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Joseph A. De Laine, Jr.

Pharmaceutical executive and retail entrepreneur Joseph Armstrong De Laine, Jr. was born on August 17, 1933, in Blackville, South Carolina, to Mattie Lee Belton De Laine, a teacher, and Joseph Armstrong De Laine, Sr., a minister, teacher and community activist. De Laine, Sr., was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement in Clarendon County, South Carolina, that led to the Briggs v. Elliot court case. De Laine attended Scott’s Branch Public High School in Summerton, South Carolina, and graduated from high school at Mather Academy in 1950. De Laine attended Johnson C. Smith University for a year until transferring to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1954. He served for the U.S. armed forces during the Korean Conflict.

Upon De Laine’s return from Korea, he joined his family in New York, where they resettled after death threats in South Carolina. Over a six year period, he was employed as a cancer research assistant at Roswell Park in Buffalo, New York; Sloan Kettering Institute in New York, New York; E. R. Squibb in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Joint Disease Hospital in New York, New York. In 1964, De Laine joined Hoffmann La Roche, Inc. as a pharmaceutical sales representative. During the ensuing twenty years, he enjoyed positions at the management level in promotion, marketing, and staff positions as Director of Marketing for Diagnostics Division and Corporate Director of Corporate EEO. Upon retirement, De Laine relocated from New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he owned and operated Joseph’s Imports, an outlet of unusual imported artifacts from Europe, Africa, and Asia.

De Laine presently serves on the Board of Directors for the Briggs-De Laine-Pearson Foundation in Summerton, South Carolina, and for the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Since retirement, he also served as a Presidential Appointee on the “50th Anniversary Brown v. Board Presidential Commission” and for several years as a member and president of the Board for the Northwest Corridor Community Development Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.182

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/21/2007

Last Name

De Laine

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Scotts Branch High School

Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy

Bob Johnson School

Lincoln University

Johnson C. Smith University

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Blackville

HM ID

DEL07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Solitude

Favorite Quote

God Gave Me A Brain To Think For Myself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

8/17/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charlotte

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French Food

Short Description

Retail entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. (1933 - ) was both a cancer researcher and the founder, owner, and operator of Joseph’s Imports in Charlotte, North Carolina, selling international artifacts from Europe, Africa and Asia from 1984 to 1992.

Employment

Joseph's Imports

Hoffmann La Roche, Inc

Hospital for Joint Diseases

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph A. De Laine, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about his enslaved maternal ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's occupation and education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his paternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his paternal grandfather's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his paternal grandfather's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about his possible ancestor, Ben De Lane

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about his paternal great-great-grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls living on the campus of Macedonia High School in Blackville, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers his family's move to Clarendon County, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes the Bob Johnson School in Clarendon County, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his home in Summerton, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers the holidays with his family

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls lessons from his family about racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes segregation in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's role in the community, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's role in the community, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes the white community in Clarendon County, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. shares the history of public education in South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls the transportation for black students in Clarendon County, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers Pearson v. Clarendon County and School District No. 26

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about the black community's commitment to education

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes the role of the NAACP in Clarendon County, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's meeting with Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers the termination of Principal A.M. Anderson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes the discriminatory voting regulations in Summerton, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls the unrest at Scotts Branch High School in Summerton, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes Scotts Branch High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes the Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers his principal at the Mather Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes Thurgood Marshall's role in Briggs v. Elliott

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls the decision of Briggs v. Elliott

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers the burning of his father's house

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls observing a Ku Klux Klan meeting, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls observing a Ku Klux Klan meeting, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls the reprisals against his father

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's escape to New York State

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's civil rights work in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's personality

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his experiences at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his transfer to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes segregation in Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his experiences at Lincoln University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. remembers his service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his U.S. Army battalion

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his parents' experiences in New York

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his work in cancer research

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his graduate education

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about his father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his work in the pharmaceutical industry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his experiences of discrimination at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. recalls his experiences of financial discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his community involvement in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. reflects upon his mother's legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. lists his mother's siblings

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. lists his father's siblings

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. reflects upon his parents' legacies

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes how he would like his father to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about helping others in nonconventional ways

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. describes his father's escape to New York State
Joseph A. De Laine, Jr. talks about the black community's commitment to education
Transcript
And he went back to Lake City [South Carolina], and--no, no, no, no, no--before he got back to Lake City on the sixth day or something like this, of the letter, the church [Greater St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, Lake City, South Carolina] was destroyed by arson. Then on the tenth day, which is after he returned because he said he wasn't going anywhere, there was a shootout at midnight. And, so, the third time of the shootout, he started shooting back and nobody knows what happened. It is said--the papers admit that there were three people injured. The grand jury report says five people were injured by him. The local people says that one police officer had a funeral. Now, we don't know what happened, but he fled that night to a town about forty miles away, and escaped the next day to New York State. Someone came back and got my mother [Mattie Belton De Laine]. And the family who lived next door were members of his church, and also the aunt of [HistoryMaker] Ossie Davis, Ossie Davis' mother's sister. They are the ones who protected my mother that night. And her name--all I know is his name was Webb, his first name W-E-B-B, Eady [ph.], and she was Viola Eady [ph.]. The arrangement for his getting out of the state was, I guess, masterminded by an Attorney Williams [ph.] in Florence [South Carolina] and a Mr. Guile, G-U-I-L-E. I can't think of their first names. Guile's wife is still alive. But, they went back and got my mother and smuggled him into Charlotte [North Carolina]. My uncle lived next door and one lived up the street, and they stopped up the street and made arrangements for him to take a plane that night out of here. And, the problem was, they weren't sure where to go. He first took a flight--he took a flight to Washington, D.C. Now, of course, he was on his own at that point, and when he got in Washington he called his cousin, and his cousin said, "No, this is worse than being in Mississippi, so let's get out of here right now." So, my father [Joseph A. De Laine, Sr.] took a cab to his house and they jumped in his car and they started heading north, and ended up in New York. That's how he ended up there. And, the State of South Carolina attemp- they appealed to the attorney general at that time, which was Richard Brownell [sic. Herbert Brownell, Jr.] and to Eisenhower [President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower], to invoke the federal fugitive act [Fugitive Felon Act], to return him, and that was denied because my father had let them know exactly where he was every step of the way.$$But, he'd been writing the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] for years, documenting the situation?$$That's right, right. And then after that in the State of New York, before South Carolina even got to the point of asking for extradition, the State of New York reviewed the case, and determined that they would not honor any extradition, so that's what kept him safe in New York State. Now, they moved back--they moved here in 1971.$$To Charlotte, North Carolina?$$To Charlotte, to this house, because my father knew that he was not probably going to live very long and he wanted to get my mother close to family members, an uncle--a brother next door, and one up the street. So, that's why they came here. But he at that time did not have a safety clearance for his legal problems, but it was ignored in the State of North Carolina, and the warrant for his arrest in South Carolina existed until the year 2000, which was twenty-six years after his death, before it was lifted.$So what happened after that lawsuit [Levi Pearson v. Clarendon County and School District No. 26] was dismissed?$$When that lawsuit was dismissed, they then decided that we don't want to drop this battle, that we want a case that will do something to improve the situation for our children, so we're going to ask NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] to sponsor something that will force some improvements in the schools. We don't know what it is, but we want improvement.$$So, the focus went beyond just busing. Extended to education?$$The focus all along was on education. You're getting a situation where I'm sure that most of these people did not envision what they were leading up to. I'm not too sure my father [Joseph A. De Laine, Sr.] envisioned the whole thing at first. But, we're looking at a situation that is intolerable, a situation where our children are not getting their education, a situation where the parents of that era--and I'm amazed that they're so different than the parents of today, but I remember talking to people and people would tell me, "Look, I wash clothes and I don't want my children washing clothes for a living, so I want them to get an education, and I want to make sure that they can get it right here." That was the kind of expectation and tenacity that I saw as a young man at that time in those people. And, I didn't get that from one, I got that from all. Now, people will say--we talk today about our platitudes of Uncle Toms and all this business--half of the people that we labeled as Uncle Toms weren't Uncle Toms. I talked with a lady, not a girl, she's my age, not too long ago. Her daddy was a bootlegger in town. And, he kept his name as far away from all this stuff as possible. She's a Ph.D. and her husband's a Ph.D. I was talking to her and she says, "Well, he couldn't afford to because the only way he knew how to make a living was this." But, all of his children are educated and if we go back and look then--$$What was his name?$$Smith, we called him Monkey Smith [ph.], I don't know if they want that publicized or not. Anyway, but if we go back and look at then, money was being slid under the table for the movement from him all along.