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Patricia Banks Edmiston

Program manager and consultant Patricia Banks Edmiston was born on April 27, 1937 in New York City to Sadie Banks and Joseph Banks. After graduating from Aquinas Academy in 1955, Edmiston enrolled at Queens College, where she studied psychology. She then completed her flight attendant certification at the Grace Downs Air Career School in New York City in 1956. Edmiston went on to earn her B.A. degree in psychology from SUNY Empire State College in 1975.

After graduating from Grace Downs Air Career School with high marks, Edmiston applied for flight attendant positions at Trans World Airlines, Mohawk Airlines, and Capital Airlines. Edmiston was informed by a chief hostess at Capital Airlines that the airlines did not hire African Americans in flight capacities. In 1956, she consulted with Adam Clayton Powell and filed a complaint against Capital Airlines with the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. In 1960, the New York State Commission Against Discrimination ruled in Edmiston’s favor, and ordered Capital Airlines to hire her within thirty days or it would go to the supreme court. Edmiston completed the Capital Airlines stewardess training program later that year, and became the first African American to work as a flight attendant on a commercial airline for a southern carrier for Capital Airlines in 1960. However, she resigned one year later to pursue her education. She went on to work as a counselor at the Addicts Rehabilitation Center in New York City from 1970 to 1972. She was then hired as a program manager on the New York City Manpower Planning Council. In 1974, Edmiston became a program manager at the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. She then returned to the Addicts Rehabilitation Center in 1999, serving as a consultant until 2015. Edmiston also worked with American Airlines Medical Wings International from 2000 to 2002 providing medical services to underserved populations around the world.

Edmiston served on the board of directors for the Black Flight Attendants of America Incorporated. She also served as captain of the disaster team for the American Red Cross from 1999 to 2001. Edmiston was inducted into the Black Aviation Hall of Fame at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee in August 2010.

She also holds a black belt in Shotokan martial arts.

Edmiston has two children, Sherman III and Lisa, and seven grandchildren.

Patricia Banks Edmiston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.081

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/26/2018

Last Name

Edmiston

Maker Category
Schools

Queens College, City University of New York

State University of New York / Empire State College

New York University

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

EDM06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

Live Today As If You're Going To Die Tomorrow And Learn As If You're Going To Live Forever.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/27/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Baked Chicken Wings

Short Description

Program manager and consultant Patricia Banks Edmiston (1937 - ) became one of the first African American flight attendants to work for Capital Airlines in 1960. She went on to work in the substance abuse rehabilitation field for over thirty-five years.

Employment

ARC Addicts Rehab Center

New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

New York City Manpower Planning Council

Addicts Rehab Center

Capital Airlines

Con Edison

Favorite Color

Orange, Purple

Howard Adams

Educator, consultant, and author, Howard G. Adams was born on March 28, 1940 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to Delsia Mae Waller Adams and Daniel Boone Adams. As a child, he helped his father on the family farm and enjoyed exploring nature. Adams attended Southside High School, Blairs, Virginia. During high school, he worked after-school as a kitchen helper at the Greyhound bus station in Danville, Virginia. In 1958, Adams graduated from high school, and then moved Paterson, New Jersey to escape from the segregated south. In 1959, Adams enrolled at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University) where he majored in biology. In order to finance his education, Adams worked at a supermarket and, during his senior year, at a fast food restaurant. Adams was active on campus, serving as Cadet Captain in the ROTC Military Science Program, president of the sophomore and senior classes, president of the biology club, and vice president of the student government association. He received his B.S. degree in biology from Norfolk State College in 1964.

That same year, Adams began his professional career as a general science teacher at Jacox Junior High School in the Norfolk City Schools System. He also received his M.S. degree in biology from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) in 1968 as a National Science Foundation In-Service Fellow. In 1970, Norfolk State University President Lyman Beecher Brooks recruited Adams to serve as the school’s first director of alumni affairs. After three years in that position, he was promoted to vice president for student affairs at Norfolk State University. Adams also enrolled in Syracuse University’s higher education administration program, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1978. Adams then accepted the position of executive director of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. In 1989, President Ronald Regan appointed Adams to a U.S. congressional task force on women, minorities and the handicapped in science and technology. Adams founded his consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates, Inc. in 1995.

Adams has received numerous awards including the Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Engineering Education. He was named a 20th Century Outstanding Educator by Black Issues in Higher Education and he also received the Golden Torch Award Lifetime Achievement in Academia from The National Society of Black Engineers. Adams was named by President Clinton as one of the first recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Mentoring. In addition, Adams is a board member of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and was a former faculty member of AABHE’s Leadership and Mentoring Institute. He has written three books including his 2002 book “Get Up with Something on your Mind! Lessons for Navigating Life” and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks. Adams is married to the Eloise Adams, Ph.D. and they have one daughter, Stephanie Glenn Adams, Ph.D.

Howard Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/8/2012

Last Name

Adams

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Stony Mill Elementary School

Southside High School

Norfolk State University

Virginia State University

Syracuse University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Howard

Birth City, State, Country

Danville

HM ID

ADA11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

Get up with something on your mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

3/28/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Educator, consultant, author, and science educator Howard Adams (1940 - ) is the founder and president of the consulting company, H.G. Adams & Associates Inc. and has written three books and over fifteen self-help guides and handbooks.

Employment

Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Norfolk Public Schools

Norview Sr. High School

National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, University of Notre Dame

H.G. Adams & Associates Inc.

Norfolk State University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Howard Adams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Howard Adams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Howard Adams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Howard Adams describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Howard Adams describes the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the Primitive Baptist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his parents and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his father's business relationships

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about growing up in Virginia and the Martinsville Seven Case

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about South Side High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his favorite subjects and teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about the murder of Melvin Ferguson and racial tensions in Virginia during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about working at the Greyhound Bus Station

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his interest in baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about the arrival of electricity to his neighborhood and his interest in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to move to New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience in New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his extracurricular activities and his colleague, Julian Manly Earls

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his mentors from Norfolk State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his involvement in Civil Rights organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his post-baccalaureate job prospects

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his experience teaching in the Norfolk Public School System, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his experience working in administration at Norfolk State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Howard Adams talks about his decision to attend Syracuse University for his doctoral studies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about his work at the University of Notre Dame, part 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about his philosophy for success

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his booklets

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about his speaking appointments and future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Howard Adams reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Howard Adams reflects on his life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Howard Adams talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Howard Adams talks about the problems with U.S. education, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Howard Adams talks about the politics of graduate internships

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Howard Adams talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Howard Adams talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Howard Adams describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$4

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Howard Adams talks about his booklets
Howard Adams talks about his mentor and his experience at Norfolk State University
Transcript
Now, you've written several books and booklets, and so what are some of the titles and what are--$$Okay, one of them is that one, "Get Up With Something on Your Mind", all right. The, I wrote a lot of what I call "self-help" guides which are 14, 28 page, little documents, specific, "How to Have a Successful Internship Experience", "How do you go into a company and perform very well and get invited back the next summer so you don't have to worry about it? You might not go back, but you want the invitation to come back. So you, I want you--I wanted my students to have the attitude, if you don't--invite anybody back, it's gonna be me. When I'd leave Revlon's in the summer, the personnel guy would always tell me, "If we hire anybody, Adams, you're Number One". I knew that leaving. So when you leave--so we wrote a book on that, how to do that. We wrote a book how to master the graduate school process. How do you go to graduate school and finish yesterday? How do you get finished in a hurry? What does it take to get finished? We wrote a book on "Career Management 101" about how to sit down and plan to find a job and then get the job that you want and then go to work and perform well and get promoted, and don't have to worry about it. You don't have to--you don't have to worry about the economy being bad. If the place runs, I'm gonna have a job. If I don't, I go somewhere else and get myself another one. So you just don't have to worry about that. I never worried about that, never worried about a job. So I, I tried to give people the nuts and bolts, easy ready, self-help stuff on how to get to the next step of where you're trying to get to. When I first started doing graduate education, we didn't have things written in the language that's--what is a PhD? Most people don't know what it is. What's the difference between a PhD and an MD and a, and theological doctorate? What, you know, a science doctorate? What's the difference in those things? So we had to demystify graduate education, I call it. So a lot of what I, what I wrote was that. How do you decode what students need in a very simplistic kind of way so that one, they'll read it. It's readable, and it's quick and it points directly to the question that they most like have.$Okay, so, now did you know--Lymon Beacher Brooks was the president of Norfolk State.$$Of Norfolk State.$$Now, what was your relationship with Lymon Beacher Brooks?$$He was, he was the president when I was a student, and I was a student leader. So he was--by the time I got to be a senior, he had taken a particular interest in me. I wouldn't have called him a mentor at that time, but he had taken a particular interest in me. So he knew me well by the time I was a senior and would ask me to do little things. I got invited to little things. I might of got invited to a reception that somebody else didn't get invited to or something. When I graduated, I went to work at Jay Cox Junior High School which is right in the general area, right where Norfolk State is. And by that time, I had gotten back in the restaurant business. So I ran a fast food, Carl's Drive-In, my senior, my junior, end of my junior year and all of my senior year at Norfolk State [University]. I was night manager.$$Yeah, the Carl's--$$Carl's Drive--fast food, like a McDonald's--$$Okay.$$--but right on the campus, literally, almost, you know, I mean right by the campus and right across the street from the high school, Booker T. Washington High School is right across the street. So--$$Okay, I didn't wanna get you graduated yet from Norfolk State.$$Okay.$$Let's go back there for a minute. Like what was your major in--$$Biology. It was biology and I was a biology major. And I, I picked that simply because it had good equipment that I had never had a chance to use. I was going to be a history major. In fact, I sent my application in to be a history major. And I got down a week early just to look the place over and get set up and everything. And as I was walking around, I walked through the labs, and I liked the way the labs looked. I changed, went back down and changed my major to biology.$$Did--now, was there a particular teacher in biology that helped you, I mean that--$$In high school?$$No, in, in--$$Oh, well, the teachers, the faculty were good, but I didn't know them at the time. I mean I just changed my mind, just, just changed my mind because of the equipment sitting around. I just--you could walk through and see it at that time. You didn't have to have everything locked up.$$So it just kind of caught your--$$Just got a feeling, got a feeling that I'd like to do this. So I decided to major in biology. And so there was a good group of us who started out together, freshmen, freshmen. The freshmen class in biology was a pretty tight group. And so I made it through the freshman year. It was a struggle. I was behind. When I say I was behind, I hadn't had advanced chemistry. I hadn't had a good lab. I mean I had a chemistry class, and the teacher was good, but we didn't have no equipment. You know what I'm trying to say. I'd had a good biology class, but I didn't have no equipment, so I didn't know how to use the equipment and stuff. So I was behind, and so it was, it was harder than I thought it was gonna be. And I went home, and I was talking to my mother for Spring break my freshman year. She asked, "How's it going?" I said, well, it's going alright, Mother, but I'm not doing as well as I thought I was gonna do. So she said, she said, are you passing everything. I said, yes, ma'am, I'm not failing nothing. I'm just not doing as well as I thought. She said, "Are you studying hard?" And I was studying, so I said, yes, ma'am. She said, "Are you giving it your very best?" And I, you had to, you couldn't, you couldn't fib on that. You had to, you had to think about that. I mean am I, you know, am I giving it my best? And, you know, in hindsight, I probably could have given it a little bit more, but I mean I wasn't slacking off. I didn't miss no classes, I didn't cut class. I didn't leave early on Friday, none of that. So I was studying. And I'd study with people, and I went to tutoring and everything. So I said, I said, yes, ma'am, I'm, I'm doing it. She say, you go on back down there. You gone be alright. You keep giving it your best. She said, your best is good enough. You don't have to do no better than that. Your best is good enough. I put that in my book. That was good advice. "Your best is good enough." So I went back. The second year, my wife came as a freshman. And I was taking chemistry by that time. I didn't take freshman chemistry my first year. And she had had advanced chemistry. And she was on the other side of the, on the table on the other side that you could look through. And I could see her all the time. And she was brilliant and good looking. So I decided, hey, you gotta--you gonna have to hang out with somebody (laughter). It might as well be somebody who's good looking and who can do some chemistry. So we started dating, and we dated off and on all the way through, although I had a couple of girlfriends at the time. But I mean she, you know, we dated. And by the time we were juniors, we were pretty serious, and seniors, we were, we were--she was my girlfriend by the time we were seniors. And so we graduated together. But I went through. I was a, I went out for track, decided I couldn't do all of it. I couldn't work. I tell kids that you gotta decide what you can actually do. And I had to put it in the right order, so I learned how to prioritize even as a freshman. My number one priority was to have a job. You don't have a job, you can't go to school. I mean I couldn't--I had to support myself. So I had to have a job. This job was steady. It didn't pay well. It only paid .75 cents an hour, but I could, I could get 30 hours in just on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Nobody wanted to work on Sunday. I worked every Sunday almost. I worked 12 hours on Saturday the whole time I was at Norfolk State. I'd go in 8:00 o'clock on Saturday morning, and work till 8:00 Saturday night. And so I could take care of myself. School would end in May. The next day I was on the bus back to New Jersey, and usually, I'd get out in the middle of the week. So let's say, I always finished on Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday, I was back in New Jersey. By Monday, I was back at work at Revlon's, and I'd work right up until Labor Day, whenever school was--I wouldn't even go home. I'd come back here to school, and then I'd take a long weekend and go home just to holler at everybody. But most times, depending upon when school opened and how long they'd let me work. And so at the end of the year, there, but, of course, they would be closing down, and a lot of kids would wanna take some time off. Sometimes I'd work 16 hours a day. So my last check would be big. I'd, I'd get, you know, double-time, time and a half. I'd work (laughter), I'd put in all the hours I could put in so I could get a big check. They'd mail it to me after I was gone. I'd get back to school, so I'd have a big check. Sometimes my last check would pay my tuition 'cause tuition at that time was 270 a half a semester, I think, 270--about $500.00 a semester, a thousand dollars a year, a little bit less than a thousand dollars a year. I could pay that. So I didn't have to borrow money. I paid my way through. I--from the time I left home, I never wrote home for a nickel. I never wrote home for a nickel from the day I left home in 1958. I can say that. I've been able to support myself from that day.