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A. Peter Bailey

Journalist and author A. Peter Bailey was born on February 24, 1938 in Columbus, Georgia to Upson and Alga Bailey. He was raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, and attended Tuskegee Institute High School, but graduated from Nuremberg American High School in Germany in 1955. Bailey served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1959, and went on to attend Howard University until 1961.

In 1962, Bailey moved to Harlem, New York City; and, in 1964, became a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), where he was editor of the OAAU newsletter, Blacklash. From 1968 to 1975, he worked as associate editor for Ebony magazine. From 1975 to 1981, Bailey served as associate director of the Black Theatre Alliance (BTA), where he also edited the BTA Newsletter. He has also contributed articles to numerous publications including Essence, Black Enterprise, Jet, The New York Times, the Negro Digest, Black World, The Black Collegian, and the New York Daily News. He also writes a bi-monthly column for the Trice-Edney Wire Service.

Bailey has lectured on Malcolm X at thirty-five colleges and universities, and taught as an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of the District of Columbia. In addition, he has written the play, Malcolm, Martin, Medgar, which has been presented at several staged readings. He is the author of Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, The Master Teacher: A Memoir; Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations; co-author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey with Alvin Ailey; and co-author of Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X with Rodnell P. Collins.

Bailey served as president of the New York Association of Black Journalists from 1983 to 1985, and was a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee in the 1975-76 Broadway season. He also served on the board of the Bethune-DuBois Institute, and is a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Bailey has received several awards, including Lifetime Achievement awards from the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the New York Association of Black Journalists.

A. Peter Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.088

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2014

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Peter

Schools

St. Joseph Catholic School

Tuskegee Institute High School

Nurnberg American High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfonzo

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

BAI10

State

Georgia

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/24/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Short Description

Journalist and author A. Peter Bailey (1938 - ) was a founding member of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and served as a longtime editor for Ebony magazine. He authored Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, The Master Teacher: A Memoir and Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations; and co-author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey and Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X.

Employment

Ebony Magazine

The Black Theatre Alliance

Virginia Union University

Bethune-DuBois Institute

Clayborne Carson

African American history professor Clayborne Carson was born on June 15, 1944 in Buffalo, New York to parents Clayborne Carson and Louise (Lee) Carson. He grew up near Los Alamos, New Mexico. Carson attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he studied history and graduated with his B.A. degree in 1967, his M.A. degree in 1971, and his Ph.D. degree in 1975.

Prior to academia, Carson worked as a laboratory assistant at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, an editor for Audience Studies, Inc., a staff writer for the Los Angeles Free Press, and a computer programmer in the Survey Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the faculty of the history department at UCLA as an acting assistant professor in 1971, before being hired as assistant professor at Stanford University in 1974. Caron was promoted to associate professor at Stanford University in 1981. In 1985, Coretta Scott King requested that Carson became senior editor of an ongoing multi-volume project, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Carson was promoted to professor of American history in 1991, and became founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute in 2005. Carson’s academic appointments outside Stanford University include teaching and lecturing in Great Britain, France, China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania; as well as visiting professorships at the American University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Emory University.

Carson contributions include works of fiction and non-fiction, documentaries, and other creative productions. His most notable scholarship includes, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) and In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960’s (1981). He served as senior advisor for the Public Broadcasting System’s (PBS) fourteen-part documentary series “Eyes on the Prize”; and as historical advisor for the motion pictures “Freedom on My Mind” (1995), “Chicano!” (1996), and “Blacks and Jews” (1997). Carson, along with Roma Design Group, created the winning proposal in an international competition to design a national memorial for King in Washington, D.C.; and he authored “Passages of Martin Luther King” (1993), a docudrama.

As a member of professional organizations, Carson has been considerably active throughout his career. Those affiliations include: the American Historical Association (AHA), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the Social Science History Association (SSHA), the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASAALH), and the Southern Historical Association. In 1995, Carson received the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award for, In Struggle: . In addition, he served as an Andrew Mellon Fellow at Stanford University, the Center for the Study of Civil Rights and Race Relations at Duke University, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Carson lives with his wife, Susan Ann Carson, who until her retirement was the managing editor of the King Papers Project, in Palo Alto, California. They have two children: Malcolm Carson, an attorney; and Temera Carson, a social worker.

Clayborne Carson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.257

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/7/2013 |and| 12/12/2015

Last Name

Carson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Clayborne

Birth City, State, Country

Buffalo

HM ID

CAR27

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/15/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Stanford

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

African american history professor Clayborne Carson (1944 - ) served as professor of American history at Stanford University, senior editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., and as founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.

Employment

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Audience Studies, Inc.

Los Angeles Free Press

University of California, Los Angeles Survey Research Center

University of California, Los Angeles

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley

American University

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, Stanford University

Emory University

L'Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales

Morehouse College

Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

Favorite Color

Blue

Robert Lee Harris, Jr.

Professor Robert L. Harris, Jr. was born on April 23, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Ruby Harris. Growing up in Chicago, Harris attended St. Finbarr Elementary School and St. Philip High School. He graduated with his B.A. degree in history in 1966, and then his M.A. degree with honors in history in 1968; both from Roosevelt University. Harris went on to receive his Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1974.

Harris was hired as a sixth grade teacher at Chicago’s St. Rita Elementary School in 1965. Then, in 1968 and 1969, he worked at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama, as an instructor of social science. In 1972, Harris was hired as an assistant professor of American history at the University of Illinois, where he taught until 1975. He went on to work as an assistant professor of African American history at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University from 1975 until 1982, when he was promoted to associate professor. Harris also served as the director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University from 1986 until 1991, and then as special assistant to the provost of Cornell University from 1994 through 2000. He then was named vice provost for diversity and faculty development in 2000, and served in that position until 2008.

In 2004, Harris was promoted to full professor of African American history at Cornell University, and, in 2010, he was again hired as director of the Africana Studies and Research Center. In 2013, Harris was made both a graduate school professor of African and African American Studies and professor emeritus of African American history, American studies, and public affairs.

Harris authored Teaching African-American History, published by the American Historical Association, in 2001. He also co-edited The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939, which was published in 2006. In all, Harris has written thirteen individual book chapters, thirty scholarly articles, and eight dictionary entries. He has served on boards and committees of numerous organizations, including the De Witt Historical Society of Tompkins County, the New York Council for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for History Education, and the National History Center. Harris also served as the president of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History from 1991 until 1992. He has been awarded fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. Harris also received the James A. Perkins Prize in 2000 and the Cook Award in 2008 from Cornell University. In 2003, he was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Scholar’s Medallion for Distinguished Research, Writing and Activism from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Harris is also National Historian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Robert L. Harris, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.287

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2013 |and| 10/24/2013

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Roosevelt University

Northwestern University

St. Finbarr School

St. Malachy School

St. Philip Basilica High School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAR44

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Quote

I Believe I Can Fly.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/23/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

African american history professor Robert Lee Harris, Jr. (1943 - ) taught at Cornell University for over thirty-five years, and served as the director and vice provost of Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center.

Employment

St. Rita Elementary

Miles College

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Cornell University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. narrates his photographs

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lee Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his paternal grandfather's pipe

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his parents' careers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his father's shoe repair business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his sisters

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his parents' decision to enroll him in Catholic school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the redlining of the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the wealth gap in the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the achievement gap in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris Jr. recalls the political climate in Chicago, Illinois during the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his involvement in boys clubs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his early interest in history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his activities at St. Philip Basilica High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his visits to the segregated South

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the death of Emmett Till

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his early aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the faculty of Roosevelt University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the faculty of Roosevelt University, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his decision to pursue an academic career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls the start of his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his master's degree thesis

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the influence of Malcolm X

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the uprisings of 1968 on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris Jr. recalls his graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his dissertation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lee Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the findings of his dissertation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls joining the faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon his time at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the regional differences in racial categories

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the historical accounts of the Civil War

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the Dunning School

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls joining the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the scholarship of Stanley M. Elkins

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the scholarship on slavery

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the changing perceptions of slavery

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon the impact of Alex Haley's 'Roots'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls writing the study guides for 'Roots'

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his scholarship on H. Ford Douglas

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his career at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers John Henrik Clarke

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his scholarship on African American historiography

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his article, 'The Afro-American Classics: The Essential Library'

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the contributions of historian George Washington Williams

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his anthology contributions

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his academic textbook, 'Teaching African American History,' pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his academic textbook, 'Teaching African American History,' pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon the impact of President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the employment opportunities in technological fields

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his career at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his current scholarship, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his current scholarship, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about African American representation in the workforce

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his hopes for African American youth

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the changes to the Africana studies program at Cornell University, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the changes to the Africana studies program at Cornell University, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the field of Africana studies

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about 'The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his advice to aspiring historians

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his advice to African American studies scholars

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers attending international conferences

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$8

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early work experiences
Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the changing perceptions of slavery
Transcript
The people who lived in the house before we purchased it left this buggy, it was like a twin buggy; and I used to go to the A and P [The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company] on Saturday and I would deliver groceries. And given that I had this twin buggy, I had this big--I mean most guys had the Red Flyer little wagon, I had this big buggy, put the groceries in, deliver them.$$So grocery delivery was kind of a job that the young boys, I mean boys would do in the neighborhood [North Lawndale, Chicago, Illinois] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah you pick up a few dollars. I mean, you know, you get fifty cents, a dollar maybe to go with the woman who had bought her groceries. I mean these were black and white initially, but the neighborhood was, was pretty safe. I also had two paper routes. I--in a way in my family there was this go get them, entrepreneurial spirit. And so I had two paper routes. I delivered newspapers and at that time I delivered newspapers, I also picked up the money; you know, people paid each week for their newspaper. Sometimes you'd get tips. During the wintertime I would shovel snow, I'd go and I'd ask people, "You need me to shovel your--your sidewalk?" I, later when I was in about, where was I, I was about seventh grade 'cause I--I started working for my father [Robert Lee Harris, Sr.] in high school [St. Philip Basilica High School, Chicago, Illinois], or maybe eighth grade. But I worked in this grocery store, I stocked the shelves and what have you in the grocery store. And this was basically a Jewish neighborhood. The store owners were Jewish. There's one day of the year, I can't remember what it is where Jews are not supposed to handle any money. And so when I first started working at this store, or maybe I told my mother [Ruby Watkins Harris] about this, because he wanted me, that, the guy who owned the grocery store, he wanted me to handle all the money that day. But my--no, no, this--no, this was some--this was earlier when I first started working at the store, that's right. When I first started working in the store my mother said to me, 'cause my mother also did what they call day work sometime, housework, cleaned up white folk's homes, which also created problems in her retirement because there was no social security taken out, you know, from her--her pay. But my mother told me, she said, "Son, when you start working in that store," she said "maybe not the first day, but there's gonna be a day when he's gonna leave some money around you." She said, "Don't touch it." I was working for about three days and the guy--they lived in the back of the store. He said he had to go to the restroom, and so he went to the back of the store to go to the restroom. And so--let me also say, I should back up just a little bit, 'cause my mother said, "He's gonna leave some money around you, don't--don't touch it." I said, "Oh, momma, what are you talking about?" She said, "Boy," now I knew she's serious, she said, "don't touch any money." So he goes to the washroom. I look down by the cash register, there's a twenty dollar bill on the floor. My mother's words are, you know. I'm like afraid of that twenty dollar bill, I don't want to go near it. And when he came back, I immediately said, "There's a twenty dollar bill on the floor." He said, "Oh, it must've fallen from the cash register." I passed his test. And as I explain to students, I could've robbed the man blind after that. See you know, it was Langston Hughes who talked about the ways of white folk ['The Ways of White Folks']. We knew their ways more so than they knew our ways. But that was an important lesson that my, my mother taught me.$I know this is a big discussion, Eugene Genovese's 'Roll, Jordan, Roll' ['Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made']--$$Right.$$--and the writings of Leon Litwack and Ira Berlin and others--$$Yeah.$$--writing about slavery.$$Yeah.$$And I know John Clarke [John Henrik Clarke] said at one of the meetings [of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History] that, you know, Blassingame [John W. Blassingame] had the only book written by an African American about the slave experience at that time.$$Well, you know, this is something that puzzled me as a graduate student and then as a beginning assistant professor. We wrote more--and I was one who fell into this category as well, we wrote more about those African Americans who were free than we did about those who were enslaved. In part, that was to justify racial equality in a way; to show that we did have individuals of merit, of achievement, okay. We had very few novels about the period of, of slavery. It's only more recently like with Toni Morrison's 'Beloved,' and a, a number of other novels that have come out that have addressed, have dealt with--. It--it's, it's one of the things if you look at the Jewish American population, there's more work that has come out on the Holocaust I would say in the last twenty, thirty years then had been published before. It was something that, in a way, I--well, I'm just gonna be--speak for African American--I think we were shamed of enslavement. And we had to reach a point, the Civil Rights Movement freed us in a number of ways and one of the ways, with the Civil Rights Movement, with the notion that we had achieved, and I don't want to say that we had achieved racial equality, but we achieved some semblance of racial equality, that freed us up in many ways to look at our past, to look at the tragedies as well as the triumphs. Before the late 1960s, we wanted to look more at the triumphs. In fact, people talk about Carter G. Woodson basically writing contributionist history--showing the contribution that African Americans made to development of American society and again, justifying, saying that we deserve rights as citizens of the United States.$$Yeah, I think you're right. The name 'The Negro in Our History' [Carter G. Woodson] for instance?$$Yeah, yeah. So this was something that, I think, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1964--well, let's say '63 [1963], '64 [1964], '65 [1965] freed us up to really encounter our past in ways that we had not encountered our past before.

Lillian Lambert

Small business executive Lillian Lincoln Lambert was born on May 12, 1940 in Ballsville, Virginia to Willie D. Hobson, a farmer and Arnetha B. Hobson, a school teacher and homemaker. Lambert graduated from Pocahontas High School in Powhatan, Virginia in 1958. Her mother, a college graduate, urged Lambert to pursue an advanced degree, but she wanted to move to New York City instead. She worked as a maid on Fifth Avenue, a typist at Macy’s Department Store and a travelling saleswoman. Lambert then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1961, where she worked for the federal government as a typist in the Veteran Affairs Division and later with the Peace Corps while going to school at the District of Columbia Teacher’s College (now the University of the District of Columbia). In 1962, Lambert enrolled as a full-time student at Howard University at the age of twenty-two. Under the mentorship of Professor H. Naylor Fitzhugh, she majored in Business Administration and applied to Harvard Business School. Lambert graduated from Howard University in 1966 with her B.A. degree in business administration and started Harvard Business School in 1967. At Harvard Business School, she worked with four other black students to increase the number of African American enrollments and in 1968, they founded the African American Student Union. Lambert graduated in 1969 and was the first African American woman to receive her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.

Lambert was then hired at the Sterling Institute in Washington, D.C. and later as a manager at the National Bankers Association. In 1972, Lambert joined Ferris & Company as a stockbroker. In 1973, she began teaching at Bowie State College and became the executive vice president of Unified Services, a janitorial services company. Then in 1976, Lambert left Unified Services to start her own janitorial company, Centennial One, Inc. Starting in her garage, she grew Centennial into a business with more than 1,200 employees and $20 million in sales. In 2001, Lambert sold her company and in 2002, she became president of LilCo Enterprises. She now serves as a coach, consultant and public speaker.

Lambert is the recipient of numerous awards including the Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Maryland in 1981 and the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award in 2003, the school’s highest honor for its alumni. She has served on the board of visitors for Virginia Commonwealth University, the board of regents for the University System of Maryland, the board of directors for the African American Alumni Association of Harvard Business School and committee vice chair for the Manasota Chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Lambert is married to John Anthony Lambert, Sr. and has two adult daughters, Darnetha and Tasha.

Lillian Lincoln Lambert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 9, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.018

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/9/2012

Last Name

Lambert

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lincoln

Schools

Pocahontas Middle

Harvard Business School

Howard University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Powhatan

HM ID

LAM03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Youth, womens groups, business groups, education institutions.

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Defeat Is Not An Option.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

5/12/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Business chief executive Lillian Lambert (1940 - ) was the first African American woman to graduate with her M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School and went on to found her own company, Centennial One, Inc.

Employment

LilCo Enterprises

Centennial One, Inc.

Unified Services

Bowie State University

Favorite Color

Blue, Red

DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her family's property in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert considers her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert remembers nearly being crushed by a falling tree

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lillian Lambert talks about the schools she attended in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lillian Lambert remembers her neighbors in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lillian Lambert describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lillian Lambert describes her childhood home in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes family conflicts over the value of education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about her family's attitudes towards money

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about her schooling and extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her childhood church, Mt.Pero Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert describes race relations in Ballsville, Virginia during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert recalls watching boxing with her father and listening to stories told outside the local store

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert describes working as a nanny in Riverhead, New York, as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about attending Pocahontas High School in Powhatan County, Virgina

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes her high school aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert describes her time living in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert explains her move to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes working at the Veteran's Administration in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about her decision to enroll at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert describes how she financed her education at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mentor, H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her time at Howard University in Washington, D.C. as a commuter student

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about her college extracurricular activities and reflects on being a nontraditional student

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert recalls professors from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert recalls her various jobs during the summers in college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes her admission to Harvard Business School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert talks about the lack of African Americans at Harvard Business School from the 1930s to 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lillian Lambert describes her efforts to have Harvard Business School enroll more black students

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes her efforts to recruit black students at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert reflects on Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and its possible effect on diversity at Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert recalls her professors from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert recalls her time at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about a business school project for American Express

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert talks about working at the Sterling Institute after earning her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert reflects on being the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about working at the Sterling Institute and the National Bankers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes working as a stockbroker and as a consultant for a janitorial company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert talks about teaching and consulting while pregnant and her work for Unified Services full time

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about being fired from Unified Services and starting her own business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about her committee work and her contracts awarded in the 1970s, including a government contract through the SBA's 8(A) Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert describes her commercial cleaning business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about her largest contracts and financial losses

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert recalls winning the Small Business Person of the Year Award in 1981

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert considers President Nixon's role in the creation of the Small Business Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her mother's death

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert talks about her first husband's involvement in her business

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert talks about her second marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert talks about her involvement with the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert talks about the success of her business, Centennial One, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about selling Centennial One, Inc. in 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about starting LilCo Enterprises and working as a realtor

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert talks about writing her book, 'A Road to Someplace Better'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert reflects on how her life has changed since her childhood in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert reflects her interactions with the people in Ballsville, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert describes her volunteer activities

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert talks about her student talks

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lillian Lambert describes her mentoring relationships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lillian Lambert describes her hopes and concerns for African American communities

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lillian Lambert talks about the racism shown HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lillian Lambert talks about discrimination in her business dealings

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lillian Lambert considers what she might have done differently

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lillian Lambert considers her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lillian Lambert talks about serving on the board of regents at the University System of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lillian Lambert talks about her marriage to John Lambert

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Lillian Lambert describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Lillian Lambert narrates her photographs

Janet L. Sims-Wood

Historian, publisher, and reference librarian Janet Louise Sims-Wood was born on May 22, 1945 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina to Marvin and Hazel Sims. Sims-Wood attended Carver High School where she worked in the school library. At the encouragement of her school librarian, she attended college at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, receiving her B.S. degree in sociology with a minor in library science in 1967. Sims-Wood worked in several Washington, D.C. libraries until a supervisor cautioned her that she would not advance without a master's degree. She enrolled at the University of Maryland where, in 1972, she received her M.L.S. degree. Sims-Wood later completed twenty-one hours in African American history at Howard University before earning her Ph.D. in 1994 in women’s studies, history and oral history from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds a ministerial diploma from the Spirit of Faith (SOF) Bible Institute in Temple Hills, Maryland.

Sims-Wood began her career in library science in 1972 as a Reader’s Advisor in the Black Studies Division of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. This experience led to her interest and specialization in African American history. In 1974, Sims-Wood became an assistant reference librarian at Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. She was appointed to Assistant Chief Librarian for Reference, Reader Services of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center in 1987, a position she held until her retirement in 2005. Sims-Wood has taught black women’s history courses at the University of Maryland, and has served as a children’s librarian with the Washington, D.C. Public Library System. She worked part-time for Prince George’s Community College Library. Sims-Wood was part of a team of librarians who provide online services through a nation-wide 24/7 virtual reference program called AskUsNow.

Sims-Wood is a founding associate editor of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women which published the anthology Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters. She was the founder of a small publishing company, Afro Resources, Inc., which published a 1993 calendar depicting black women who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Sims-Wood has served as a consultant to several publishers and agencies, including Carlson Publishing Company’s Black Women in America series and the American Girl's Addy doll and book series. Sims-Wood has also served as a bibliographer for the annual Black History Month kits of the Association for the Study of American Life and History. She is a life member and has held several executive positions in the Association for the Study of American Life and History and the Association of Black Women Historians.

Janet Sims-Wood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.159

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/24/2007

Last Name

Sims-Wood

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Louise

Schools

Paul L Dunbar School

Carver High School

North Carolina Central University

University of Maryland

Union Institute & University

Spirit of Faith Bible Institute

Howard University

First Name

Janet

Birth City, State, Country

Rutherfordton

HM ID

SIM07

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

ProQuest

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

They That Wait Upon The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength; They Shall Mount Up With Wings As The Eagles; They Shall Run And Not Be Weary; They Shall Walk And Not Faint.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/22/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Historian and reference librarian Janet L. Sims-Wood (1945 - ) served as Assistant Chief Librarian for Reference, Reader Services for the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University.

Employment

Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

Prince George's Community College

University of Maryland, College Park

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue, Green, Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janet L. Sims-Wood's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jane L. Sims-Wood describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the community of Avondale, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Janet Sims-Wood describes her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers Dunbar Elementary School in Forest City, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her elementary school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her favorite subjects

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her experiences at Carver High School in Spindale, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her aspiration to become a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers sewing her own clothing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers the music and television programs of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her decision to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her first year of college

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her extracurricular activities in college

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her start as a librarian

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her experiences at the University of Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her professors at the University of Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her projects at the University of Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls publishing her first academic article

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the patrons of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes an apocryphal story about Charles R. Drew

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about the importance of African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her role as a librarian

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her research on the Ku Klux Klan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her dissertation on the Women's Army Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls interviewing members of the Women's Army Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Women's Army Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about black women's experiences of racism in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers founding the SAGE journal

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls developing an American Girl doll

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her publishing company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood lists the African American academic journals

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Maryland Humanities Council

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls her trip to South Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her historical research projects

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about conducting oral history interviews, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about conducting oral history interviews, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood recalls completing her dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers her research on the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her husband and stepchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Spirit of Faith Christian Center in Temple Hill, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the library at the Spirit of Faith Bible Institute in Temple Hills, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her librarian duties at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Janet L. Sims-Wood reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the challenges of teaching research skills

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about researching her family history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes the Kids' Black History on the Net project

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Janet L. Sims-Wood describes her work with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Janet L. Sims-Wood reflects upon her career

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Janet L. Sims-Wood shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about her breast cancer diagnosis

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Janet L. Sims-Wood narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Janet L. Sims-Wood talks about black women's experiences of racism in the U.S. military
Janet L. Sims-Wood remembers Dovey Johnson Roundtree
Transcript
Martha Putney [Martha Settle Putney] talks about being on a troop train and one time she was on a troop train where she was the only black on the train. And nightfall came and they tried to figure out where is this woman going to sleep. So, you know, you can, you can tell when people are talking about you. She said they were all standing in a group and they were talking and then they'd turn their heads and look back at her, you know, and they--so she knew they were talking about her. And so, what happened they ended up putting her in a private room and having her meals sent to her so she wouldn't eat with the rest of the, rest of the troop women on the train. So, basically, when they first went in it was very much segregated. They had their own unit, they ate together, they--everything they did, they did together. By the time, by the time Martha got there though, they were beginning to have--be in the same barracks 'cause she did have an incident where a white lady did not want to be in the same barracks with her. And, of course, they--the, the personnel straightened her out so--but they tell so many fascinating stories. It's, you know, just, just things that happened to them because they were, you know, you were supposed to be protected by the military but in certain instances you were not.$$Right.$$So they still had to deal with the discrimination. And one of the reasons that--of course most of them went in, the men and the women, was because they were looking for, you know, they wanted to be citizens, good citizens. But unfortunately they sometimes got treated better overseas than they did here. And when they came back they still could not get jobs and things. So, they still had a, had a problem but they really wanted to show that they were citizens. And one of the things that--when I would have them with me or when I would do presentations, especially if I--and to students. One thing that students ask me but they wouldn't ask them, was: "Why would you want to go into something that people--where you were not wanted?" So I would have to explain the, the circumstances of that particular time period, the economic time period. So that gave me a little time to teach them a little bit of a lesson. And but, when they were there, if one of them was there, that was never a question that they asked them. "Why would you go [into the Women's Army Corps]?" And I think it was out of respect because they just, you know, that gives a question--'cause they were so proud of the fact that they had been in. So they, they were really, they were fascinating ladies.$Dovey Roundtree [Dovey Johnson Roundtree], for instance, was a recruiter. One of the questions I asked Dovey was about--I asked all of 'em, I had general questions that I asked everybody. But one of the questions that I asked was, because this was the [U.S.] military and I know they--and they test you and put you in a certain place that's where you'd be. Well, I say, "Were you ever able to do--ask them for another assignment or something like that, or once they tested you, did you have to stay in the--wherever they put you?" And she said, "Well, I was put the transportation department," and she said, "I went to them and told them that I thought I was more intellectual than that and that I thought I, you know, and on top of that I can't drive." But you see, you know, that didn't matter because they were gonna teach you how to drive. Most of those ladies couldn't drive when they went in, but they told her that, "Since you like to talk so much, we're going to make you a recruiter." So that's what she became, she was a recruiter and went around the country recruiting students. Especially--and she got a chance to go back to Spelman College [Atlanta, Georgia], where she graduated, and she did some recruiting there. So, she recruited all over the country. And one of the things that Dovey also told me, when she was in undergraduate school, 'cause all the WACs [Women's Army Corps] that went in, the very first group were officer candidates. They had to go in as officer--and they had to be college graduates because they were gonna train the rest of the folk that came in. So she was a college graduate, but she said when she was at Spelman she--her grandmother knew Bethune [Mary McLeod Bethune] and so--but she was gonna have to come out because she didn't have any money. And she was out there on the campus one day crying, and this white teacher came by and asked her what was wrong. And she told her, she said, "I have to leave, I have no money." And the lady told her to--, "Meet me at the, the bursar's office the next morning." And that lady came and paid the rest of her college education. And she said while she was in the military she put funds away to come back and repay that lady. And she was one of the few people that repaid her. So they had, they had all kinds of stories that they told.

Gail A. Hansberry

Contractor and Graphic Artist/Photographer, Gail A. Hansberry was born in Washington, D.C. on September 4, 1939. Her mother, Myrtle Kelso Hansberry, taught French in a junior high school. Her father, William Leo Hansberry was a pioneer in the study of Ancient African History and taught at Howard University in Washington D.C. from 1922–1959. Hansberry attended public schools and during the 10th grade she lived in Cairo, Egypt, where her father was a Fulbright Research Scholar.

In 1960, Hansberry received her B.A. degree in Art from Howard University. In 1962 she received her M.A. degree in Art History from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, where she also took Leonard Baskin’s graphics courses and made a book of etchings by hand entitled Insects (1962); a later enlarged version was entitled Insects and Haiku (1970).

In 1962-63 Hansberry worked in the Publications Office of the National Gallery of Art and taught art at Taft Junior High School in Washington, D.C. From 1963–1966 she was an instructor of Art History at North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University) in Durham, N.C. In 1966, Hansberry moved to New York and was a researcher at Time Life Books from 1967-1976. Then, through 1979, she was a freelance editorial researcher and photographer in NY.

Hansberry returned to Washington, D.C. in 1980 and for about twenty eight years was an English Language Officer (ELO), contracted by the U.S. Department of State.

Organizations to which Hansberry has belonged include BPIA (International Association of Black Professional in International Affairs); AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority); (NCIV) National Council for International Visitors, and WBG (Washington Biography Group). From 1990 -1992 Hansberry served as executive director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Hansberry’s prints and hand-made books are in private collections and at Smith College, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City and the Library of Congress. Hansberry did photographic studies of the George Washington Bridge in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Two photographs of her study of the Brooklyn Bridge were included in its 1983 Centennial Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum (“The Great East River Bridge 1883-1983”.) Her photography is also included in the 2009 Colors of Life, published by The Exposure Group African American Photographers Association, Inc. of which she is a member. In addition, a transcript of a video interview with Hansberry was published in Artist and Influence, Vol. XXIX, 2010, in the Hatch-Billops Collection Inc, Archives of African American Cultural History.

Gail A. Hansberry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 9, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/9/2007

Last Name

Hansberry

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

McKinley Technology High School

Mott Elementary School

Slowe Elementary School

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Smith College

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gail

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

HAN02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

One Should Be Consistent And Fair In Their Relationships With People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/4/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and photographer Gail A. Hansberry (1939 - ) served as executive director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History from 1990 to 1992. Her photographs are housed at the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Library of Congress.

Employment

North Carolina Central University

Time Warner, Inc.

Taft Elementary School

United States Department of State

North Carolina College at Durham

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1610,21:1890,26:2170,31:2590,62:3500,75:4130,89:7140,177:7420,182:7700,187:9100,221:9660,233:9940,238:10430,246:10710,251:11480,263:11830,269:12110,274:17645,295:18025,300:18690,308:19450,317:19830,323:20495,332:28593,419:33738,468:34200,477:35256,495:35520,500:36576,525:36840,530:37434,542:37962,552:38292,558:38622,566:40404,603:40734,609:41526,627:42186,641:42516,647:43308,663:43572,668:44166,679:44628,688:48910,705:52034,719:52706,728:53570,738:53954,743:54338,748:58754,804:59426,812:60578,827:63660,834:65364,858:65861,866:66500,877:68701,1005:69766,1029:70476,1040:70831,1046:71967,1064:72464,1072:73387,1087:74097,1099:75020,1118:79401,1138:84042,1237:84861,1248:86317,1262:86772,1268:87409,1276:89320,1296:89775,1303:90412,1312:90958,1319:92596,1348:93051,1354:98365,1376:98887,1384:99496,1393:100453,1405:101149,1415:104020,1458:104455,1465:105151,1474:106108,1488:106978,1499:111300,1514:111921,1526:112749,1540:113163,1548:113853,1560:114612,1572:114888,1577:119373,1652:119718,1658:120960,1695:121305,1709:125171,1722:126711,1751:127173,1758:127943,1771:128482,1779:130022,1807:130484,1815:131177,1825:134750,1851:136360,1882:139908,1914:140180,1919:140452,1924:140928,1932:141880,1954:143376,1983:143988,1996:144872,2013:145144,2018:145416,2023:145688,2028:145960,2033:146504,2042:146844,2048:147456,2058:147932,2067:148204,2072:148884,2084:149292,2096:149700,2104:150108,2111:150448,2117:155979,2161:156477,2169:157390,2187:159465,2228:160461,2242:161457,2255:163117,2280:163449,2285:164030,2294:166769,2346:172470,2383:174167,2390:177134,2402:177422,2407:177998,2417:178646,2429:178934,2434:179438,2443:179870,2451:180230,2457:184990,2487:187105,2497:188005,2514:189730,2550:190030,2555:190705,2565:194013,2590:196878,2609:203435,2651:206202,2681:206678,2689:207630,2707:208038,2715:208378,2721:209126,2736:211442,2747:212426,2759:212918,2766:217920,2856:218576,2867:225440,2936:227070,2956$0,0:2958,40:15270,215:17970,246:25696,323:26122,330:26903,343:29175,392:31873,498:33364,522:34074,537:35565,562:35991,569:53314,644:54274,655:55522,668:56578,681:57154,688:57538,698:58402,709:59074,717:66983,764:68348,778:74560,831:81424,954:90428,1057:95009,1116:95618,1125:97510,1133:98007,1142:98291,1147:98859,1161:99285,1169:101105,1183:101672,1194:102302,1232:103373,1253:103877,1262:104948,1283:105326,1290:105578,1295:107819,1352:108749,1389:118228,1542:118624,1547:120374,1556:121366,1577:121862,1586:122854,1627:123598,1640:126298,1677:126653,1683:127008,1689:129289,1713:130420,1729:131116,1738:133966,1772:134950,1785:135524,1799:138066,1837:141838,1899:142576,1918:143314,1928:148860,1959:160443,2006:166784,2129:168086,2149:172453,2175:172758,2181:173570,2191
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gail A. Hansberry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's influence on African studies

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers the Africa House in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her father's research into African history

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her homes in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her early interest in astronomy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her love of football

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her cousin, Lorraine Hansberry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her father's organizational involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her aunt, Carrie Washington Fitchett

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her family's voyage to Egypt

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry describes Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls the Manor House School in Cairo, Egypt

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers travelling in Egypt

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her return to the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her professors at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers her early career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her teaching career

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry talks about African American art history

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls teaching at North Carolina College at Durham

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her interest in photography

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her trip to Mexico City, Mexico

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers moving to New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls a conflict with her superiors at Time-Life Books

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her photographs of New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls her book, 'Insects and Haiku'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gail A. Hansberry remembers caring for her family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls working for the U.S. Department of State

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gail A. Hansberry talks about human trafficking

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gail A. Hansberry describes her coordination with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gail A. Hansberry recalls directing the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Gail A. Hansberry remembers her father's research into African history
Gail A. Hansberry remembers her early career
Transcript
Did you get any idea from your father [William Leo Hansberry] where he, he developed the interest in Africa which was so unusual in those days, 'cause there were, there weren't that many people interested in Africa?$$You know, I was just reading some information about that very recently. As I said earlier probably from, from his father [Elden Hayes Hansberry] but then also he read 'The Negro' by W.E.B. Du Bois and much of what he read in there sort of gave him a sense of confidence or the fact that he knew that there, that there was a world out there that, I guess, he was questioning, how could black people not have a history? How could they be brought from Africa and then not have a past or a history? And this was something that just kind of gnawed at him, I guess. And the seeds had been planted because of his father being a historian, or a history teacher at Alcorn [Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi]. And so he just pursued this passion, I mean, he was passionate about Africa. He would provide information to anybody who would ask him. So many of the people, journalists, other historians, colleagues here at Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] and elsewhere, would ask him about certain things, what he was doing, what was taking place in Africa, or what had taken place in Africa. And many of them got recognition before my father got recognition. So but he, he was such a generous person and so passionate about what he, what he was interested in that he wanted. He transmitted this passion; he was, he, he would just give the information out freely. And I guess that's one of the things that you do when you're a teacher. He used to say, "If the student hasn't learned, the teacher hasn't taught." And he was such an excellent teacher and the, his, his excitement, you know, sort was transferred to the students and they were excited also, I guess, that's what made him a very popular teacher. In addition, to the fact that they were learning about something that was very unusual for them and it sort of opened their eyes and it broadened their perspective not just to what had happened here in the United States but, you know, worldwide and particularly focusing on Africa. And they were not from the Dark Continent that they thought they were from or that wasn't their legacy but from a people that were kings and queens, and then when you stop to think that man originated in Africa then, you know, it was the most, it was the continent with the most favorable conditions for man to be created, you know, from the standpoint of, of archeology and anthropology. And what I was reading recently was that many of these things that my father was teaching or saying back in the '20s [1920s] and '30s [1930s] and '40s [1940s] have been actually proven, you know, more accepted now because of the, the research and the, the archeological digs in East Africa.$Well when you finished in '62 [1962] at Smith [Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts] what did you do next?$$(Laughter) I, I went to France for the summer. I went with Lois Jones [Lois Mailou Jones]. She took several, excuse me, trips, had several trips that she would take her students on. I went to France for six weeks, primarily in Paris [France] and we would, you know, visit the museums. Went to the Ecole de la Grande Chaumiere [sic. Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France], which was an art school there. Then I remember painting on the street corners, you know, in water color, in Paris. And my thesis at Smith was a comparison between rock paintings in Africa with cave paintings, ancient prehistoric paintings in Europe. And so I was able to go to Southern France to see some of the caves that I had, that I had included, the rock art of, of, in the caves that I had included, cave art that I had included in my thesis. So that was a good, a good six weeks in, in Paris. But all of sudden as I said, I didn't know what I was going to do beforehand but all of a sudden I decided I was going to teach. Prior to that time I didn't want to teach, mainly because my mother [Myrtle Kelso Hansberry] was a teacher, she was now teaching French at Alice Deal Junior High School [Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, D.C.]. My father [William Leo Hansberry] was a teacher, I didn't know what I wanted to do but I knew I didn't wanna teach and then all of a sudden while I was in Paris I decided I wanted to teach. I came back, my first job was at the National Gallery of Art [Washington, D.C.] in the publications office. I understand that I was the first black person in a non-service capacity at the National Gallery of Art. And being in the publications office, I was selling postcards, you know, in their publications, in the, in the store, their, their, their store there, which was a wonderful first job, nice location, nice environment.$$Now, this is 1963 or--$$Nineteen sixty [1960]--$$Or is it still '62 [1962]--$$Two [1962], '63 [1963], yes.$$Okay.$$Sixty-two [1962], '63 [1963]. And I did that for about, oh, several months. It was a great first job.

Robert C. Hayden

Robert C. Hayden, Jr. is a historian, author, and educator, who has contributed to African American historiography for thirty-five years. He is the author, co-author, and editor of nineteen books and special publications in the field. Alongside his historical research, writing and teaching, he served for thirty-two years in numerous educational positions – as an ethnic studies curriculum developer and as a project administrator in urban school projects across the country. He is the founder and president of RCH Associates that provides African American history services and resources to educators and a range of public and private institutions, organizations and community groups.

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on August 21, 1937, Hayden graduated from New Bedford High School in 1955. He attended Boston University, receiving his B.A. degree in 1959 and his master’s degree in 1961. He completed two post-graduate fellowships --one at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and another in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) between 1976 and 1977. Between 1994 and 1995, he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

Between 1961 and 1965, Hayden worked as a middle school teacher. In 1966, Hayden became an editor with Xerox Education Division, serving in that capacity for three years. From 1970 to 1973, he was the executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity in Boston. In 1974, he moved to the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts where he directed ethnic heritage studies projects for urban school districts. In 1980, he became the director of MIT’s Secondary Technical Education Project. From 1982 to 1987, he served as an assistant superintendent in the Boston Public School System. Before retiring in 1992, Hayden served for five years as the executive director of the Massachusetts Pre-engineering Program.

Hayden is known for his three pioneering works in the 1970s on the history of African Americans in science, technology and medicine. From 1974 to 1983, he wrote a weekly column, “Boston’s Black History”, for the Bay State Banner newspaper in Boston. He was a contributing writer for the Dictionary of American Negro Biography (1982) the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (1995), and American National Biography (1999).

Notable too, are his African Americans in Boston: More Than 350 Years (1991), and his African Americans and Cape Verdean Americans in New Bedford: A History of Community and Achievement (1993). In 2003, his first definitive biography was published – Mr. Harlem Hospital: Dr. Louis T. Wright. His most recent book is African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard: A History of People, Places and Events (2005).

Hayden has been a Lecturer in the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts at Boston since 1992. From 1978 to 2001, he was a Senior Lecturer at Northeastern University and held the same position at Lesley University from 1992 to 2005.

Residing on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, he served on the Oak Bluffs Historical Commission from 1998 to 2000. He is the national secretary of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the founding president of the Martha’s Vineyard Brach of the ASALH.

Accession Number

A2004.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/17/2004

Last Name

Hayden

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

New Bedford High School

Thomas R Rodman

Boston University

Boston University School of Education

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

New Bedford

HM ID

HAY06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Take One Day At A Time.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/21/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken Livers

Short Description

Historian Robert C. Hayden (1937 - ) is the former project director for the Educational Development Center, and served as the executive assistant to the superintendent of Boston Public Schools. Hayden has also lectured at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and was appointed as a scholar-in-residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.

Employment

RCH Associates

Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture

Xerox Corporation

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity

Education Development Center

Boston Public Schools

Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program

Bay State Banner Newspaper

Dictionary of American Negro Biography

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History

American National Biography

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Northeastern University

Lesley University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1963,43:2611,52:4798,114:6499,135:8281,161:11130,170:11592,177:18445,356:19292,369:19908,379:20524,397:21987,425:25710,450:26235,459:44390,804:44730,809:49834,865:50126,873:50491,893:57717,1010:58182,1021:60228,1053:62181,1077:66924,1166:67754,1178:70493,1242:70991,1250:82751,1399:83303,1410:83648,1419:85028,1443:86063,1464:86546,1473:92426,1584:98378,1757:98688,1790:102284,1858:102718,1875:103028,1881:106460,1894:107675,1929:110915,2014:124944,2228:125374,2234:126062,2243:135529,2431:135885,2436:136330,2442:139026,2478:140082,2500:146352,2600:146767,2606:150608,2643:151091,2651:151919,2666:154403,2718:154748,2724:155231,2737:164235,2884:164560,2890:166380,2934:166770,2941:167355,2951:171085,2984:172600,3000$2630,0:7279,144:9604,174:10348,183:10906,190:12115,208:13045,220:13510,227:15094,237:17200,285:17668,292:21256,360:22816,410:24220,440:25078,461:27730,537:30616,615:31240,624:31552,629:32020,637:32644,647:36778,729:37324,738:39352,792:48862,956:50094,1003:51557,1049:56968,1118:58470,1125:59406,1140:60342,1185:60846,1194:62286,1249:63582,1270:67254,1347:69558,1399:70998,1436:71790,1458:77785,1556:78353,1565:80199,1599:80696,1608:85658,1685:89134,1784:89687,1804:90714,1888:93190,1903
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert C. Hayden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his maternal grandfather's employment as a Pullman porter

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden describes his mother's activities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his mother's educational opportunities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden recalls traveling with his family outside of New Bedford, Massachusetts for the first time

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his father's retirement from the United States Postal Service

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden shares his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden describes growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden describes the sights, sound and smells of growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden remembers his experience at Thomas R. Rodman Elementary School in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his academic interests during his time at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his activities at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his interest in sports while growing up and the impact of the Brooklyn Dodgers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his family's religious involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden talks about the process for his acceptance to Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden shares his recollections of Howard Thurman's tenure as dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden recalls Greek life at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his courses at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his employment at Lahey Clinic following his graduation from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden remembers his student teaching experience in Newton Public Schools in Newton, Massachusetts in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his mentor at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his experiences teaching science at John Wingate Weeks Junior High School in Newton, Massachusetts in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his opportunity to study at Harvard University for the National Science Foundation's Academic Year Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden remembers his involvement as an educator during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden talks about working as a science editor for the Xerox Corporation education division

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his experiences writing and testing curricular material while science editor for Xerox Corporation's education division

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Robert C. Hayden talks about publishing three books on African Americans in science and technology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden explains how his scientific background informed his process writing books about African American scientists

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden talks about researching the life and career of Dr. Charles Henry Turner, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about researching the life and career of Dr. Charles Henry Turner, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden describes how he came to work for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his responsibilities as director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his membership in the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his membership in the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden talks about writing a weekly science column for the Bay State Banner

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his career as a college lecturer in Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden describes his year as scholar-in-residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his research experiences in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his research experiences in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden talks about finding a place to live in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his relationship with Dr. John Henrik Clarke, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his relationship with Dr. John Henrik Clarke, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden describes how he came to work for the Community Fellows Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden describes his responsibilities for the Community Fellows Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about becoming deputy superintendent of Boston Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his employment with Boston Public Schools in the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his books based on locations in Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his research for his recent books

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his book 'William E. B. Du Bois, Family and Friendship: Another Side of the Man' co-written with Katherine Bell Banks, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his book 'William E. B. Du Bois, Family and Friendship: Another Side of the Man' co-written with Katherine Bell Banks, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his research on William Monroe Trotter

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden talks about the circumstances surrounding William Monroe Trotter's death

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about the development of his book, 'African Americans in Boston: More Than 350 Years'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden talks about writing 'Singing for All People: Roland Hayes, a Biography'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden talks about the presidential history of the Boston, Massachusetts branch of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his involvement with the Boston, Massachusetts branch of the NAACP

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden talks about the history of racial segregation and civil rights movements in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert C. Hayden reflects upon his career in education administration and African American studies curricula development

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert C. Hayden reflects upon his family history

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert C. Hayden describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Robert C. Hayden reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his children's educational and career achievements and opportunities

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert C. Hayden reflects upon the importance of having a well-rounded education and taking chances

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his life on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert C. Hayden talks about being confused with Robert Hayden, the poet

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert C. Hayden talks about his relationship with Robert Hayden, the poet

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert C. Hayden describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert C. Hayden narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$5

DATitle
Robert C. Hayden talks about publishing three books on African Americans in science and technology
Robert C. Hayden talks about his responsibilities as director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity in Boston, Massachusetts
Transcript
Do you still have this interest in African American history during this period of time, and how is that--where is that at this point?$$Well, I had applied for a doctoral degree program at Boston University [Boston, Massachusetts] when I was living in Connecticut. I was accepted into an Ed.D. program. And I was going to use all the materials that I had collected on blacks in science, math and technology and so on for my thesis. But I could see that the professor that I had at the time as my mentor, was going to take that stuff. And often professors will encumber and, you know, massage and take over what their students had worked on. And I was a little leery of, you know, how he was going to take my material. Nobody else had done this kind of research. A couple other guys had begun to do some work in blacks in science. One of the persons I worked with at Xerox [Corporation] education division, Ray Brockell [ph.], Raymond Brockell, had left Xerox and went to Addison-Wesley to develop a new trade book division. He came back one day looking for editors who wanted to get books published. And I told him that I had all this material on blacks in science and technology and so on. He said, "That's something we'd be"--now, this is late 1960s. Right? I had already come back to Boston [Massachusetts]. And he said, "Write me a proposal. Send me a table of contents." So I put together a table of contents of twenty-five African Americans in science, technology and medicine; and I wrote a sample chapter, and I sent it in. And, of course, in those days, black stuff was in vogue. Black studies materials were needed, particularly in the science area.$$Yeah. It was starting to blossom, you know, right.$$Yeah. And so Ray Brockell comes back to me. He'd taken it back to his staff, editorial board. He comes back, he says, "We've decided you have three books. We'd like you to do a book on blacks in science," which I have right here. Then he says, "The second book will be blacks in technology in the field of invention." And then he said, "We'll do a third book, blacks in medicine." Well, to make a long story short, Larry [Crowe], my first hardback came out in 1970 by Addison-Wesley, 'Seven Black American Scientists' [Robert C. Hayden] the book that you see here on the table. Two years later, 1972, my second hardback came out, 'Eight Black American Inventors' [Robert C. Hayden]. And then four years later, there was a little delay, my third hardback and my third book, 'Nine Black American Doctors' [Robert C. Hayden]. So in the course of six years, I had three books out. That put me out there in science education as a historian of blacks in science. Now there were two other guys who had come out with books, both white researchers, white authors had come out with books. So I was on the forefront. One of the pioneers to have stuff first published in hardback. And, of course, the school districts across the country and libraries bought my books.$When I left [Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), Boston, Massachusetts] in 1973, I had 1800 students riding seventy-seven buses every day to thirty-two suburban school districts. I was working ten days a week, six weeks a month. I mean, it was like running the school system. It was bigger than running a school system. I had to work from all the way from the bus drivers and the bus companies, who were on parent groups, to the state legislature, to the Boston [Massachusetts] school system; and I had to work with all of the suburban school districts, twenty-eight of them, where we had anywhere from nine to twelve to twenty to maybe thirty-six black students in these various school districts going back and forth every day. It was--and it was--the program was based in the community. It was started by black parents. In the very year that I left Boston to go to Connecticut to work with Xerox [Corporation], black parents said, "We've had enough of the Boston [Public] Schools [BPS]. We're going to find relief." Legislation got passed. [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] had helped Massachusetts' legislature [Massachusetts General Court] to pass the racial imbalance law [Racial Imbalance Act of 1966] in Massachusetts on his second march through Boston in 1965 that I participated in. And out of that racial imbalance law came an amendment that made it possible for black students to go to schools outside their district. It was their choice. It was a voluntary program. It was voluntary on the part of the suburban district to accept black students from the City of Boston. So I directed that program. I had a staff of eight or nine people. We had parent meetings every night. I mean, I had to raise money. I had to work for the State Department of Education [Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education]. It was a tremendous job.

Lionel McMurren

Lionel McMurren was born in Harlem, New York, on October 21, 1925. At the age of two, his mother died and he was raised by two aunts in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and also by a great aunt in New York. McMurren attended public school in New York and went on to attend Brooklyn College. Because he was drafted in 1944 and served in the Pacific Rim Theater, McMurren did not complete his A.B. from Brooklyn until 1949. A year later, he went on to earn an M.S. from City Colleges of New York. In 1968, he received a professional diploma in instructional administration and a Ph.D. in 1980, both from Fordham University.

McMurren began his professional career in 1951, working as a health education community center teacher. In 1954, at the Methodist Camp Service, McMurren provided summer camp opportunities for inner-city youth. He did this for twenty years, both full and part time, rising eventually to the position of executive director. Also in 1954, McMurren returned to the junior high school of his youth, Frederick Douglass Junior High School, where he showed a particular talent in working with youth. Over the next ten years, McMurren would rise to dean of students and acting assistant principal. In 1964, McMurren took another position as a guidance counselor at a junior high school in Manhattan, and in 1966 he became the assistant principal of P.S. 78 Elementary School. Returning to Frederick Douglass, McMurren assumed the position of principal in 1969, and remained there until 1982.

McMurren was promoted to deputy superintendent of schools of New York in 1982, and remained there until 1986. McMurren continued to work in education even after leaving his post, both as a consultant and as associate professor at City Colleges of New York. In 2005, McMurren completed on an autobiographical account of his experiences at Frederick Douglass, entitled Frederick Douglass P.S. 139: A Citadel of Inspiration--its Aura and Impact : a Story of a Harlem School.

Beyond his years as an educator, McMurren was active in social and civic organizations. He held numerous positions with St. Mark's Methodist Church after first becoming involved in 1940. He was a member of several fraternal organizations, and has been involved with the Minority Task Force on AIDS.

McMurren's former wife, Dorothy, died in 1987. He later remarried and moved, with his wife, Jean, to Sarasota, Florida.

Lionel McMurren passed away on January 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2003.194

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2003

Last Name

McMurren

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Brooklyn College

City College of New York

Fordham University

P.S. 5 Alexander Webb School

P.S. 139 Frederick Douglass School

DeWitt Clinton High School

First Name

Lionel

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MCM02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/21/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter, Jelly, Franks, Beans

Death Date

1/22/2012

Short Description

Junior high school principal Lionel McMurren (1925 - 2012 ) is the former deputy superintendent of the New York Public Schools.

Employment

Frederick Douglass Jr. High School

Methodist Camp Service

Manhattan Jr. High School #45

PS 78 Elementary School

Community School District

City College of New York

Super Center Consortium

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lionel McMurren's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes his experiences living with his great-aunt Priscilla Manly in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes the sights, sounds and smells from his childhood in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about going to live with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lionel McMurren remembers attending P.S. 5, Alexander Webb Elementary School, in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lionel McMurren describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about pursuing his dream of being a psychiatrist

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about his interest in psychology

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren remembers Mr. Amatrano, his favorite teacher at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School, in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes how schools in New York, New York tracked their students

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his class size and best subject at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren talks about Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes the history of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about his teachers at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he gained from attending Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren describes the camaraderie he felt while at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes the demographics of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York and wanting to become a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren describes deciding to attend Brooklyn College in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about serving in the China Burma India Theater during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren tells a story about segregation on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes the distinction between the U.S. Army Air Force and the Air Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about graduating from Brooklyn College in New York, New York in 1949 and wanting to be a psychiatrist

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes how he became a teacher at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about being dean at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about the Instructional Administrator's Program at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, New York and eventually becoming a principal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about the advent of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, of which he was principal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes his time as principal at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about discrimination against minority teachers in New York City public schools

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes building a team of administrators for Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about his goals as principal of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren sings Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10's school song

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about having conferences with new teachers at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10, in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about becoming deputy superintendent for schools of New York and campaigning to improve schools in central Harlem, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes training assistant principals and principals in his role as deputy superintendent of schools of New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about the influence of HistoryMaker Eugene H. Webb on Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about the legacy of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, today and how it's changed

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about his hope for Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about his decision to retire in 1986

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes his involvement with civic organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he'd like to do during retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about his love for Harlem, New York, New York and what it mean to be a good educator

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren recites the poem, 'Invictus'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Lionel McMurren describes the history of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
Lionel McMurren talks about his hope for Harlem, New York, New York
Transcript
So we're talking about the history of [Frederick] Douglass [Junior High School, New York, New York].$$Yes, yes, the history of Douglass. This is Robert S. Dixon who gathered the students and staff members of the first school, the first class of Douglass; they marched from what was a night club on the hill--it was a hill on 140th Street and Seventh Avenue [New York, New York]. Now, it's called Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, but it was Seventh Avenue, and he marched to the school, which was located on 140th Street between Lennox and Seventh Avenues, and that was the beginning of Douglass. And so (simultaneous)--$$What year was that? (Simultaneous).$$Nineteen twenty-four [1924].$$Oh, yeah, you just said that.$$And so that school began. And the school apparently attracted so many noteworthy persons who became noteworthy at any rate; Countee Cullen was one, and he was a great person--poet--known, well-known, as a poet, and he taught French in his--he had years in France, et cetera. Mr. Harcore Tynes [ph.], whom, on one of the articles I have here on my becoming a principal and saying that I was--I could relate to Harlem [New York, New York] and the students and all as principal, I was so blessed to be in that position. And I said because I had such wonderful teachers at the school where I did attend, and one which was Harcore Tynes who was, and I quote, "Teaching Negro history before it was popular." He was teaching us Negro history then.$$Now, how--but what--it was part of the public school system but--I'm just trying to understand it; I understand there was a march, but what--how did it come about--into being? You know, how within (simultaneous)--$$Board of Education decided they would have a school in Harlem--$$Okay.$$--and it should be; however, it came, and fortunately, the name Frederick Douglass. And they assembled a staff from the Board of Education, and the students, apparently, you know, were invited from those who lived in the neighborhood.$$But boys.$$All boys. They had an all-boys' school at that time, and they started--it may have been simultaneously--had to be because they had to have some provision for the girls. A boys' school--this girls' school was Harriet Beecher Stowe [Intermediate School, New York, New York], and that was for all girls--a junior high school. Although when we began celebrating Douglass and Douglass gentlemen and Douglass alumni, before we had the point when I became principal of the new school, that was the first time girls were allowed to come in or were not--I shouldn't say allowed to, but were also part of the school. And we were talking about history of Douglass, et cetera and all of the Douglass alumni. So we had one teacher there who said, "I'm an alumnus of Douglass." I said, "What do you mean you're alumnus of Douglass?" She knows--now we know how old she is. "How could you be an alumnus of Douglass?" She says, "Well, as it turns out, when Douglass first started in 1924, they had a kindergarten that was housed in that school." And she was in the kindergarten 'til the third grade; her name was Catherine Wilson [ph.]. And so she says, "And so I, too, am an alumnus of Douglass." (Laughter), so we had to permit that--with great pleasure.$Do you think with the re-development of, of Harlem [New York, New York], that there's a chance for that? It would take some time, you're saying.$$Well, I'm like [HM Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson, I keep hope--keep hope alive (laughter). I feel that--I've heard so many good things about things happening in Harlem; I'm wondering what's happening with regard to the children. And whether or not they're children as well, moving there. I don't think--I haven't addressed that with anyone else who has talked about it. Some--a number of people are very knowledgeable. I wanna find out if these people--if they're just older people that are moving in, which I maybe get the--I get the thought; maybe I don't have any basis for it; I think they're older people whose children are grown, or who are moving in buyin' all of these places in Harlem now, like a--my church used to own a parsonage over on 139th Street [New York, New York] that probably was about $27,000, and now it can sell for $300,000, you know? But I'm wondering if the children are moving in, too; I don't think so--maybe they are, and if so, where are they going to school? If they can move in there and go to school down--up someplace else private, wherever--anyplace but the neighborhood school; and that would be my thought--that's what they would probably do. And I guess maybe you cannot much blame them; they say, "I'm gonna live here now, but I want my kid or grand kid--some of the people have their grandchildren and they're takin' care of them now, but for whatever reason, they don't want their grandchildren going there, see? So, if you can make a transformation of the schools there, at the same time that neighborhood's transforming, then there's hope for it and, and, and that will improve the schools because the people in the houses, the parents and community people, will demand, and they have to put the pressure on the people to make sure that things change. If you don't have anybody--where, where there's no protest, there's no progress.

Walter Hill, Jr.

Walter Hill, Jr., was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 22, 1949. After finishing high school, Hill enrolled in the College of Wooster, earning a B.A. degree in history in 1971. From there, he attended Northern Illinois University, studying American history. Earning an M.A. degree in 1973, he returned to school to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1988.

After completing his master’s degree, Hill taught at St. Louis University from 1974 to 1977. He returned to school in the fall of 1977 to work towards the Ph.D. in U.S. History at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. He worked as a graduate teaching assistant and later as an instructor in the Afro-American Studies Program between 1982 and 1983. While working towards the Ph.D., he also worked at the National Archives and Records Administration as a graduate intermittent research student until 1983 in the Office of the Archivist and Office of Federal Records. From 1983 to 1984, he held a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Upon completing the fellowship in 1984, he returned to the National Archives and Records Administration as an archivist with the Office of the National Archives where he remained for seven years. In 1990, he left to work in the Office of Public Program, assuming the role of director of the Modern Archives Institute and subject specialist for Afro-American history. He remained with the office until 1995 when he departed for the new facility in College Park, Maryland, and assumed the position of senior archivist and subject area specialist for Afro-American history and federal records. In 1984, Hill became an adjunct professor of Afro-American history in the Afro-American Studies Department, Howard University, Washington, D.C., and taught courses in Afro-American history for the next two decades.

As a noted historian, Hill appeared in several documentaries, as well as on Good Morning America, Washington Journal and Fox TV. He served on the editorial board of the African American History Bulletin, the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of Afro-American History and on the advisory board of The HistoryMakers, among others. He has also written extensively, his work appearing in such journals as the Newsletter of the American Historical Association and the Journal of Minority Issues.

Hill passed away on July 29, 2008 at the age of 59.

Accession Number

A2003.254

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2003

Last Name

Hill

Maker Category
Middle Name

Bowers

Schools

Dessalines Elementary School

Pruitt Elementary School

Vashon High School

College of Wooster

Northern Illinois University

First Name

Walter

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

HIL01

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Meatballs, Cornbread, Green Peas

Death Date

7/29/2008

Short Description

Archivist, historian, and african american history professor Walter Hill, Jr. (1949 - 2008 ) teaches at Howard University and was a senior archivist for the National Archives and Records in Washington D.C. As a noted historian, Hill appeared in several documentaries and has written for numerous publications including, 'Newsletter of the American Historical Association' and the 'Journal of Minority Issues'.

Employment

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Howard University

African American Civil War Memorial

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Walter Hill interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Walter Hill's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Walter Hill talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Walter Hill talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Walter Hill remembers his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Walter Hill discusses living in the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Walter Hill tells of his immediate family members

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Walter Hill describes his mother's involvement in Pruit-Igoe family councils

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Walter Hill explains his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Walter Hill remembers influential school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Walter Hill talks about his early study of black history

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Walter Hill recounts his high school career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Walter Hill recalls the presence of the Vietnam War during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Walter Hill remembers his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Walter Hill discusses his religious background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Walter Hill details his transition from high school into college

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Walter Hill tells of his experiences at The College of Wooster

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Walter Hill names influential professors at The College of Wooster

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Walter Hill recounts student activism at The College of Wooster

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Walter Hill discusses his travels to Kenya

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Walter Hill discusses his experiences in Kenya

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Walter Hill talks about black participation in Olympic events

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Walter Hill shares observations from his travels to Kenya

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Walter Hill comments on black history scholars' writings

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Walter Hill explains the social and political climate for young African Americans in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Walter Hill tells of his involvement in bettering black communities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Walter Hill talks about black student organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Walter Hill remembers influential black historians

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Walter Hill explains his decision to attend University of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Walter Hill discusses his early involvement with The National Archives

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Walter Hill talks about the history of black employees at The National Archives

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Walter Hill tells of African American history included in The National Archives

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Walter Hill describes popular areas of study on African American history at The National Archives

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Walter Hill comments on The National Archives records pertaining to lynchings

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Walter Hill discusses The National Archive's FBI records

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Walter Hill talks about European scholars' interest in African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Walter Hill talks about favorite discoveries during his career at The National Archives

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Walter Hill discusses various documents from black soldiers within The National Archives

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Walter Hill comments on feature films that attempt to document black history

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Walter Hill details African American military involvement during the Civil War

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Walter Hill recounts the history of the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Walter Hill explains the connection of World War II and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Walter Hill shares his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Walter Hill comments on the importance of oral history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Walter Hill considers his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - How Walter Hill would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Walter Hill describes popular areas of study on African American history at The National Archives
Walter Hill talks about favorite discoveries during his career at The National Archives
Transcript
Give us some examples as to the kinds of records that are here, I mean--$$Well, I'll give you three top, hot topics--.$$They would surprise us about that.$$Yeah, I'll give you three hot topics, I think, in Afro-American history that everybody wants to talk about: Number one, United States Colored Troops, okay. Number two is the Tuskegee Airmen, okay. And, and number three is what I considered sort of, sort of, sort of the, the, the great individuals and the one person that I think is, is focused here is Robert C. Weaver when he comes to Washington [D.C.] in the 1930s in the New Deal, all right. Those are three areas that I have talked about and written about. And, and the Tuskegee Airmen and the United States Colored Troops, of, that's a very unique history 'cause they, they're no longer with us. And that's the fascinating thing about federal records. There's this breakdown in distinction between records that pertain to different groups. All this documentation of, of, of black people is sort of segregated and then you can go right to it. The records of the United States Colored Troops are there. The records of the Tuskegee Airmen and all the facets of that process is there. The whole fact that you had a segregated and--and I guess you can call that a fourth element--the fact that you had a black military dynamic where from 18-, from the Revolutionary War on to World, to the Korean War, you had this segregated--even though in the American Revolution the Continental Army was really integrated, a lot of black people don't know that. But a lot of black people don't even realize that we fought in the American Revolution (laughter). But by the time of the Civil War when--and, of course, after the American Revolution Congress designates that the, the Army should be white males. But in the Civil War when we get the creation of the United States Colored Troops, there's this debate about arming black men. So that's a history that is fascinating. And it's all in these records here. Now you get in the 20th century, and we have the Spanish-American War, World World I, World War II. You still have this segregated army that--and it's an amazing history, you see. And then you have the Tuskegee Airmen, the Tuskegee Airmen Association is still with us, and a lot of those men are dying out, and that history is very important. But it's a unique history. These are people, these are institutions that no longer exist, but they will always be studied. And I've written about all of this stuff, right. So this is what I mean about the immense documentation because you not only find the documentation of African American in paper documents we call textual records, but there's Afro-American history in the, the still pictures, the, the photos. We have over 10 million images in, in the, our holdings of the National Archives. And probably a quarter of those images, quarter, a million of them, 250,000 probably or 200,000 of those images contain images of black people alone or black people with other groups--amazing stuff, you know. Maybe a million more, but we have over 10 million images. We have black people documented, documented in motion on audio-visual. We have maps that, we have maps about slave populations, where slave populations are located in the slave-holding states. And even when the census began to count black people, we have census track maps that point to where black people lived in cities and rural areas--fascinating stuff.$$So you can track their migration.$$You can track migration. You can also track black families because remember what happened in 1977 when Alex Haley wrote 'Roots.' It changed the whole dynamics of genealogical research. And black people discovered, oh, we got a history that goes back to Africa! And I was in the National Archives [and Records Administration] in those days when that book came out, and I saw what happened in '78 [1978] and '79 [1979]--you couldn't get into that building because everybody was doing genealogical research, yeah. 'Roots' changed the whole dynamic.$$It did and it didn't on some level. We still don't, I mean, a lot of people still don't know much about or dig into where they, their origin.$$Well, it has a lot to do with their historical consciousness, quite frankly, you know--how much you think of history and what you think about history. Because there's still a bias about history because, you know, I, I, I teach at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] and I, and I have juniors and senior students in my--I teach 19th century and 20th century black social and political thought. And I ask, half the students who believe that American history is biased and tell too many lies about black people. Now this is in 2003, so you can imagine what was going on in people's minds in those days, in the '70s [1970s] and '80s [1980s]. But we've come a long way. And like I said I think it has a lot to do with our, the development of our historical consciousness and our historical thinking about who we are and what we are and what has happened to us. Because we don't know much about American history and we don't know a lot about our own history, yeah, in terms of, in terms of the masses, yeah.$What's the most, what's the most interesting thing you've discovered here in the National Archives [and Records Administration] that most of us would not know existed?$$Oh, boy, this goes back to my days with the project, Ira Berlin's project, because I began to read the letters of black soldiers and slave people. And just reading their thoughts about their--what's going on in the war--that opened up a lot because I began to see the slave agency that scholars had begun to write about and are writing about now that slaves were very active participants in their freedom. And I saw this stuff being documented because there were any number of letters that I came across in which black soldiers talked about what they're doing, why they're doing it, they're gonna get, they're gonna free their families, and this and that. And it was just fascinating stuff to me. That, you know, was one of the elements that attracted me to archives because I'm reading original stuff. You know, when you pick up a document and read a letter or a series of letters, you're really going back in time into the minds of that individual. And when I read all this stuff, what these black slaves and these Union troops, these black Union troops, and white commanding officers, I was just fascinated. I, you, and that's the fascinating thing about being an archivist and a, particularly a project archivist, because when you're processing records, you have a task to do. But when you, when you're reading these documents, these letters, these reports, whatever, you can get fascinated with them so much and you forget about you have a job to do, a task to complete. And I remember many days sitting in those stack areas down in archives going through these dusty boxes, reading these letters--oh my God, oh my God! And I'm forgetting what I'm supposed to be doing. But that was the really eye-opening thing to me about archives, black history, and black people. Reading the, the, the letters of these black soldiers and, and, and in, in those days, see, black people used people who can read and write to do, to, to say the things that they want to do 'cause we, we're talking about an illiterate people, you know. But they had minds, they knew what they wanted to say, what was going on in their lives. So from that point on, I realized that this is just fascinating work. And, and it was this story of this transition from slavery to freedom that really fascinated me. And that's why, one of the reasons why I stayed here at the National Archives and Records Administration.