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Marcia Sturdivant

Educator and nonprofit chief executive Marcia M. Sturdivant was born in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. degree in psychology and behavioral sciences from Point Park University in 1978 and her M.A. degree in criminal justice from the University of Detroit in 1980. She later earned her Ph.D. degree in educational and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996.

From 1987 to 1990, Sturdivant served as director of early education programs at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. From 1990 to 1998, she worked in a number of positions at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), the second largest child welfare agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1998, she was appointed deputy director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and administrator of the OCYF. Sturdivant was then named president and chief executive officer of the Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED) in 2013. She has also served as an assistant professor at Point Park University and an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sturdivant is a past president of the Pittsburgh affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute. She directs the Children’s Church and Children’s Choir at Nazarene Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Family Group Decision Making.

Sturdivant’s honors include the Three Rivers Youth Nellie Award for Community Leadership; the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award and Ron Brown Civic Award; The YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award; and the National Association of Black Administrators in Child Welfare Valerie Bullard Award. She has been cited by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of “Forty Local, Gifted and Black African American Leaders,” and was recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of their 50 Women of Excellence in 2012. Sturdivant has also served as a repeat participant and research panelist of the Oxford University Educational Roundtable in Oxford, England.

She is married to Larry Anderson, Sr. and is the mother of two sons, Larry, Jr. and Marshall.

Marcia Sturdivant was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.174

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/8/2014

Last Name

Sturdivant

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Michelle

Schools

Homeville Elementary School

Homeville Junior High

West Mifflin Area High School

Point Park University

University of Detroit Mercy

University of Pittsburgh

First Name

Marcia

Birth City, State, Country

Homestead

HM ID

STU04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Disney World

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/24/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Crab Legs

Short Description

Educator and nonprofit chief executive Marcia Sturdivant (1956 - ) , president and CEO of the Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED), was deputy director of the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Department of Human Services and administrator of the Office of Children, Youth and Families for fifteen years.

Employment

NEED (Negro Educational Emergency Drive)

Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Family Services

Allegheny County Office of Children and Youth Services

Sturdivant Educational Consulting

University of Pittsburgh

Point Park College

Duquesne University

Carlow College

Community College of Allegheny County

Rankin Christian Center

Lemington Home for the Aged

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcia Sturdivant's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her maternal family's relationship to the Brownrigg plantation in Columbus, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her mother's experiences at Union Academy High School in Columbus, Mississippi and Mary Holmes College in West Point

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the history behind her family name

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers her father's morning ritual

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her father's interest in politics and her parents' voting advocacy

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her father's experience stationed on the U.S.S. Intrepid aircraft carrier in the United States Navy during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her father's homecoming after serving in the United States Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers an early lesson in ethnic pride

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her family's migration from Columbus, Mississippi to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her family's migration from Columbus, Mississippi to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her mother and considers which parent she takes after most

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her childhood neighborhood in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about camaraderie between black students in the West Mifflin, Pennsylvania public school system

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experiences with racism in elementary school, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experiences with racism in elementary school, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experiences with racism in elementary school, pt. 3

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers the death of a cousin in Vietnam and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers writing an essay on civil rights leaders, H. Rap Brown, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers her influential sixth grade school teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers overhearing a grade school teacher using the N-word to address students

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experience at Homeville Junior High School in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about Civil Rights and Black Nationalist activity in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about being forbidden from wearing an afro by her grammar school administration

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experience cheerleading at West Mifflin North High School in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers the support of an influential math teacher named Mr. Caldwell

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the influence of the Pentecostal church in her childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers Kennywood amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers influential African American faculty at West Mifflin High School and being introduced to career options in psychology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant remembers a racially charged altercation with her high school typing teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant explains how she elected to go to Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her undergraduate experience at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her undergraduate experience at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her experience as a research assistant and graduate student in forensic psychology at the University of Detroit

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the University of Detroit's campus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about working in the Detroit Police Department and deviating from forensic psychology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about becoming a probation officer for the Pittsburgh juvenile court system

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant describes the philosophy of the Pittsburgh juvenile court system in the 1980s, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant recalls a memorable juvenile court case, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marcia Sturdivant recalls a memorable juvenile court case, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about working on her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Marcia Sturdivant describes working on her dissertation in educational psychology, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant describes working on her dissertation in educational psychology, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the psychological effects of stereotypes on an individual's self-regard

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the impact of slavery on black American families

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant describes the research method she used for her dissertation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant explains how she met her husband

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about working as director for early childhood education for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant describes working in the Allegheny County Department of Human Services child welfare sector

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant describes contemporary methodology in the child welfare system

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant addresses issues surrounding transracial adoption, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Marcia Sturdivant addresses issues surrounding transracial adoption, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant addresses issues surrounding transracial adoption, pt. 3

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the trauma children experience in a child welfare system

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant describes how cultural misunderstandings can influence decisions made about a child's welfare

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about the impact of crack cocaine to the families in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about becoming the Deputy Director of Children, Youth, and Families in the Allegheny County Human Services Department

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her tenure as Deputy Director of Children, Youth, and Families in the Allegheny County Human Services Department

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her involvement with the National Association of Black Social Workers and the Black Administrators in Child Welfare

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her tenure as president of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania affiliate of the National Black Child Development Institute

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Marcia Sturdivant describes funding and budgeting for child welfare in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Marcia Sturdivant talks about her relationship with NEED, the Negro Educational Emergency Drive

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Marcia Sturdivant explains the history of NEED, the Negro Educational Emergency Drive

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant describes programs that NEED, Negro Educational Emergency Drive, operates

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Marcia Sturdivant considers what she would do differently in her life

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Marcia Sturdivant reflects upon her professional legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Marcia Sturdivant describes her family

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Marcia Sturdivant considers how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Marcia Sturdivant narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$7

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Marcia Sturdivant remembers an early lesson in ethnic pride
Marcia Sturdivant describes her tenure as Deputy Director of Children, Youth, and Families in the Allegheny County Human Services Department
Transcript
Now there's one more story about your father [O.C. Sturdivant] that's one of the early stories and you said that he did not, that you mentioned once, you asked your father at one point when you were a little girl how do we get straight hair? Or so-called good hair.$$Yeah, yeah, before my enlightening days, but he, my dad was a very simple man, liked simple things and I still can picture him in overalls. You know, whenever he wasn't working he would have overalls and piddlin' in the dirt. But, one thing that he liked was a clean shave and that hot shave with that hot lather and-$$And put the hot towel over himself--(simultaneous)--$$Yes.$$--And put the hot lather--$$Right, and a haircut. And, he would go, I could still picture the barber, but sometimes I would cut his hair, you know, when I got older, and I remember, you know, touching his hair and running and I says, "Daddy," and I'm so ashamed of this, I says, "Daddy, your hair, you have such pretty hair. It's so good." Oh my goodness, and I can count the number of times my dad yelled at me 'cause he was, he was real quiet but he grabbed my hand, I remember, and he turned me around and he said, "Don't you ever say that." And he said, "All hair is good hair. If you got some hair, you have good hair." (Laughter) and he said, "do you know why my hair is like this?" And he went on to explain. He says, "My mother's mother didn't have a choice." Yeah, you know, that--$$So did you get that--$$Well, you know, yeah, I started to, you know. And he was pretty graphic about it, which, again, was one of the few times we ever had that kind of a conversation, but I remember him telling me that black women, and he would call it, he said, "colored women back then--you didn't have a choice of who you selected to date." And he said, "There was nothing that we could do. So, if I'm looking like this, it wasn't by choice. So, he said, that's not something to be proud of. That's not something you celebrate or anything." And that had a lasting, you know, impression, and both my parents were very proud--are very, well my mom's [Jean Barron Sturdivant] still with us--very proud, black people and we were never able to say things like use color shades like light-skin, dark-skinned people couldn't say that, couldn't hear whatever, we just weren't allowed to say that, saying "nigger" would immediately get you a beat-down. I mean, there were just certain things that related to ethnic pride, even before the Black Power Movement or the, you know, when people were into that. In my family, we were just not allowed to make those differences and I, you know, I see now and you know, I saw once I started to really study, that it was a different time, a different experience for them and not very easy but they never accepted that, which is, I think, rather unique.$So, you were in that role [Deputy Director of Children, Youth, and Families, Department of Human Services, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania] through-$$Through 2013.$$--2013. Okay. (Laughter) so what were some of the, I guess milestones along the way you endured during this period?$$Well, I think that I was able to see during my tenure there, and by the way, I just loved that job. It was very stressful though, as all child welfare positions are. But I was able to, it's hard for me to talk about myself but this is what other people have said. That I was able to open up the relationship between the black community and the system, that other than law enforcement, child welfare might be the only other "system" that is more feared, you know, by the black community and there was a very negative view by the African American community as CYF [Department of Children, Youth, and Families] and was, you know, very much a closed system and I knew that in order to make it better for children, that we had to have some open discussions and some of the players in the helping profession in child welfare had to look the kids we served. So, you know, I began to advocate and provide contracts to African American grass roots organizations, churches; that was another thing. We didn't use the church. You can't talk about black folks and not talk about the church in the helping community, and I was very proud to let people know and help the black community understand the workings of child welfare. What are the laws, the regulations, but more importantly how can you partner with this system that, for decades, was viewed as really denigrating to the black community. You know, Malcolm X talked about how child welfare he thought was one of the significant systems that just broke up the black family. The other thing, proud, very proud moments was the issue of bringing race to the table. It was challenging and I took a lot of hits for it, but making sure that you just can't say anything and you also have to consider race and culture in the delivery of service. Third, I would say opening up and really pushing for kinship care. That's really what we should be doing. If we are child protection, we have to protect kids and if we can't keep them in their own home, then put them with their family. And I don't know, and we really, we were, we are the leaders. They are still the leaders in kinship care in this county. But I often wondered if people understand it wasn't just about kinship care, which was so important, but the history of black people in the United States. Child welfare sometime was a modern day way of breaking up families and changing the history of black people, just like slavery. It's another, it's a history of changing forever the life of that child. You know, it's beyond just what you do today. You take this child, remove them from their whole family. That has an impact for generations to come! You're not just changing that day, you're changing that forever. And I've often, I said I'm gonna write about it, often equated many of the practices and policies, power and control, economic survival, and who benefits a lot from child welfare, to that much of our history of slavery in this country. People don't like to say that 'cause they're well meaning, but we can see a lot of similarities between that, and just being able to say that, people, oh, would get up in arms, but I was proud that I was able to try to have those, you know, have those discussions. Then, prevention. You know that being able to bring to the table the fact that no one wants to harm their child. No one gives birth and says, you know, I think I'm going to be a terrible parent. I'm going to get on drugs. I'm going to developmental health issues, I'm going to harm my child--no one does that. But things happen to people. So, what can we do to support parents and families and communities so that there are healthier environments so they never have to come to us, never have to come to child welfare. And, you know, we were able to implement a lot of prevention programs, a lot that were culturally based, really amped up, created, actually, kinship care and amped up our kinship care component, and brought the whole issue of culture and race as important factors in delivery, so it wasn't always an easy ride, and the support and acknowledgments of my hard work outweighed those who criticized it.

Alice Windom

Social worker Alice Mary Windom was born on March 30, 1936, in St. Louis, Missouri to Frances Louise Jones Windom and Dr. John Henry Windom. Windom is from a family of educators. Her grandfather, Christopher Columbus Jones, was Southern Illinois University’s first African American student. Windom’s parents met at the University of Illinois and raised their daughter on African American college campuses at Albany State College and Prairie View A&M University. She attended Prairie View Training School in Texas and Cote Brilliante Elementary School in St. Louis. Windom graduated from Sumner High School in 1953. Offered half tuition at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio, Windom was exposed to African American historian and school president Dr. Charles Wesley and lectures by Thurgood Marshall, J.A. Rogers and others. She started and organized a successful sit-in of Xenia, Ohio’s Geyer’s Restaurant in 1957. Graduating that year with her B.S. degree in social work, Windom went on to earn her M.S.W. degree from the University of Chicago in 1959.

From June 1958 to August of 1962, Windom worked as a social worker and as a child welfare worker for the State of Illinois Department of Mental Health Division of Family and Children’s Services. From 1962 to 1964, Windom made a decision to live and work in Ghana, West Africa. Working as a secondary school teacher and secretary to the Ethiopian Ambassador, Windom was a part of an historic group of diverse African American expatriates in Ghana which included John Henrik Clarke, Maya Angelou, Curtis “Kojo” Morrow and the elder W.E.B. DuBois. In 1964, Windom helped plan the itinerary for Malcolm X’s trip to Ghana and served as administrative assistant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from 1964 to 1968, organizing international conferences in seven countries. From 1969 to 1972, Windom was a social welfare organizer for the Department of Social Welfare in Lusaka, Zambia. In the United States, she served as director of social services for the St. Louis Medium Security Institution from 1973 to 1974. In 1977, Windom sued the City of St. Louis for racial and sexual discrimination and the denial of free speech.

Known for her many well-documented excursions to the African world, Windom served as coordinator for the James T. Bush Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; initiating research and workshops in employment, education, housing, and law. A sought after lecturer, Windom is a member of a number of organizations including the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization and the African Heritage Studies Association.

Alice Mary Windom lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Alice Mary Windom was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 19, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.181

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/19/2006

10/17/2007

12/7/2007

Last Name

Windom

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Charles H. Sumner High School

Cote Brilliante Elementary School

Jones Elementary School

Central State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Alice

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

WIN05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/30/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Social worker Alice Windom (1936 - ) was part of a historic group of African American expatriates in Ghana. She worked on the Encyclopedia Africana with W.E.B DuBois and helped to plan Malcolm X’s trip to Ghana.

Employment

St. Louis Medium Security Institution

Department of Social Welfare

State of Illinois Department of Mental Health Division of Family and Children's Services

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

University of Missouri, St. Louis: James T. Bush Sr., Center

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alice Windom's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alice Windom lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alice Windom describes her maternal great-grandparents and grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alice Windom describes her maternal grandfather and his family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alice Windom talks about the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alice Windom talks about her mother's childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about her mother's childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alice Windom describes where and when her father was born

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alice Windom describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes why her parents were married twice

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alice Windom shares her earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alice Windom shares her earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alice Windom remembers being molested by a neighborhood teenager when she was four years old

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes her family's move to Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alice Windom describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alice Windom recalls her experience at Prairie View Training School in Prairie View Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alice Windom recalls her experiences with nature and animals in Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alice Windom recalls an encounter with snakes in her family's victory garden

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alice Windom talks about the dirt roads in Prairie View, Texas and tricking her younger brother

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alice Windom describes her childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls reading about lynchings in the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes her understanding of African American history in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alice Windom remembers her teachers at Prairie View Training School in Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alice Windom describes her family's move back to St. Louis after her father received his Ph.D.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alice Windom recalls learning about the death of President Franklin Roosevelt and the existence of concentration camps

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alice Windom talks about her family's lack of belief in religion, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alice Windom talks about her family's lack of belief in religion, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alice Windom remembers living with her grandparents in Edwardsville, Illinois after leaving Prairie View, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes her experience at Cote Brilliante Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alice Windom describes graduating from Cote Brilliante Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alice Windom talks about her teachers at Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alice Windom talks about her teachers at Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes her decision to enroll at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alice Windom shares her experience at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alice Windom recalls the history and surroundings of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alice Windom recalls her Civil Rights activism with CORE in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes leading sit-ins at Geyer's Restaurant in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alice Windom talks about her professors at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls one of the outcomes of her protests at Geyer's Restaurant in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes her experience working for Belva Manufacturing Company in St. Louis, Missouri after high school

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alice Windom talks about getting treated for an ovarian cyst and the scarcity of jobs in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about her recurring summer job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio during college

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Alice Windom talks about the housing and campus life at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Alice Windom describes planning to attend graduate school and her father's death

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Second slating of Alice Windom's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes enrolling at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alice Windom describes the lack of understanding of the African American community at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls her graduate school fieldwork supervisor and graduating from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alice Windom recalls conducting adoption home studies for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alice Windom talks about Ishmael Flory and the black Communists within the African American Heritage Association in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about the Washington Park Forum and F.H. Hammurabi's House of Knowledge

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alice Windom talks about her association with the Nation of Islam through Christine Johnson and E. U. Essien-Udom

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alice Windom recalls a meeting where she defended the Nation of Islam to the Chatham and Avalon Park neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes her political education in Chicago, Illinois and meeting Malcolm X for the first time

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alice Windom remembers E.U. Essien-Udom and the Pan African Students Organization of the Americas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls celebrating the independence of Ghana in 1957 and Nigeria in 1960

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes traveling to New York City and London, England on the way to Ghana in 1962

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes her experience in London, England while moving to Ghana in 1962

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Alice Windom describes arriving in Accra, Ghana from London, England in 1962

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Alice Windom describes her experience teaching English at O'Reilly Secondary High School in Accra, Ghana

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Alice Windom describes her experience teaching history at O'Reilly Secondary High School in Accra, Ghana

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alice Windom shares her impression of Kwame Nkrumah's leadership in Accra, Ghana

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alice Windom recalls factors leading to the collapse of Kwame Nkrumah's government in Ghana

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alice Windom talks about the foreign black community in Accra, Ghana

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls her experience in Ghana with HistoryMaker Maya Angelou

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Alice Windom recalls Malcom X's visit to Ghana in 1964, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Alice Windom recalls Malcom X's visit to Ghana in 1964, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about her friend, writer and actor Julian Mayfield

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Alice Windom talks about her interactions with HistoryMaker Maya Angelou and W.E.B. DuBois

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Alice Windom talks about Dr. Alphaeus Hunton and the Encyclopedia Africana

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Alice Windom remembers Malcom X's return to the United States from Ghana and the famous photograph she took of him

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Alice Windom recalls moving to Ethiopia in 1964 and meeting with Malcolm X again

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes her experience working with the United Nations in Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Alice Windom describes her experience working with the United Nations in Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Alice Windom describes traveling through Asia in 1969

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes her experience in Zambia under President Kenneth Kaunda

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes reuniting with Pamela Nomveta, her former boss's daughter, in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1996

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Alice Windom describes the sexual discrimination lawsuit she filed against the City of St. Louis in 1977

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Final slating of Alice Windom's interview

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Alice Windom talks about Robert L. Williams and the Institute of Black Studies in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Alice Windom talks about Robert L. Williams and the Institute of Black Studies in St. Louis, Missouri, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Alice Windom recalls her involvement in the movement to keep Homer G. Phillips Hospital open in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes her visit to the Organization of African Unity Conference in 1975

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes Emily Maliwa's efforts to establish a Pan-African Research Council in 1975

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about the treatment of African women by African governments

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Alice Windom talks about meeting people from the United States during her visit to Kampala, Uganda in 1975

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Alice Windom reflects on meeting her friend Emily Maliwa

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Alice Windom describes her life in St. Louis, Missouri and working at the Union-Sarah Health Center

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Alice Windom describes her work with the Yeatman/Union-Sarah Health Center in St. Louis, Missouri and Dr. Bobby E. Wright

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Alice Windom describes working on a grant to start a mental health center in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Alice Windom recalls being hired by the Booker T. Washington Foundation in the 1980s

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Alice Windom describes the decline of the Booker T. Washington Foundation

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes her experience with the Booker T. Washington Foundation and meeting Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Alice Windom describes being hired at the James T. Bush Center at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri in 1987

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Alice Windom recalls her travels to Mexico with Dr. Ivan van Sertima in 1984

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Alice Windom describes her experience of traveling to Egypt with the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) in 1987, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Alice Windom describes her experience of traveling to Egypt with the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) in 1987, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Alice Windom talks about scholars of African culture, including Sylvia Ardyn Boone

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Alice Windom talks about scholar Sylvia Ardyn Boone

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Alice Windom talks about the role of women in Islamic and non-Islamic African cultures

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Alice Windom talks about her depression and the lack of progress she saw for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Alice Windom talks about retiring from the James T. Bush Center at the University of Missouri, St. Louis

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Alice Windom talks about the fire that destroyed her home library

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Alice Windom talks about the Olmec heads found in Mexico with African features

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Alice Windom describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Alice Windom reflects on what she would change about her life

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Alice Windom reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Alice Windom talks about her family

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Alice Windom describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

7$9

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Alice Windom describes traveling to New York City and London, England on the way to Ghana in 1962
Alice Windom describes traveling through Asia in 1969
Transcript
I left during the Cuban Missile Crisis [October 1962], in fact. My desire had been to get a--to go to Africa by ship because I was moving everything that I had, which was mainly books. I didn't have furniture. And I really wanted to travel by ship with my stuff to go to Africa.$$Now how did you, how did it come about? How did you--what agency? How did you hook up on a trip to Ghana, or, or was it through a, a program, or you just decided to go?$$I was going. I had to get out of the United States before I hurt somebody or somebody hurt me. I was so mad with the, the, the, the discrimination and the racism that I was ready to hit somebody. And I'm, I'm not a violent tempered person, but I knew I had to get out. Also, it appeared--I mean Africa, that was the hope then. People were coming to the United Nations from Africa. We'd seen all these glorious, gorgeous folk.$$Did you have contacts on the other side then, I mean in, in, in, in Ghana that--$$I had--$$--that you know?$$--all these friends in Chicago [Illinois]. Several of them were Ghanaians. I knew I was going to Ghana, and so I had a few letters. Christine Johnson had been to Ghana and had shown her slides. I had the medical kit Mr.--Dr. Thompson had made up for me. And it was really on the plane that I really realized I didn't know a soul (laughter)--(unclear)--I was, I was on the plane, and I said, "Well I don't know anybody (laughter) there. Everybody, every Ghanaian I know is in Chicago or New York." But I spent six weeks in New York trying to get this ship. I had failed writing letters from Chicago to, to shipping companies. I wanted to go on freighter. I didn't have the money to go on a cruise ship. And so I had gotten a list of, of freighters, and I had written to these companies. And, and nobody could give me a, a ship going to Ghana. I was in, I got, went to New York. I had spent six weeks there trying to find this ship and also having to work on a visa because I didn't want just a visa that would let me go for a couple of weeks, 'cause I knew I wanted to settle. And so I was asking for at least a year's visa, and I couldn't get that. I eventually found a ship on the black, the Black Star Line had a ship going. Ghana's national shipping company was named after Marcus Garvey's Black Star Line. But I got communication from the person in charge telling me that if they book me on that ship, I would be the only woman on the ship, and they could not guarantee my safety. So I said, "Okay, I got to fly." So I went ahead and got a ticket going through London [England] and then to Accra [Ghana]. And I had packed all my things for a ship, so I had to, had to make suitcase for a plane trip. I went down on 42nd Street, and I got a huge suitcase for $6.00. I told the guy who told it to me, look, I said, "I've got, I'm gonna have to go to London, and then I'm going to Ghana. Will this suitcase make two trips (laughter)?" He said, "Oh, yeah, you'll get three or four trips out of this suitcase." It was a big case with a canvas top, with a zipper that ran along the top edge. I was renting a room from a West Indian couple named Alcantara [ph.] in New York. The morning of my flight, I was to go to wake up two friends who lived a few blocks away, and they were gonna take me to the airport and help me with my luggage. As I was trying to close this $6.00 suitcase, the zipper broke (laughter), and I, I had to have a suitcase. I went down and woke up my landlord. I said, "Have you got a rope? Please give me a rope." They went and took their clothesline down and gave me a rope so that I could tie this suitcase closed and at least get to the friend, home of my friend Alpha Flack. When I showed--she saw he suitcase with the flaps (laughter) open, she said, "They're not gonna let you on the plane with this." I said, "I've got to go today. I must take, go take this plane today." So she ended up, she and her roommate ended up selling me three or four suitcases. I, I had wanted one big suitcase, and I ended up with three or four suitcases again. And then I said--and they hadn't even gotten up out of bed. I said, "You're supposed to help me get to the airport." They said, "You were supposed to be here two hours ago." I said, "Get up, get up." I was crying, "get up" (laughter). They got up, we got to the airport, and I got on the plane.$I had an offer of a job in Zambia in the Department of Labor and Social Services that had, the job had been obtained for me by a woman who used to work in the United Nations who had met, met a Zambian when she was traveling for the UN and had married him. And she'd gotten me, gotten me this job. But I knew I had to wait for my ticket, so I decided to travel in Asia. You know, Malcolm [X] talked about the Bandung Conference in what, 1955 or '56 [1956] in Indonesia, and I really wanted to see how Asians related to an African traveling. So I went by myself, something I probably wouldn't do today. But I went, in those days, I just took a map and I drew a line to all the places I wanted to go. I took it to a travel agency, and I said "Give me a ticket with these stops on it." And then you could change your ticket if you wanted to, didn't cost you anything. And so, when I was in a country, if somebody said "have you seen Angkor Wat" say, in Cambodia? And I said "No." My rule was when the third person said are you going to such and such, then I would go and change my ticket so I could go to such and such. And that's how I got to Angkor Wat. I spent a month in India, fantastic. I would love to go back there again, wonderful hospitality from Indians who had met African Americans while they were traveling in the States. And they had had hospitality from African Americans, and they offered me hospitality, had a great time. Thailand, everyplace was magical. In Hong Kong you have all of these bazaars and shops. And the shopkeepers would come out and say "Soul sister, come into my shop," because that was the way we were projected back then. And I felt really good about it, 'cause so much was going on in the States, people knew about it. "Soul sister, come on in." My nephew, who is a Navy, a commander in the Navy, was stationed in Japan in 1998, and he said Japanese shopkeepers were coming out, "O. J., O. J., come into my shop. We have knives" (laughter). That's how, that's how we have sunk in the estimation of the world, from "Soul sister" to "O. J., we have knives" (laughter). So, I went to Japan, and Indonesia was the only place that I can say I had a problem with people just being so astonished to see a black woman. Now, it wasn't this with black men. They were used to seeing soldiers on R&R [rest and recuperation] and the African diplomats, they would, but to see a woman by herself, people would just get hysterical. They would laugh. And some days I would wear an African dress. It was worse when I wore an African dress. Now, Indonesia was the site of the Bandung Conference (laughter), so I realized that this was just a paper thin veneer of any kind of solidarity, that there was none. In other places, too, I was an object of curiosity, sometimes just because women don't travel alone in those days. To see a woman by herself was strange. But colored played a big part in it. I've sent Julian [Mayfield] letters, and at the end, when I talked to him after the trip, he said "Alice, your trip sounds like one of the great horror stories (laughter) of the Western world." I said that could be because I was emphasizing troubles that I had, but basically, it was a great trip. And to be able to change a ticket without paying a penalty was something that you really miss now if you try to travel. You simply can't do that anymore. So I had hoped to spend a couple of months, say, bumming around on, in Asia again on the fortieth anniversary of my trip. I couldn't think about doing that now. First place, around-the-world ticket back then was $1,625.00. It's several thousand dollars now if you just wanna girdle the globe. But it was $1,625.00. My average expenditure per day including hotels and food was $10.00. Now, if you can do it for $300.00, an average, you're doing well. So I'm so glad that I did that when I did it. And I was, you know, I hadn't broken my knee yet. I could go, if I had to crawl someplace I could do it. I was physically in better shape than I am now. So that was a memorable trip.

Elsie Rumford

Suicidologist Elsie R. Rumford was born in Berkeley, California, on January 15, 1945; her mother, Elsie R. Carrington Rumford, was a teacher in Berkeley, and her father, pharmacist William Byron Rumford, was the first African American elected official in northern California. Attending Longfellow Elementary School, Burbank Junior High School and Berkeley High School, Rumsford earned her B.A. degree in Spanish and sociology from San Francisco State University in 1967, and her M.S.W. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1973.

Rumford’s graduate thesis on the rising black suicide rate challenged popular thinking on the subject. After speaking before the Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School, Martin Luther King Hospital, and the Suicide Prevention Center of Los Angeles in 1974, Rumford presented to the California State Senate Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs in support of SB1814, the Suicide Prevention Act of 1974. Rumford appeared on many television and radio talk shows to discuss black suicides and worked as a script consultant to a suicide-related episode of The Jeffersons in 1976. Rumford worked as a clinical social worker for the Dignity Center, a Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center program, from 1974 to 1975, and El Nido Services from 1976 to 1981. From 1985 to 1988, Rumford was a school-based counselor for the Carson Child Guidance Partnership Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and from 1988 to 1996 she was their outreach coordinator. After1997 Rumford began working as a team leader/DIS Counselor at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s School Mental Health.

A member of the American Association of Suicidology; the National Association of Black Social Workers; and the National Association of Social Workers, Rumsford received the Carson Coordinating Council’s Outstanding Service Award in 1996. Rumford, who had three sons, remained a resident of Los Angeles.

Elsie Rumford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 2, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.095

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/2/2005

Last Name

Rumford

Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Berkeley High School

Burbank Junior High School

Longfellow Middle School

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Los Angeles

San Francisco State University

Howard University

First Name

Elsie

Birth City, State, Country

Berkeley

HM ID

RUM01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Springs, California; Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/15/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Suicidologist and school social work coordinator Elsie Rumford (1945 - ) presented to the California State Senate Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs in support of SB1814, the Suicide Prevention Act of 1974. Rumford worked with several public health and suicide prevention organizations to help raise awareness about the rising prevalence of suicide within the African American community.

Employment

Los Angeles Unified School District

Suicide Prevention Center

El Nido Services

State of California Dept. of Employment

City of Oakland, California

Favorite Color

Light Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elsie Rumford's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford lists her favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal grandparents and her grandmother's life in Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal family's professional and educational achievements

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford describes how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's role as a civil rights advocate and his election as the first black assemblyman in Northern California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and his election to the California State Assembly in 1948

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's achievements as one of the first African American pharmacists in the San Francisco Bay Area in California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her family's involvement with First AME Church in Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford recalls the music, movies and television shows she enjoyed while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's civil rights involvement, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's service civil rights involvement, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's interest in public health

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience at Longfellow Elementary School in Berkeley, California and the ethnic make-up of her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford explains why her mother and her maternal aunts are her role models

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about attending Burbank Junior High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford remembers attending Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford discusses her interest in sociology and Spanish

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about the rise of the black power movement in Berkeley, California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford remembers the rise of the Black Panther Party in Northern California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her coursework in sociology at San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford recalls various cultural movements in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience reporting discrimination while working for the State of California, department of employment

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brief employment with the City of Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford remembers her graduate school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about the findings of her master's degree thesis on suicide in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about the recognition that she received for her master's thesis on suicide in the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her social work career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon the challenges of parenting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about helping parents whose children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her role as a psychiatric social worker in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her life and career

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Elsie Rumford talks about her sons' and her parents' responses to her career as a social worker

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her parents' personal and professional success and the values they instilled in her

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford narrates her photographs

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Elsie Rumford talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and his election to the California State Assembly in 1948
Elsie Rumford recalls her experience reporting discrimination while working for the State of California, department of employment
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Tell us about the Appomattox Club [Oakland, California]. Let's see, D.G. Gibson was one of the men that worked with your father [William Byron Rumford] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh yes, D.G. Gibson, Frances Albrier. There were so many people that, let's see, Evelio Grillo is still around.$$Evelio Grillo?$$Yeah.$$How do you spell that (laughter)?$$E-V-E-L-I-O.$$Evelio, okay.$$Evelio Grillo, G-R-I-L-L-O. As a matter of fact, I think he wrote the foreword, didn't he write the foreword for this book ['William Byron Rumford, The Life and Public Services of a California Legislator: A Biography,' Lawrence P. Crouchett]? But he--.$$Now, is he an African American?$$Well, you know, I think that, you know I can't remember if it was Puerto Rican or Cuban descent, but he certainly identified and I don't know, you know, he was a light brown person and-- (laughter).$$He probably, I don't know, I'm thinking a lot of times, you know, anybody brown was discriminated against, you know, in terms of if you weren't white, you know, so--they tried to break down these covenants that restricted blacks from (unclear)--.$$Right, right, and one of the main things they were trying to do is to get somebody to run for office, and Tom [L.] Berkley, who died, let's see, he died in 2001, but he was major, major in the [San Francisco] Bay Area [California] as well. He's an attorney and he was part of that group. There was, they used to meet and get together to try to see how they could break down the barriers, and they were considering Tom Berkley because, you know, he had been very active but then he declined to run for office, this assembly seat that was vacant, and so my aunt, my mother's [Elsie Carrington Rumford] sister, who was, actually she ended up being a teacher in Berkeley [California], she wasn't a teacher at the time, but she nominated my father and he ran for the seat and he won the seat.$$What year is this when he wins the seat?$$He--1948. He was elected into the [California State] Assembly.$$Okay.$$He was a pharmacist, I should mention too. He was a pharmacist and had a drug store in Berkeley and I think that's real important because while he was an assemblyman, he never gave up his career as a pharmacist. When he was in Sacramento [California], he was working the drug store (laughter).$$What was the name of his drug store?$$Rumford Pharmacy. (Laughter) And it's still there, but they changed it to a health center and they named it after him. The building is still there. But actually, when he first opened, what happened he worked as a pharmacist for someone else in the early years, and then they retired and he bought the drug store from them, and then several years later, I guess 1950, he, it was a small store so he moved across the street and had a much bigger drug store, and that was where he could be found. (Laughter) That's where you found your assemblyman, in the drug store. And people would come down, you know, you want to talk to your assemblyperson, you just go to the drug store.$$Okay. And so you were three years old when he was elected?$$See, that's it. I was three years old when he was elected, so all of my life that, all my memory from the time I was three to the time I was a young adult in '66 [1966], he was in the assembly, and my whole recollection of him was as an assemblyman.$When you graduated from San Francisco State [College; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California], in (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) San Francisco State. January '67 [1967].$$--in January '67 [1967], okay, and you went to Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] for grad school?$$Well, no, actually I worked--.$$You worked for the City--.$$I worked for the City of Oakland--I worked for the California state--State of California for a while, and the department of employment, where I ran across discrimination, and was naive enough to be surprised that employers were requesting white only, and I reported it to my--I was a minority rep [representative] and reported it to my minority rep boss who was based out of San Francisco [California], and they had a big investigation of the City of Oakland [California] department of employment and confiscated files and it was a real big thing, a real big thing. And, but, I think, I always look back on that now and I think, oh, my gosh, that was because I grew up in that whole civil rights thing where, you know, this is wrong, you can't do--and I didn't even try to smoothly talk to my supervisor and say well, you know, can we do something about--I was like indignant and youthful, you know, right out of college.$$That is something to be indignant about, if you look back at it. They've been doing that since they started it.$$But my boss later told me, my local boss in Oakland said, "[HistoryMaker] Elsie [Rumford], why didn't you come to me and say something to me?" I went to the minority employment rep in San Francisco, who was also my boss in a way, but I guess they wanted to handle it in house, and my minority employment rep boss in San Francisco reported to Sacramento [California]. I mean, it was just a problem to file. It was a big deal and my, the chief of the department of employment in Oakland ended up resigning early and I was so naive I went to his retirement dinner, you know, 'cuz I was like, I don't know, stuff just kinda, I didn't really see how I think it affected so much in my tunnel vision of like wrong, that's it, they shouldn't do this, and you know--.$$Well, you know that's by the same token they should have known it was wrong.$$Well, they did.$$It's a policy that was wrong from the time of its inception until we showed up and when we showed up it should have been a signal, hey, maybe we should change some of this before somebody blows a whistle (laughter).$$Like me. And then I was kind of, at that point, I was pretty much untouchable because of my dad [William Byron Rumford], you know, although I wasn't doing it for--it was wrong. People stopped speaking to me. Oh, my gosh. There was a lot of pressure. It was a really difficult time. Even my mother [Elsie Carrington Rumford] said something to me. She said, you know--these are peoples' livelihoods. They're gonna have to--you know, she was worried people were gonna get fired and what they might do to me. You be careful, is what she said.$$But is there really an unrisky way to create a social change of that kind?$$Well, I don't know. In hind sight, you know, maybe I could have gone to the local Oakland people and tried to work it out, but--$$You know, the usual mantra is be patient.$$No, but I wasn't--and the only thing, the young people, there were about three or four young people who worked in the office, it was a big office, and they kinda stuck with me through it, but it was, it was difficult. It was some real, real difficult times. I ended up moving to a different office, but I wasn't gonna move out till I was ready. They didn't move me out. I just waited, but there was a lot of pressure, lots and lots of pressure.