affiliations, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes the Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her board memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her retirement

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Bunnie Jackson-Ransom's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls joining the sit-in movement in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls meeting Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her marriage to Maynard Jackson

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the events of 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's U.S. Senate campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls Maynard Jackson's vice mayoralty of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the law firm of Jackson, Patterson, and Parks

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her work in the entertainment industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom reflects upon the death of Michael Jackson

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers Lena Horne

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her marriage to Ray Ransom

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers managing The S.O.S. Band and Cameo

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls leaving the entertainment industry

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom recalls developing her corporate clientele

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her venture into public transit advertisement

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers her venture into airport hospitality

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her daughter, Rae Ransom

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her grandchildren

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom talks about her book, 'Getting the Word Out'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom describes her plans for the future

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Bunnie Jackson-Ransom narrates her photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$7

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers harvesting tobacco
Bunnie Jackson-Ransom remembers the sit-ins in Durham, North Carolina
Transcript
Then, during the summer, in another area of, of property that my father [Burnell Hayes] owned, he would plant tobacco and cotton, and during the summer, he would harvest the cotton and the tobacco. And he would get people to go out and pick cotton and, and, and pull tobacco, where you would pull it from the bottom of the stalks. As the stalks would grow, you'd pull the tobacco out, off, and get them cured. And there would be thick worms, oh, and the worms would frighten me, obviously. But my mother [Elizabeth Day Hayes]--this is a story--my mother had some white leather glove, and my father wanted me to work with him in the summertime. So I discovered that working in, in the tobacco part would keep me out of the sun because there was a big shade tree, and they would wrap the tobacco. In other words, they would harvest the tobacco, bring it to this particular area in a manmade tobacco truck, which they pulled. And the peo- and the people, the workers would take the tobacco leaves out of the truck, and wrap them around a stick. You call that wrapping tobacco, so I discovered that if I wrapped the tobacco around the stick, getting it ready to put it in the barn, so it would cure, that I could do that in the shade, rather than in the sun, where they were really pulling it. So I got my mother's white leather gloves, put them on, because when you handle tobacco, there was sticky stuff that would get all over your hands. It would turn your hands black. It, it would coat your hands. So, I'd gotten my mother's white leather gloves (laughter), put them on, and wrapped tobacco (laughter). Obviously, my mother was furious. She never had another pair of black leather, black, I'm sorry, white--$$White--$$--white leather gloves because I ruined them wrapping tobacco. But I remember her telling me, "Sug, you know, you should not have done that." But my mother was very loving and very kind. She didn't spank me. I wonder why--I would have spanked me (laughter).$Well, what happened during the sit-in, when you went in to sit-in, tell me what ha- what transpired while you were there.$$We were coached on why we were going, and we were coached on what not to do, you know.$$What were some of the things you were taught, or told to do or not do (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) We were told not to get angry. We were told not to talk back. We were told to just sit-in, be calm, be quiet primarily, and be pleasant, not to be rude, and to behave (laughter). And so, we did that. Now, you know, there were a lot of us, so we were, we were typical eighteen year olds, seventeen year olds. I was seventeen at the time, and I think I was just as concerned about who I was sitting next to, as I was about why I was sitting there, because that was what was on our minds. And they took Mr. McKissick [Floyd McKissick], and somebody whose name was--he was president of our student body, and his name will come to me, but he was also a, a student leader who galvanized us together and, and sent us there.$$When you say a lot of students, was it a hundred?$$Fifty.$$Fifty?$$Um-hm.$$Okay. And the police came in. Tell me what happened after the sit-in (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The police came in, and herded us all out, and we were told to, to move, and we were told, oh, we were told to, to be still when we were asked to move. We knew that we were going to be asked to leave. And we were told to just sit there. So we sat there, and then we were told that we were going to be arrested if we didn't leave. And we continued to sit, and so we were, we were all asked to leave, and we walked outside of the store. And then, there was the vehicle there to put us in the back of a van, and take us to the jail. Well, that never happened. That's when the negotiations must have happened because we were all told to go back to the campus.$$And the outcome of the sit-in? Did they do any good?$$Oh, well ob- yes, it (laughter), it, it did, but at that point, we didn't go--I did not go back to sit-in again. Once again, I, I had a child [Elizabeth Jackson Hodges]. My oldest daughter was born, and so I had some different responsibilities that led me to go to class, and I had jobs and so forth. So, I didn't never go back to sit-in. My experience was that one time.$$Okay. So, and tell me what year your daughter was born.$$She was born in '59 [1959].$$All right. So, the next--$$This was in February, February or March of '60 [1960] when we were sitting in.

Dorothy Harrison

Educator and former president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Dorothy Penman Harrison was born Dorothy Marie Penman on December 8, 1907 in Portsmouth, Ohio. Harrison’s parents were former teacher, Annabelle Layne, and chef, Victor Logan Penman. Harrison grew up in Portsmouth where she learned to read and took piano lessons. Attending all black Eleventh Street Elementary School, Harrison graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1924. At Fisk University, she studied history with A.A. Taylor. When both of her parents passed away in 1926, Harrison returned to Ohio and taught school. She earned her B.A. degree in education from Ohio State University in 1932. That same year, Harrison joined the Epsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and married educator, Dr. Gerald Lamar Harrison. Her husband earned his Ph.D. in education from Ohio State University in 1936 while he was serving as head of the Education Department at Prairie View A&M College in Texas.

In 1940, Harrison moved to Oklahoma when her husband was named president of the Colored Agricultural and Normal University. The college was renamed Langston University in 1941. As first lady to the president, Harrison hosted distinguished guests like W.E.B. DuBois and Liberia’s Clarence L. Simpson. In 1944, she traveled to Liberia for the inauguration of William V.S. Tubman as Liberia’s president, also attending were Mary McLeod Bethune and Eta Moten Barnett. Tragedy struck as Harrison’s eldest son, Gerald Lamar, passed away at the age of thirteen, in 1948, followed by the younger son, Richard, in 1950. Returning to school, Harrison acquired her M.S. degree in education from Oklahoma State University. She also amassed a record of civic activities, serving as treasurer of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. under president Dorothy Height in 1952 and national officer for The Links, Inc. in 1957. Harrison was elected president of the sorority in 1956 and served through 1958.

In 1960, Harrison relocated to Chicago, Illinois with her husband after spending twenty years at Langston University. She continued her public service as a board member of the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA and as a national board member of the Central Review Team and the Urban League Women’s Board. Harrison is a lifetime member of the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women. In 1965, Harrison was selected as co-chair of the federal Head Start program. She also served on the board of directors of the City Associates of the Chicago Art Institute. Harrison has traveled numerous times to Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean.

Awarded an honorary doctorate from Langston University in 2003. Harrison passed away on December 22, 2010.

Harrison was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 18, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.015

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/18/2007

Last Name

Harrison

Maker Category
Middle Name

Marie

Schools

Portsmouth High School

Eleventh Street Elementary School

Fisk University

The Ohio State University

Oklahoma State University

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Portsmouth

HM ID

HAR22

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Malaysia

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/8/1907

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Grits

Death Date

12/22/2010

Short Description

Elementary school teacher Dorothy Harrison (1907 - 2010 ) served as a national officer for The Links, Inc., succeeded Dorothy Height as president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and served as a board member of the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA and the National Council of Negro Women. Harrison was also selected as co-chair of the federal Head Start program.

Favorite Color

Red, White

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Harrison's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her maternal uncle, who passed for white

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison remembers her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her mother permitting her to attend Fisk University

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison recalls teaching elementary school during her college career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison describes her paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Harrison describes her family's historic homestead in Meadville, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Harrison describes how her family valued education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy Harrison talks about her father running away from home

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dorothy Harrison describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dorothy Harrison describes her mother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison describes her father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison describes her earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison describes her brother Frederich Penman

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison describes her earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison describes the sights and tastes of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison talks about her hearing problem

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison recalls experiencing discrimination at Portsmouth High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison remembers Portsmouth's Eleventh Street School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy Harrison describes her love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dorothy Harrison describes her parents' expectations

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dorothy Harrison describes the restrictions upon married teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dorothy Harrison talks about her favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dorothy Harrison remembers Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison describes her experiences with church

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison recalls popular pastimes during her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her decision to attend a historically black college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison describes her social life at Fisk University in Nashville

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison remembers the professors and staff at Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison remembers The Ohio State University in Columbus

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison describes her husband's graduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison describes her classes at The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Harrison remembers her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dorothy Harrison describes her husband's career at Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dorothy Harrison describes her brother's house and practice in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her impressions of Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her husband's achievements at Prairie View State Normal & Industrial College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison describes her husband's studies and career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison describes the history of Langston University in Oklahoma

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison remembers her life in Langston, Oklahoma

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison remembers the Dust Bowl era in Langston, Oklahoma

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison remembers the desegregation of Oklahoma's colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her duties at Langston University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison recalls establishing a work-study program in her home

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison remembers her famous houseguests

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison remembers her travels abroad

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison remembers William V.S. Tubman, Jr.'s inauguration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison recalls being in Ghana when Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison describes her travels in Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her impression of Liberia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison remembers notable figures she met in Liberia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison remembers joining Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison remembers the deaths of her sons

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dorothy Harrison recalls her election as president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison recalls Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.'s support of civil rights

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison describes the growth of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison recalls stepping down as president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison describes her work on the executive committee of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison describes her involvement with The Links, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Harrison describes her work with the Young Women's Christian Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dorothy Harrison describes her other organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dorothy Harrison reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dorothy Harrison describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dorothy Harrison talks about the 2008 presidential election

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dorothy Harrison reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dorothy Harrison talks about her remaining family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dorothy Harrison describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dorothy Harrison talks about her favorite sports teams

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dorothy Harrison remembers accepting an honorary degree from Langston University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dorothy Harrison narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$4

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Dorothy Harrison recalls her election as president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Dorothy Harrison recalls establishing a work-study program in her home
Transcript
I had to be busy. So I decided to go back to school. I had sleep--at first I started going places. Then I--I had to make adjustment. I used to--when I went to bed I always had a book to read because I'd just start dreaming about them. So finally I decided to go to school up at--I drove twenty miles up to Stillwater [Oklahoma] to go to school, and I started and I got my master's [degree], and I stayed one year on the doctorate. By that time, I then began to get involved in Delta [Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.] and I was, was, I was--that was '48 [1948] and '50 [1950] when I lost my sons [Gerald Harrison and Richard Harrison]. So I became involved in Delta on the national level and I became the national treasurer for four years from 1952 to 1956. They had a term, you could be elected for two years and two more, four years was supposed to be the maximum. So they called the person that was vice president. She wanted to be president because Dorothy [HistoryMaker Dorothy Height] by that time had served nine years and that's when they changed--$$This was Dorothy?$$Height, right.$$Dorothy Height, all right.$$My sister [Beatrice Penman] was treasurer during that time. And so--part of that time. So they were meeting and they decided to rule--to put in the rules that you can be elected for two years and reelected. Dorothy had served four years. She says it cannot be retroactive that law, cannot--you putting in it cannot refer to me, so I'm still eligible for two--four more years. So she stayed in and then one year there was a war or something going on to travel, so she stayed in nine years. During that time, I served four of those under--when she was president I was national treasurer. Then they--committee called me, convention committee called me and asked me to run for president. I, I had questions because I was still at Langston [Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma] serving as a hostess for my husband [General Lamar Harrison], you know. And I--and I knew what was involved when you become president, because you had to go out and make speeches and all that, you know. I knew what was involved. I said, "Well let me think about that. I--I--I'll call you back after I think about." They were meeting in Washington [D.C.] getting the slate. And the vice president was called. She had some kind of health problems, would almost fall out during the meetings and so forth. They didn't want her to be president and she wanted to be very much, and she was a friend of mine. So I knew how she felt. And I hesitated about saying I will be president, because I knew also what was involved in travel and so forth. And so finally, I agreed. My husband really wanted me to be president, for the name, you know. So I told him, I said, "I have to make up my mind because I know what's involved." And so I finally told them I would accept. So I served two years. During that time--part of that time when Dorothy was president, we were invited to the Hi- to the capital to the White House [Washington, D.C.] and Mr. Eisenhower [President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower] was president. Mrs. Eisenhower [Mamie Eisenhower] invited us when we were meeting in--in Washington. They invited us to come to the White House. They had a reception for us. The whole--the whole bird. And so that's where that picture was made with Mrs. Eisenhower.$$And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And the--those are the officers who was the executive director, Dorothy Height and I was treasurer, and Reba was still, Reba Cann [Reba S. Cann] from Cincinnati [Ohio] was still vice president and we had the officer, so that was where that was taken.$Now before we went there, the president had a housekeeper. Well, my husband [General Lamar Harrison] when he walk- worked--when he went to Howard University [Washington, D.C.] he worked his way through, he had to work some place to go. And he was for us hiring the students to work, not a housekeeper. So, I was the first to have four or five students who got everything paid, they didn't have to pay a dime. They got the room, the tuition, their--their registration, everything was paid. And then during the month, once a month, I gave them five dollars change to spend whatever they might need, you know. So I helped each year, I helped five--four or five students. One worked on the yard, one worked in the house and kept the floors, at the time we had hardwood floors. And then one did the cooking and one waited the table. So when guests came, the person waited the table and they learned. They usually were home ec [home economics] students that knew something about it. But they always said they knew more by actually doing it in--at my house. So, one of the--one of my friends here who taught school, who finished Langston [Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma] by working through because she lived in that old--in that black town wrote and said she had no money at all, but she was determined to get an education. So she came and one of the--her professors she said told her--took her down to my house and asked me to give her a job because she needed it. And so she finished, when she graduated I gave her a summer at summer school at Oklahoma A and M [Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma]. Then she went to Indiana [Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana] and when she was there, she needed some money and wrote us and I sent it to her. So when she finished and started teaching here, she wanted to pay me back and I said, no you just pass that on to another person who'd help her to go to school too. So during the twenty years, I had almost a hundred students who got their education by working for us in the house and doing and going to school. So some of them still call me. I have one from Oklahoma City [Oklahoma] that called me for my birthday this last, in December. And they, you know, they--they--they referred to--to those kids as Prexy's [ph.] kids on the campus. But they--one mother told her daughter, she said, "If it hadn't been for Mrs. Harrison [HistoryMaker Dorothy Harrison] you would not have an education." And three of her daughters, two of them worked for me in the house, you know, during when she was going to school. And they have asked me when students have had homecoming, they have asked me to come back and be there for their homecoming. You know, it--it made me feel good that, you know, they recognize it. So I enjoyed my--I enjoyed my--I went--as I said, we had service on Sunday in the--in the chapel, you know, for the students and I always went there. And one of the--the dean of the school of the Baptist school, they had a school right outside of the campus on down the road and he taught sociology I think up on the campus and he served as chaplain on Sunday. And he always said, "Mrs. Harrison, you were always a lady on the campus." It was a nice tribute, wasn't it?$$Yeah, I'll say so.