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The Honorable Barbara Lee

U.S. Congresswoman Honorable Barbara Lee was born on July 16, 1946 in El Paso, Texas. Her biological father, James Lewis, was a veteran of the Korean War; her mother, Mildred Massey, a clerk. In 1960, Lee’s family moved to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. As a teenager, she immersed herself in music and won two music achievement awards from the Rotary Club and the Bank of America. Lee graduated from San Fernando High School in 1964. She worked for one year in the California Department of Labor Statistics, and then went on to receive her B.A. degree in psychology from Mills College in 1973 and her M.A. degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975.

Upon graduation, Lee worked for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums after serving as a legislative intern there during graduate school. While there, she managed Congressman Dellums’ offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California for eleven years and eventually rose to the position of senior adviser. In 1990, Lee was elected to the California State Assembly; and, in 1996, she was elected to the California State Senate. As a Democrat, she worked successfully with California’s Republican administration in those years and sponsored sixty-seven bills that were signed into law by then-Republican Governor Pete Wilson. Lee’s political agenda focused on issues such as education, public safety, environmental protection, health, labor, and women’s rights. In 1998, she became the first woman to represent the State of California’s then-9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2009 to 2011. She was later elected as the first woman to represent the California’s now-13th Congressional District in 2013. Lee also published a memoir, Renegade for Peace and Justice: A Memoir of Political and Personal Courage (2008).

Lee’s honors and distinctions include receiving the Dean’s Appreciation Award from the University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare, and the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Leadership Award, both in 2001. Lee was also nominated for the Alfred R. Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, The National Urban League honored her with the Congressional Leadership Award; and, in 2012, she received the Lifetime Legacy Achievement Award from the United Nations Association. Lee is the mother of two sons, Tony Lee and Craig Lee.

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 5, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.249

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/5/2013

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Jean

Schools

University of California, Berkeley

Mills College

San Fernando High School

San Fernando Junior High School

St. Joseph’s Elementary School

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

El Paso

HM ID

LEE05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Grenada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman and state senator The Honorable Barbara Lee (1946 - ) was the first woman to represent the State of California’s then-9th and now-13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

California State Senate

United States House of Representatives

California State Assembly

W.C. Parish/Lee Associates

Office of Representative Ronald Dellums

Far West Laboratory for Educational Research & Development

Glendale Welfare Office

California Department of Labor Statistics

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:4992,196:8658,446:16146,564:17004,576:18018,603:24400,623:25366,640:25711,646:26332,656:26677,662:27091,669:34405,812:35026,823:41620,901:42302,919:43046,935:43480,948:45710,953:49088,1013:49772,1024:50380,1033:50836,1040:56840,1189:58056,1206:64496,1263:68024,1353:68384,1359:74585,1433:74940,1439:75437,1449:75721,1454:76218,1462:79058,1518:80691,1560:81969,1580:83460,1614:83957,1622:85519,1651:91196,1700:91604,1707:92012,1714:93576,1753:96160,1811:96500,1817:96976,1826:97656,1838:97996,1844:98540,1853:98880,1860:99220,1866:99696,1875:101192,1903:101804,1915:105204,2000:106496,2024:113207,2092:113864,2134:114959,2183:121050,2282$0,0:4536,116:5328,132:6336,148:9432,209:13458,227:13774,232:15038,256:17250,312:19699,347:21042,382:21595,393:21990,399:22306,404:22701,411:23017,416:24281,436:25229,453:25703,460:26019,465:26572,476:26967,485:33450,533:36040,641:36600,651:37230,664:44160,831:44510,837:48380,850:51878,927:54650,1042:54914,1047:55640,1060:57356,1098:58742,1123:59864,1146:66438,1232:66742,1237:70694,1340:70998,1345:71302,1350:78402,1487:80360,1526:80805,1706:96864,1863:97575,1875:99313,1908:99629,1913:100024,1919:104821,1963:105745,1977:106130,1983:107285,2003:107824,2011:109364,2039:111828,2082:112367,2090:113291,2113:113599,2118:115139,2137:124320,2199:126020,2232:127130,2283:132475,2399:134707,2485:140954,2563:141242,2570:141818,2579:147938,2794:150170,2838:150458,2843:154070,2854:155544,2887:156013,2896:156616,2936:160502,3008:160770,3013:161105,3019:162646,3053:163249,3061:165058,3167:166331,3195:167001,3206:173078,3259:173596,3264:174928,3287:175298,3293:176038,3327:177074,3348:177666,3357:178184,3366:194840,3525
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Barbara Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about tracing her African roots

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her mother's experiences of color discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her father's family background and how he met her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers moving with her family to California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Barbara Lee lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her house in El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her maternal grandfather's move to El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her neighborhood in El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her family's departure from El Paso, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her early political participation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talk about her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at San Fernando High School in San Fernando, California

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes how travel influenced her interest in politics

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers the political events of the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls her time living in Europe

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers her return to San Fernando, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers moving to Northern California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers joining the Black Panther Party

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her maternal grandfather's emphasis on education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her decision to attend Mills College in Oakland, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at Mills College in Oakland, California, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her experiences at Mills College in Oakland, California, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls developing the African study abroad program at Mills College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls the influential figures she met through her activism

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the Black Panther Party

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about her psychological training

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Barbara Lee recalls the founding of the CHANGE, Inc. mental health center in Berkeley, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the influence of Dr. Price Cobbs and William H. Grier

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Barbara Lee describes the importance of mental healthcare in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers the Cal in the Capital program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers Huey P. Newton

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Barbara Lee remembers working as Congressman Ronald Dellums' chief of staff

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
The Honorable Barbara Lee talks about the influence of Dr. Price Cobbs and William H. Grier
The Honorable Barbara Lee describes her early political participation
Transcript
Now, now did you have any act- interaction in those days with Price Cobbs [HistoryMaker Dr. Price Cobbs] and--$$Yeah.$$--and William Grier [William H. Grier]?$$That's right yeah, yeah. They were over at Pacific Psychotherapy [Pacific Psychotherapy Associates].$$Um-hm.$$Um-hm, on Sacramento Street [San Francisco, California], yep a lot of interaction with them.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$The authors of 'Black Rage.'$$'Black Rage.'$$Everybody was reading that during the--$$Yeah.$$--seventies [1970s].$$I was too--$$Yeah.$$--and that was part of my rage, is looking at how psychiatric services and mental health services were being presented to the black community which didn't work, I mean I ended, you know, and my model was based on yeah you gotta provide the counseling and psychoanalysis and psychotherapy 'cause if people are depressed and if they're a psychotic or schizophrenic or, you know, they need help, I mean they really do. But that doesn't mean that they don't need a job, you know, it's kind of like the social and economic issues that underline a lot of the mental health problems in the African American community need to be dealt with. And so my clinic, while it provided the services we had, what I called advocates, psychiatric advocates who would really go out and if you needed a job, or needed daycare, if you needed a home, you know, would help people in their real needs, their reality stuff, and so those people would work in a team setting with the clinical people to try to help a person really regroup and it worked. And then we had a community component where we tried to do what we call primary prevention and that was on a community level, have workshops and forums about mental health issues so people would really begin to understand mental health, and so people would know if the early signs of depression, early signs of anger, early signs of whatever, stress, you know, come to the clinic quick so we can kind of sort it through and the, you know? So we did a whole community mental health component of my clinic, so it was great and it survived 'til Ronald Reagan [Ronald Wilson Reagan] cut out the funding, OEO [Office of Economic Opportunity], I think, but I went on to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] and hired a whole staff and board to keep it going.$California is, of course there's no signs in California right, in, well like that?$$Oh California was horrible. No really, it, the segregation out here was it was de facto in a lot of ways. I wanted to be a cheerleader at my high school and the way they selected 'em, they had criteria and I assume you had to have blonde hair and blue eyes and white, but I couldn't for whatever reason, no black girl could, felt confident enough or assured, assured enough that they could pass the test to be a cheerleader. So, I got very upset about that, went to the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and they got the school to change their rules where students could then tryout in front of the student body and then the vote, students would vote on who they wanted to be their cheerleaders, so that was my first election. I actually tried out in front of the student body and I won. And so I was the first black cheerleader that El Pa- at San Fernando High [San Fernando High School, San Fernando, California], but that just kind of shows you how the segregation and the discrimination worked in California. There was housing, you know, in California, I think the fair housing law didn't pass, the Byron fair housing act didn't pass until, shoot, '64 [sic. California Fair Housing Act of 1963], when I graduated from high school, I think that was when it was, I mean in the '60s [1960s]. So it was horrible, it was bad in California and, and you know it was varied, I didn't see any coloreds only signs, but the segregation was alive, it was real and it was very deep.$$Okay, so this is in the San Fernando Valley [California]?$$Um-hm.$$Wha- wha- what was the name of the town that you lived in?$$Pacoima [California], although it--$$(Unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, Pacoima and San Fernando, we lived at 11920 Chadron Avenue, San Fernando, California, but it was like right next to Pacoima.$$Okay, okay.$$And it was a large, mainly black community, now it's largely Latino, and I think there's some of the old timers still there who are African Americans, but for the most part it's a Latino community now.$$Okay, now did you--in 1960, were you aware of politics? I know that was a big election the Kennedy [John Fitzgerald Kennedy] and Nixon [Richard Milhous Nixon] election which was, which was--$$Yeah.$$--national news and--$$Oh yeah.$$--I, I don't know--$$That was in the '60s [1960s].$$--if you were, you know?$$I was aware, but not really, it was like okay, you know, who's gonna win, fine, good, you know? I hope a Democrat wins but it wasn't nothing, nothing else, you--$$Wha- what--$$--know?$$Wha- was, what was your [maternal] grandfather [William Parish] and your, your family Democrats for the most part?$$Yeah, you know, actually my grandfather like many African Americans had been Republican because of, you know, it was the party of Lincoln [President Abraham Lincoln], by then he was a Democrat, I'm sure. But he, they oh yeah, they all would talk about elections and, you know, as being part of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], I mean that was the core civil rights organization that they were affiliated with, we talked a lot about it all the time and knew that Kennedy had to win for black people, you know, and we knew the Democrats had to, to continue with our fight for, you know, justice and equality, but in terms of being kind of in tune with the election and all the politics of the election and the debates, ah no.

The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was born on December 3, 1935 to Lee Edward Johnson and Lillie Mae White Johnson in Waco, Texas. She and her three siblings grew up attending Toliver Chapel Baptist Church, where her mother was an active church member. After attending A.J. Moore High School, Johnson graduated at the age of sixteen and moved to Indiana to attend Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame, where she graduated in 1955 with her nursing certificate.

Johnson then began work as a psychiatric nurse at La Rue Carter Psychiatric Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana until she passed the boards. Then Congresswoman Johnson returned to Texas and started working at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital in 1956. While still employed at the hospital, Johnson earned her B.S. degree in nursing in 1967 from the Harris School for Nursing at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. That same year, she was promoted to chief psychiatric nurse. She left the hospital in 1972 to run for public office in the Texas House of Representatives. There, she made a name for herself fighting for minority and women’s’ issues. In 1976, Johnson earned her M.P.A. degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and in 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her as the principal official of Region VI for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (H.E.W.). She remained with the H.E.W. until 1981, when she left public office to found her own business, a real estate company. In 1986, Johnson was elected to public office once again, but this time to the Texas Senate, where she worked tirelessly to improve health care and to end racial discrimination. In 1992, Johnson ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and was elected.

As a U.S. Congresswoman, Johnson has led the battle on legislation to improve health care, the environment, civil rights, women’s issues, science research and education. She is a member of the Committee of Science and Technology and the Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure. In 2001, Johnson served as Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1993 and 1994, she was named by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans and in 2001, the magazine named her one of the 10 Most Powerful African American Women.

Johnson has one son, Dawrence Kirk Johnson, and three grandsons.

Eddie Bernice Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2012

Accession Number

A2012.094

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/7/2012 |and| 6/18/2012 |and| 6/26/2012

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Bernice

Occupation
Schools

Southern Methodist University

Texas Christian University

Saint Mary's College

East Waco Elementary School

A.J. Moore Academy

First Name

Eddie

Birth City, State, Country

Waco

HM ID

JOH39

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Hey! Gotcha!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

12/3/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson (1935 - ) serves in U.S. House of Representatives, where she has been a leading voice on issues of civil rights, health care and science education.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

Texas House of Representatives

Eddie Bernice Johnson and Associates

Texas Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:1900,146:14630,278:18128,295:18484,300:25669,527:30280,583:30628,589:33064,670:33760,679:34804,711:43156,858:45592,913:53299,951:54415,963:59258,1018:78772,1239:79324,1246:79876,1254:86485,1346:87200,1358:104132,1598:104960,1609:105972,1624:112060,1661:113325,1674:116200,1707:117350,1719:128380,1864:128864,1869:130921,1894:135277,1966:156226,2259:166274,2374:166940,2381:167384,2386:173540,2462:174340,2474:183096,2606:184812,2646:190500,2682:190996,2691:205220,2833:207060,2897:207384,2902:207708,2908:209652,2945:210705,2964:211515,2978:225665,3174:232800,3200:243470,3294:247815,3386:253102,3416:254124,3424:256262,3432:260030,3488:265380,3553$0,0:1408,28:1760,33:2112,38:8418,114:9062,123:9798,133:10258,139:24690,266:25290,272:25770,277:30090,331:32738,351:34567,369:35671,387:36223,397:36499,402:36775,407:39140,419:39700,429:40330,435:41870,461:42430,470:43270,486:50092,535:50428,540:51016,548:54750,600:56750,636:57230,643:65000,689:66425,718:67475,736:68000,747:71054,775:71566,780:79470,833:80150,843:82964,860:86680,899:87220,907:88210,925:90820,955:95833,1011:100550,1066:103720,1094:104040,1099:105320,1121:105720,1127:106120,1133:108401,1151:112228,1223:112851,1231:113563,1241:113919,1246:115165,1275:115966,1288:117390,1310:121825,1336:122425,1346:125670,1364:125998,1369:126408,1375:130358,1400:131726,1424:132334,1436:133094,1449:134158,1465:134462,1470:137198,1528:137578,1534:141059,1546:162846,1796:165344,1814:170014,1868:170761,1880:171508,1892:172006,1907:176326,1951:177658,1988:178028,1994:182630,2024:183055,2031:183395,2036:187815,2075:188131,2080:191190,2109:191706,2116:194150,2125:197060,2139:197573,2149:198257,2161:198485,2166:198713,2171:199112,2179:199340,2184:201496,2201:202168,2210:202504,2215:202840,2220:204352,2251:217834,2475:218570,2485:219030,2491:219858,2502:230806,2666:231171,2672:231463,2677:231755,2682:235843,2760:240190,2785:240470,2790:240820,2796:244715,2836:251514,2958:258670,3018:259438,3025:261450,3043:261940,3052:262640,3063:263130,3068:263620,3076:263900,3081:264250,3087:264600,3093:264950,3099:265510,3108:281990,3225:290875,3334:292492,3363:292877,3369:295034,3382:296690,3410:297150,3416:300462,3472:301382,3485:302026,3493:303314,3506:303682,3511:307920,3517:308844,3534:309174,3540:309834,3553:310560,3569:311748,3586:316166,3610:316518,3615:327108,3680:327573,3686:327945,3691:336104,3777:336536,3785:341481,3839:344380,3907
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her community in Waco, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers East Waco Elementary School in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her interest in geometry

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her paternal grandmother's racial identity

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the black business district in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the tornado that destroyed the black business district in Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the demographics of Waco, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her aspiration to become a nurse

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her admission to Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her arrival at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about segregation in Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers moving to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls becoming the first black nurse at the Dallas VA Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about politics in the State of Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her start as a civil rights organizer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the segregated department stores in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the aftermath of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the black female civil rights leaders in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the integration of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Barbara Jordan, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes the response to the Civil Rights Act in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her civic work at the Dallas VA Hospital

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Barbara Jordan, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about Barbara Jordan's reputation in Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Mickey Leland

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her complaint against Robert S. Calvert

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her decision to run for public office, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her decision to run for public office, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers working at Neiman Marcus

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her election to the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her work in the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the School Breakfast Program

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the renewal of the Voting Rights Act

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her experiences in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon President Jimmy Carter's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her election to the Texas Senate

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her experiences of racial and gender discrimination

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the confirmation of Judge Craig T. Enoch

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the AIDS crisis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the impact of AIDS in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about minority representation on the Texas Board of Regents

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls implementing single member districts in Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the political changes in Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her election to the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her first term in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Republican Revolution in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the attacks on the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the importance of minority congressional caucuses

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her legislative mentors

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls working on President Bill Clinton's healthcare plan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the midterm elections of 1994

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences as a Democrat in a Republican majority Congress, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her experiences as a Democrat in a Republican majority Congress, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the Women's Health Equity Act

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the opposition to President Barack Obama

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls becoming a senior member of her congressional committees

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the NAFTA superhighway

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson shares her perspective on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon the Clinton administration

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about healthcare legislation

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers working with President George Walker Bush

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President George Walker Bush's policy initiatives

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Trinity River project

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President George Walker Bush's trade policy

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the decision to invade Iraq

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about A World of Women for World Peace

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the Texas Eleven

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the Iraq War

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the criticism of the Bush administration

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her position on the Iraq War

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her policy on climate change

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon No Child Left Behind

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about running for reelection

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about corporate influence on public policy

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the U.S. military

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the presidential candidates in 2008

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her support for John Edwards' presidential bid in 2008

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her support for President Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers her role in the Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson remembers the night of President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about President Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon President Barack Obama's first term

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about the Obama family

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects on her legacy as a U.S. Representative

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her home state of Texas

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson reflects upon her career

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about her family

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson describes her philosophy and how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$10

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson recalls her start as a civil rights organizer
The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson talks about A World of Women for World Peace
Transcript
But you all had a--kind of a different Democratic leader in Texas, Lyndon Johnson [President Lyndon Baines Johnson], right? Who was a little bit different. Is that the--$$Yeah, um--$$Is that true? Or--$$Well I, I got a chance to know Lyndon Johnson on a personal basis. His family was very, very supportive of me. And I'm still very close to his daughters [Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson]. I was close to Mrs. Johnson [Lady Bird Johnson] as well. As a matter of fact, I had just seen him the day he had that heart attack.$$Well, I want to go back to when you were, back in the '60s [1960s], you know, just before you--$$The '60s [1960s]?$$Yeah. Nineteen sixty [1960]. So you, did you, were you aware of them then? I mean as a politician?$$Yes. I became aware of Lyndon Johnson. I worked as a volunteer in his campaign, but I was also working for the government. So I wouldn't do too much partisan stuff. But I was still active with school board elections and (unclear) elections. I was always involved, civically, but during the days of desegregation. What they call open accommodations. I always volunteer-- I was always the youngest one of my peers, and my bridge club members used to tease me. But I always felt an obligation to do volunteer work. So during the time we were going through desegregation, I worked on a committee that was made up of the YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association], National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Christian Women [sic.], kind of the leaders of the heads of different organizations. And we would dialogue around the city on how to approach open accommodations. And I remember one night, we were in a meeting, and sometimes I started the meeting. The police would stop wanting to know why I'm in their neighborhood. But the three people that were killed in Mississippi were found one night that we, while we were in the meeting. It came over the news that they had been found murdered.$$This is 1964 you're talking about?$$I think.$$Goodman [Andrew Goodman], Schwerner [Michael Schwerner], and Chaney [James Chaney]?$$Yeah.$$Sixty-four [1964], yeah.$$And, and we stopped and held hands and did a little prayer and everything. But we, we began to try to open and study the venue. But we, as we would go and visit these restaurant owners and everything, you know, everybody was saying that they were open. But what we would discover, we discovered once that in one restaurant, they had one menu for whites, and one for blacks. And the menu for blacks had ten dollars added to every, every price. And it was that kind of thing that we would try to work out. Well, frankly, the first downtown store that opened was Neiman Marcus. And it was the most exclusive store downtown Dallas [Texas]. As a matter of fact, later it was Marcus' that provided me the opportunity to run for office. But during that time, most of our major stores, Dallas has always been a city with a lot of money. Most of those downtown stores were family owned. Vogue [ph.], Sangers [Sanger Brothers; Sanger-Harris], Titche [Titche-Goettinger], A. Harris [A. Harris and Company; Sanger-Harris], very exclusive stores. And we just didn't seem to be able to get a solid commitment. So I went, I along with several other women, well we were active in the YWCA and membership drives and all. We organized a fifty sensitive black women, and we decided that we would test these stores to see if they were open. When they were not open, we sent the word out that we were boycotting.$Now tell us about--now that same year that 9/11 [September 11, 2001] took place, you began an initiative called A World of Women for World Peace.$$Yes.$$Tell us about that.$$Well, it was somewhat related. That encouraged it. I had been to Bosnia, and that was the first time that I'd experienced what a war torn country would be like, and it really troubled me. And then we had 9/11, which was even more troubling. About two weeks after 9/11, I picked up a magazine that had on the cover these two African kids dressed in war garb with machine guns in their hands. And I just thought to myself, this has just gone too far. And it stayed with me. And, and I was trying to figure out what I could do to see if we could help with a culture of peace in the world. And it just came to me to start working with women and mothers. Because I remember Another Mother for Peace, way back in my early career, that there were a group of peace oriented women started, I was working with in Texas. And I thought of that, and I hadn't heard of them, and I started to ask questions about what groups were involved in trying to bring about peace. And so my idea, I thought it was just too big for me to try to tackle, but then I thought about the fact that to achieve anything, it takes little pieces and steps at a time. So I thought about trying to establish a group that would work toward developing a culture of peace in the world. And that was the beginning. The name came to me as I woke up one morning, A World of Women for World Peace. And researching, I found that Mother's Day came out of the, a little bit of Mothers for Peace [sic.] after the Civil War. They didn't want to see all their sons get killed again in war. And so I had to put an infrastructure together that would help to direct steps at a time. And that's when I decided to do some educating here and to start to do some educating around the world. Bosnia was a, one of the first countries, 'cause that was the first time I had seen real war torn when I went there in the '90s [1990s], and I still work with Bosnia. When I saw the strong feelings that mothers, primarily women had a town hall meeting with them there. How strongly they felt about everything being torn up around them, what have you. And so I wanted to keep touch with them. I started to have dialogues here on the Hill [Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.]. I was in touch with the peace center there in Dallas [Texas] who told me about the peace program at Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. That a Dallasite was running, Swanee Hunt. So I went in and visited with Swanee. We continued to stay in touch with each other. She's been very supportive of me and I've been very supportive of her program. So I wanted to join hands with every peace group and in the world that I could make contact with. I contacted the UN [United Nations], started working with the UN. They had a curriculum that had been developed in The Hague [the Netherlands] that taught techniques. They would be integrated into schools that would teach young children growing up. Conciliation and, and attempting to dialogue and understand respecting differences rather than going to fight for every different thing that came up. So that's how we initially got started.$$Okay.$$And the way I have continued it is I visit other countries, I make the requests before we leave here to, through the embassies to meet with the leading women in the various countries to talk about what the crux of peace might be and what leadership from women would impact. And so I admit with people all over the world, I've used Voice of America, I've used Radio Free Europe [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty] and dialogue back and forth interactively as well as visiting.$$Okay, and it's still, it's--this program's still going on over there today (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes.

The Honorable Cardiss Collins

Former U.S. Congresswoman of Illinois's 7th district Cardiss Collins was born on September 24, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Finley and Rosia Mae Cardiss Robertson. When she was ten years old, she moved with her family to Detroit, Michigan, where she attended the Detroit High School of Commerce. After high school, Collins moved to Chicago, Illinois to find a job. She worked as a stenographer with the Illinois Department of Labor while simultaneously attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned her B.S. degree in accounting. She was promoted to secretary, then accountant at the Illinois Department of Revenue before becoming the revenue auditor. In 1958, Collins married George W. Collins, and in 1959, their son, Kevin, was born. Collins served as committeewoman of the Twenty-fourth Ward Regular Democratic Organization, where she gained her first political experience. She also participated in her husband’s campaigns for alderman, committeeman and U.S. Representative.

Tragically, on December 8, 1972, George W. Collins died in a plane crash. Six months later, Collins was elected to Congress in the June 5, 1973 special election to replace her husband. In 1978, she became the first African American and first woman to chair the Manpower and Housing subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee and to be named Democratic whip-at-large in the House. One year later, she was elected president of the Congressional Black Caucus. From 1983 to 1991, she served as chair of the Government Activities and Transportation (GAT) Subcommittee, where she helped pass laws that controlled the transport of toxic materials and helped provide more secure air travel. She also introduced the Non- Discrimination in Advertising Act, which denied federal tax write-offs to major advertising firms that ignored black-owned communications media, both print and broadcast. In 1990, she wrote a law that expanded Medicare coverage for screening mammography for millions of elderly and disabled women, and in 1991, she was named chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Competitiveness. In Congress, she focused on establishing universal health insurance, providing for gender equity in college sports, and reforming federal child care facilities. In 1993, she authored the Child Safety Protection Act, which requires warning labels on dangerous toys and federal safety standards for bicycle helmets. In 1996, Collins chose to retire and did not run for re-election.

The recipient of honorary degrees from Barber-Scotia College, Spelman College, and Winston-Salem State University, Collins was elected to the Black Women’s Hall of Fame in 1982. In 1990, the Congressional Black Caucus presented Collins with the William L. Dawson Award for Legislative Development, and in 1991, she was honored with an American Black Achievement Award for government service. The American Advertising Foundation established the Cardiss Collins Scholarship for Diversity in Advertising at the University of Illinois in 1996, which provides a full-tuition scholarship to a freshman University of Illinois student in advertising.

Collins passed away on February 3, 2013 at the age of 81.

Accession Number

A2010.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/28/2010

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Occupation
Schools

Northwestern University

Banneker Elementary School

High School of Commerce and Business Administration

Sidney D. Miller Middle School

Bishop Elementary School

First Name

Cardiss

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

COL19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/24/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Turnip)

Death Date

2/3/2013

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Cardiss Collins (1931 - 2013 ) served for eleven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she helped pass laws that fought discrimination, enforced gender equity, and reformed child care.

Employment

United States House of Representatives

University of Illinois, Chicago

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Cardiss Collins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her great-grandfather, Erasmus White

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls segregation in Cairo, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her home in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her after school routine

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her early church experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her reasons for leaving St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending Banneker Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Hastings Street in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls transferring to the High School of Commerce in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Detroit, Michigan's music scene

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her experiences at High School of Commerce

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her mother's love of baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers attending night school at Northwestern University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her husband, George Collins

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's entry into politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers prominent African American politicians in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's election to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes Chicago's South Side and West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her husband's career on the Chicago City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her husband's experiences in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s stay in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers the riots following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about the problems on Chicago's West Side

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls being asked to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her decision to run for U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her congressional campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her experiences serving in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls the priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers notable peers in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her agenda on the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her interactions with Ralph Metcalfe

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers Gus Savage

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls her retirement from the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Richard Milhous Nixon's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins recalls Clarence Thomas' appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes her role as chair emeritus of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her trajectory to the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Cardiss Collins narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
The Honorable Cardiss Collins talks about her biggest accomplishments and challenges in the U.S. Congress
The Honorable Cardiss Collins remembers her black female contemporaries in the U.S. Congress
Transcript
So do you think you, you, do you think you accomplished, you know--I know you couldn't accomplish everything you wanted to do, but what were some of your major accomplishments in [U.S.] Congress?$$I think the thing that I am most proud of, and it doesn't sound like a great deal, but I am most proud of the fact that women have been given the opportunity to be in sports and recognized for their ability. For example, we now have the Women's National Basketball Association. I'm proud of that fact because when I looked at it, Title VII--Title IX didn't mean a thing to anybody. It had been out there for a long time, but nobody was doing anything about it. I'm very proud that I had hearings on that. I'm also proud of the fact that I authored legislation that enabled people on Medicare to get mammogram tests for cancer, breast cancer. People might think I'm silly, but every time you ride your bicycle and put on a helmet, that's my legislation. Every time you take your child or you know of a child being taken to daycare on federal property, that's my legislation. So I'm proud of those. Not a lot, but some.$$Okay, what were your toughest challenges in Congress?$$(Laughter) Getting legislation passed because you have so many, you have so much to go through to get legislation passed. And especially at a time--as long as we had both the House [U.S. House of Representatives] and the Senate [U.S. Senate], there wasn't that much of a problem. But once we lost either the House or the Senate, it was always difficult. Those were the toughest times, and people had to believe you. Legislation that dealt with women in sports was tough because the speaker, who was from Chicago [Illinois] at that time, was a wrestler, and he didn't see the need for women to have fair opportunities in sports. He wanted everybody to wrestle. Well, all of us don't wrestle.$$Now, who is this?$$I'm trying to think of his name now (laughter). He just left. Oh, what's--Kevin [Collins' son, Kevin Collins]? Oh what's his name?$$KEVIN COLLINS: Yeah.$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois, Kevin?$$Bennett, I wanna say, is it Benny. What was his name? Oh, shoot, I'm looking at him.$$KEVIN COLLINS: What was the question?$$Who was the speaker of the house from Illinois recently, in the Republican administration, Kevin (simultaneous)?$$KEVIN COLLINS: (Simultaneous) Oh, Hastert.$$Hastert, Denny Hastert.$$Yeah.$$Yeah. That was tough legislation to get through, you know, things like that. It all depends on what's happening in the House or in the Senate.$(Simultaneous) Did you have a very strong relationship with Shirley Chisholm?$$Yeah, not strong, but a good relationship with her. We, she sat on one end of, on the left side of the, of the [U.S.] Congress, and I sat about four or five seats from her most of the time.$$Okay, now, she ran--she had a high profile in the '70s [1970s], and she ran for president in, I guess in '76 [sic. 1972], right?$$I believe, yeah. But she, Shirley had her own agenda. Everybody had, you know, members of Congress have their own agendas. They have their own districts. So their focus is usually on wherever their district is and whatever their needs are or what the people are and in what's on in that district. You need to know what's going on in your district every day. So you call every day. You have people calling you every day from your office, letting you know. You don't really have time to be, to, to do a whole lot of getting together, per se, you know.$$Or networking with the other--$$Yeah, you just don't have that kind of time because you're focused on what's going on or you're not gonna be there.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask you about her and I know there were other black women in Congress at the time, [HistoryMaker] Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.$$I liked Yvonne a lot. She would come and sit next to me sometimes, you know, and say, "Girl, what's happening," that sort of thing. The day that Nixon [President Richard Milhous Nixon], it was found that Nixon had, indeed, been less than honest about what had happened, she came over. She was happy. She said, "Girl, he lied," (laughter), you know, that sort of thing. And that was the most of that, and then most of the time, she was going on, sitting around talking to somebody because what happens, during the time when you're in the hall, you're talking to other members about what's going on. There's this bill that you have or somebody else has. And how does it affect you and your district. You see members moving around a lot. You don't see 'em sitting in their chairs. They're moving from one person to the other. And they only have fifteen minutes to vote to start with. Many times you'll see member standing by the door to catch somebody who's coming in because you wanna know how this is going to affect you or your district or how is it gonna benefit somebody else's district that you're concerned about, a district that you might be getting in redistricting. And so you don't have enough time to be collegiate. You see what I'm saying. Yeah, you just don't have it.$$Okay, I thought I'd ask about her and, well, [HistoryMaker] Maxine Waters and--$$Yeah, I like Max. Max, Max is fun to be around because, I like to see her work. She has a very low tolerance level (laughter). When she wants something and she's not given it, she just explodes.$$Okay.$$She's fun.$$Okay--$$And smart. Max is very smart. Most people don't realize how smart she really is, but she is. She's very smart.$$Now, who was the one from Pennsylvania, C. Delores Tucker?$$C. Delores Tucker. I worked with her a lot.$$These are just some of the ones that came to mind, just immediately as I'm sitting here, but these are class (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) She was not a member, but she was always around members because she--she wasn't a lobbyist at first, but she became a pretty good lobbyist (laughter) for what she wanted.

The Honorable Louis Stokes

Politician, attorney and civil rights champion Louis Stokes was born on February 23, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised by his mother, Stokes graduated from Central High School in 1943 where he was a member of the track team, the school newspaper, and the Latin club.

Soon after graduation, Stokes was inducted into the United States Army and he served in World War II. After his discharge in 1946, Stokes enrolled in Case-Western Reserve University and in 1953, Stokes earned his doctor of laws degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School.

Starting his law career as the in-house attorney for Carmack Realty Company, in 1955 Stokes established the law practice of Minor, Stokes and Stokes. During his fourteen year law career, Stokes participated in three cases before the United States Supreme Court including the landmark case of Terry v. Ohio, a search and seizure case which he argued and is taught in every law school. Elected to the United States Congress in 1968, Stokes became the first African American congressman from Ohio. He served fifteen consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969, Stokes served on a number of congressional committees including Appropriations, Intelligence and Ethics. In 1976, Stokes chaired the House Select Committee on Assassinations where he conducted hearings on the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

A recipient of many awards for his service to the community, Stokes retired from Congress in 1999 and worked as senior counsel at Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey and as a faculty member at Case-Western Reserve University. His brother, Carl, was the first black mayor of a major American city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1967.

Stokes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007. Stokes passed away on August 18, 2015.

Accession Number

A2005.071

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2005 |and| 2/7/2007

Last Name

Stokes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Central High School

Giddings Elementary School

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

STO03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Aim high.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

2/23/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bass (Chilean Sea)

Death Date

8/18/2015

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Louis Stokes (1925 - 2015 ) was the first African American member of Congress from Ohio. During his thirty-year tenure, he served on a number of committees including Appropriations, Intelligence and Ethics. He was also a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Employment

Stokes and Stokes

Minor, Stokes and Stokes

Stokes, Character, Terry, Perry, Whitehead, Young and Davidson

Squire Patton Boggs

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his earliest memories of his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his neighbors

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early career ambitions

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his activities at the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his prospects after graduating from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Camp Stewart in Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his coursework at the Cleveland-Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the start of his career as a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the exclusion of black lawyers from majority firms

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers working with Norman S. Minor

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the law firm of Minor, Stokes and Stokes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers partnering with his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at the U.S. Supreme Court

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his decision to run for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his congressional campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the history of African Americans in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the Congressional Black Caucus' meeting with President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the early goals of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the achievements of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his appointment to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the findings of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his father's family background

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his childhood community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his early household

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the residents of the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his relationship with his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the discipline of his maternal uncle

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his favorite childhood activities

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the black newspapers of his youth

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early ambition to become a lawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Giddings Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his favorite teachers

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his discharge from the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the conditions for black soldiers in the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the education of his brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his undergraduate and law degrees

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Jewish and black communities of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his start as a lawyer

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers meeting Norman S. Minor

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls founding the Minor, Stokes and Stokes law firm

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his early involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his first marriage

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the influential black legislators in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Carl Stokes' mayoral election

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the case of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about school segregation in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about success of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, 1968, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial profiling

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the legacy of football player Jim Brown

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral election

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial discrimination in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his congressional committee chairmanships

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Glenville riots in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the depollution of the Cuyahoga River

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the radicalism of Fred Ahmed Evans

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the black members of the U.S. Congress

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers President Richard Nixon

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his working relationship with U.S. Senator Edward Brooke

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 Black National Political Convention, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 National Black Political Convention, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes shares his perspective on the Vietnam War

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the Congressional Black Caucus' role in congressional committees

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the importance of African American participation on congressional committees

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his role on the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Iran-Contra Affair

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career as an attorney

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his homes in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his mother and brother, Carl Stokes

Tape: 12 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his life

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$11

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Camp Stewart in Georgia
The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the black members of the U.S. Congress
Transcript
Can you share some of them with us?$$Well, I remember in, at Camp Stewart, Georgia [Fort Stewart, Georgia] where all the black soldiers were required in the morning to get up, get in a truck and they took us down to the white part of the, of the base. And then it was our job to, what they called police the white soldiers barracks or the grounds around their barracks. That is, they gave us some long sticks that had nails in them in order--and they gave us some bags, some shoulder burlap bags. And it was our job to walk around and stick, that stick into any type of mess or paper or anything that was on the ground and to clean the grounds that way by taking all the trash in these burlap bags. And we resented having to do that. So a group of us were taken down one morning, and we took the sticks and the burlap bags, and we put 'em up under the barracks there. And then we went across the street to the library and we sat there until time for us to, to go back for a pick up, where they came back to pick us up. Well, on this particular, someone had told, I guess the military police, what we had done. So they came into the library, raided the library, arrested all of us and took us back, took us over and actually put us in a little area there where they retained you. I forget what you call it now, but anyway, even in there, they had toilets for black prisoners and toilets for the white prisoners. And after they released us from there, they took us down to, back to our barracks. And at our barracks, we were called in by the company commander, and he told us that we were going to be made an example of for the other black soldiers in our company and that that punishment was to--for us to carry mud packs on our backs and have to parade up and down in front of our company barracks. And I was sort of spokesperson for the group. And I, I told 'em that, that what they were asking us to do was unreasonable and protested what they were doing. And I remember that they changed it somewhat. We--they took the packs off of us, but we still had to walk up and down in front of the barracks and be an example to the others. That was just, I guess one of the many kind of incidents that occurred [in the U.S. Army].$$And so did you say--did you stay stateside during your tour (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, we, went out to the port for a shipment and evidently, we were going to go to a hot climate because the equipment given us was for a hot climate. But we were there about two or three days and V-J Day [Victory over Japan Day] occurred. And that's when President Truman [President Harry S. Truman] declared V-J Day. We had just bombed Hiroshima [Japan], and the war [World War II, WWII] had been ended. And so then we were turned around and sent up to Portland, Oregon. So I never went overseas--$Now you were on the ground floor of putting together the Congressional Black Caucus. Can you--$$I was one of the founders.$$Yes, one of the founders, you and John Conyers [HistoryMaker John Conyers, Jr.] and--well, tell, tell us about--$$Okay.$$--who else helped do this and why?$$When I went to Congress in January of 1969, Shirley Chisholm had just been elected as the first black congresswoman from New York. Bill Clay [HistoryMaker William Clay, Sr.] had been elected as the first congressman from Missouri. The three of us went to Congress in January of 1969. When we got there, there were only six black congressmen. And so, this made a total of nine of us in the 91st Congress, which was a historic moment. The earliest--the largest number we had ever had there previously was in the post-Reconstruction period, 1875 or 1877, when we had seven black members in the House [U.S. House of Representatives] and one in the [U.S.] Senate. And so, when we came in that day, the nine of us, that meant we had the largest number ever. But it carried with it much more than that. Between 1875, 1877, and 1900, there had been a total of twenty-two blacks that served; twenty in the House and two in the Senate. The two in the Senate were both Republicans; both were from Mississippi. The twenty that served in the House were from various southern districts, all southern districts. But by 1900, because of the black laws that had been enacted through the South, the intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] and other surreptitious means and manner, every black senator and congressman had been defeated. That was in 1900 when the last one went out. He was a man by the name of George White [George H. White]. Politicians--or historians rather, describe him as being a militant Negro politician from North Carolina. He made a famous speech just before he left the House on his last day. In his speech he said, "This, Mr. Speaker, is perhaps the Negroes' temporary farewell to the United States House of Representatives, but phoenix like, we will rise up and come again." Now his prediction was accurate. We did come again. But it took us twenty-eight years to come again; from 1900 to 1928, not a single black face represented any part of America in the United States Congress. We came back again as he predicted in 1928 [sic. 1929] when Oscar De Priest [Oscar Stanton De Priest] was elected from Chicago, Illinois, and he was Republican. Then from 1928 to 1968 when we were elected, there were a total of six blacks elected to the House.

The Honorable Ronald Dellums

Former Congressman Ronald V. Dellums was born November 24, 1935, in Oakland, California. After graduating from high school, Dellums joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was selected for Officer Candidate School. After completing his tour, Dellums went to Oakland City College, where he earned his A.A. degree. Dellums later went to San Francisco State University and then to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his M.A. degree in social work.

After completing his master's degree, Dellums went to work with the California Department of Mental Hygiene as a psychiatric social worker in 1962 and remained there for two years. Dellums was hired as the program director of the Bayview Community Center in 1964, and a year later became the associate director and, later, director of Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center. In 1967, Dellums was elected to the Berkeley City Council, and also began work as a part-time lecturer at San Francisco State College and the Berkeley Graduate School of Social Welfare. Dellums was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971, where he served until his retirement in 1998.

As a congressman during the Vietnam War, Dellums began calling for peace and disarmament; he studied foreign and military policy, and served on the Armed Services Committee. During the course of the war, President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew accused Dellums of being a "radical" and a "commie pinko" for his views. Surviving these attacks, Dellums went on to challenge President Ronald Reagan's desire to increase military spending and later required President George Bush to secure congressional approval before attacking Iraq in the Gulf War. Dellums also proposed a national healthcare bill in 1977 and spent years trying to push it through Congress.

Dellums continued to speak about disarmament and finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts; he also maintained a strong interest in civil rights and environmental issues. Dellums authored several books, including his autobiography, Lying Down With the Lions: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power. Dellums served as the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the University of California, Berkeley, has created an endowed chair in his name in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department.

Ronald Dellums passed away on July 30, 2018.

Accession Number

A2003.042

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/13/2003 |and| 2/15/2013 |and| 6/17/2013

Last Name

Dellums

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Westlake Middle School

McClymonds High School

Oakland Technical High School

Laney College

San Francisco State University

University of California, Berkeley

First Name

Ron

Birth City, State, Country

Oakland

HM ID

DEL01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Vanguilla

Favorite Quote

Nothing beats a failure but a try.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/24/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans

Death Date

7/30/2018

Short Description

U.S. congressman The Honorable Ronald Dellums (1935 - 2018 ) served as a congressman from Northern California's 9th District and was president of Healthcare International Management Co.

Employment

California Department of Mental Hygiene

Bayview Community Center

Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center

Berkeley City Council

San Francisco State College

University of California, Berkeley

United States House of Representatives

City of Oakland, California

United States Marine Corps

Healthcare International Management Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Dellums interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums discusses his mother's family background and settlement in California

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes how his grandfather impacted him

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums shares his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums talks about his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums describes his father's career and successes

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums recalls his uncle's emigration to California

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums details his uncle's achievements as a civil rights activist

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums recalls his uncle's involvement with labor unions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums shares one of his earliest memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums discusses the demographic makeup of West Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums recalls his childhood neighborhood of West Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums describes the influence of Southern culture on his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums describes his childhood religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums describes his childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums recalls a violent knife attack

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums explains how family and friends shielded him from trouble

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recalls his attitude about education as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes how his parents' separation affected him

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums recalls living with his father after leaving the Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums discusses the relationship between his father and his uncle

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums recalls a scholarship offer from the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums deceives his parents about his grades and loses his scholarship to college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums describes enlisting in the Marine Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ronald Dellums recalls a racist encounter in the Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums explains how the Marine Corps aided in his personal development

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums explains how the military taught him discipline and confidence

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recalls making education a priority in his life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums describes his college experience

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums shares his motivation to enter psychiatric social work

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums remembers his first psychiatric jobs

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ronald Dellums recalls an encounter which caused him to rethink his career aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ronald Dellums details his shift from social work to politics

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ronald Dellums discusses his admission to a Ph.D. program at Brandeis University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums gives the names of his children

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums details his selection as a candidate for the City Council of Berkeley, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums describes the political climate of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums talks about being elected by a white constituency

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ronald Dellums explains how the diversity of the Bay Area helped his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ronald Dellums describes his participation in the People's Park protest and his run for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ronald Dellums describes one of his first political failures

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ronald Dellums describes being attacked by Vice President Spiro Agnew

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ronald Dellums recounts the press conference at which he responded to Vice President Spiro Agnew

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ronald Dellums shares his response to Vice President Spiro Agnew's political attacks

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ronarld Dellums describes his contentious first years in the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ronald Dellums' interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being awarded a college scholarship

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls losing his college scholarship

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers athletes from McClymonds High School

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision to run for Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political party affiliation

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Spiro Agnew's criticism of him

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers responding to Spiro Agnew's criticism

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his start in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political role model, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his political role model, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his early political influences

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his political influences in the San Francisco Bay Area in California

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers working with Donald R. Hopkins

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his congressional staff

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers gaining the respect of the Congress

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls holding war crimes hearings, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls holding war crimes hearings, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about opposing the War Powers Resolution of 1973

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Shirley Chisholm

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls joining the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls joining the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his reception on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his stance on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls advocating against the LGM-118 Peacekeeper missile

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers gaining bipartisan support

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls advocating against the B-2 bomber

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers debating Senator Sam Nunn

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls experiencing discrimination in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the creation of the National Black Political Assembly

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about building political coalitions

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls being nominated for president in 1976

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers being nominated for president in 1980

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the changes to United States politics

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers starting his anti-apartheid campaign

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers inroducing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls passing the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ronald Dellums' interview, session 3

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his retirement from Congress

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his fundraising process

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers the political climate of the 1990s

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls the special election following his retirement

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about advocating for AIDS awareness in Africa

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the creation of Secure the Future initiative

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers Congressman Jim Leach's support

Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls chairing the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers advising Secretary Tommy Thompson

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his book

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes the diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about political cynicism

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums shares his advice for young people, pt. 1

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums his shares advice for young people, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about tools for political organizing

Tape: 13 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls working on AIDS education in Oakland, California

Tape: 13 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers being asked to run for mayor of Oakland, California

Tape: 14 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision to run for mayor of Oakland, California

Tape: 14 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers bringing federal stimulus funding to Oakland, California

Tape: 14 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls working with President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 14 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about reducing crime in Oakland, California

Tape: 14 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about preventing recidivism

Tape: 14 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about community policing

Tape: 14 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the importance of public safety

Tape: 14 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his stance on gun control

Tape: 14 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes illegal gun usage in Oakland, California

Tape: 15 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his term as mayor

Tape: 15 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers the murder of Chauncey Bailey, Jr.

Tape: 15 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about the issues facing Oakland, California

Tape: 15 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls increasing employment in Oakland, California

Tape: 15 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums recalls his decision not to run for mayor for a second term

Tape: 15 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about lobbying

Tape: 15 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums describes his life since retirement

Tape: 15 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his legislative legacy

Tape: 15 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his bipartisan collaboration

Tape: 15 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums remembers his Congressional role models

Tape: 16 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums talks about his children

Tape: 16 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ronald Dellums reflects upon his life

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

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DATitle
Ronald Dellums details his uncle's achievements as a civil rights activist
Ronald Dellums details his shift from social work to politics
Transcript
Well, somewhere along the way and I don't know the exact--I don't remember the exact story--but C. L. [Cottrell Laurence Dellums] did a oral history project and you can find that out and he'll tell you that he and A. [Asa] Philip Randolph met. A. Phillip Randolph became very impressed with C. L., and C. L. became his West Coast organizer because C. L. was a young activist at the time. And these were the old left-wing guys--these were the young socialists of the '20s [1920s]. These were the young--you know, so everyone says is in my genes, in the genes. (laughs) So these were the young progressives. These were the young guys that had the audacity to challenge. And I remember, you know, him telling me stories about the early days of unionizing and the dangers, you know, and the goons that would beat them up, throw them through plate glass windows, I mean all this kind of stuff. Or take blacks who were working on the railroad once they found out they were organizing, then throw them off the train in places in Utah and other places where within 100,000 square miles they would be the only black person and then say, "Walk home." So needless to say, most of them never made it home, you know, walking thousands of miles back to the [San Francisco] Bay Area. But at any rate, C. L. was not only a union organizer, C. L. was also a civil rights leader. C. L. helped to organize the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] in the state of California. C. L. was one of the organizers of the Fair Employment Practices Committee [1941-1946] that fought for fair employment in the state of California. And he was so awesome in that regard, that once California passed and enacted the Fair Employment Practices Law, C. L. was appointed to that board and became chairman of the board. And became so awesome and so powerful and so credible in that regard that Ronald Reagan, when he became governor further down the line, was forced to reappoint C. L. as chairman because even a number of Republican [party] appointees said, "If you don't reappoint C. L. Dellums, there's no credibility to this commission and there's no sense in me serving." So--which was a major statement to me that here this extraordinary person, my uncle, who was so audacious that even a conservative Republican governor was required to reappoint this man without him ever violating his credibility nor his integrity, which was a major statement to me. So C. L. became a very forceful person in the community. Even at the local level, there was a predominately black high school in West Oakland [California], McClymonds High School where [William] Bill Russell [basketball player] graduated from and a number of African American athletes, Frank Robinson [baseball player], Vada Pinson [baseball player], not Vada Pinson but a couple of other black athletes. At one point, McClymonds High School had more professional black athletes in professional sports than any other high school. C. L. fought to make that high school credible, set up a committee because this was a high school that had this enormous number of African Americans, but it wasn't an accredited high school, so he fought to make--I'm sorry, not credible, but accredited high school. And so all the way from the community level to the state level, to the national level, C. L. played a role. When I came to Washington [D.C.] in January 1971, more than one black came, more than one Dellums came. I came to [U.S.] Congress and C. L. came to the National Board of AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations] as the president of this small African American union in 1970.$I went into pre-OEO [Office of Economic Opportunity] poverty programs funded by Ford [Motor Company] Foundation, [U.S.] Labor Department, President's Commission on Youth Crime and Delinquency and what is now HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] but then was HEW--[U.S. Department of] Health, Education, and Welfare--developed pre-poverty program prototypes. And I worked in San Francisco [California] in one of them called the Youth Opportunity [employment program managed by the Private Industry Council of San Francisco]--fabulous experience for me 'cause it took me back to my roots, took me back into a low-income community. Took me back dealing everyday--now as a more skilled and well-trained person, but it took me back to the sisters and brothers in the 'hood [neighborhood]. It took me back to young people. It took me into the areas that I felt I needed to be in. I learned about community organization up close--mobilizing politically, using community organization and organization to politicize an issue, how to empower people at the local level. And somewhere along the way, I remember it was interesting because we had a confrontation with the mayor of San Francisco at the time, who was Mayor [John] Shelley, and we were advocating on behalf of the poor people. And our argument was that poor people should control the funds in the program that effect their lives and that if you're going to have a board of directors of the poverty program, poor people should be in the majority, they should be in the control, okay? So we were the young Mau-Maus [Kenyan insurgent movement of the 1950s], we were the young, you know, black militants at the time. We were the 'Young Turks' [young progressive members of established groups]. And we went to Mayor Shelley to confront the power structure on these issues and I had one role to play, some part of it that I was supposed to speak to and when I finished, Mayor Shelley--and when I look back, I remember he was the first guy--'cause he said, "You ought to be in politics, you're a natural," and that's the first person that ever said, "You ought to be in elective office," and I had never--no one has ever said that to me. And at the end, walking out the door, I mean when he put his hand on my shoulder and he said, "I meant that--," He said, "--you're an absolute natural. You ought to be in politics." And I had never ever thought about that. It had never been something that, you know, we were community organizers. Other people who were politicians, also remember, C. L. [uncle, Cottrell Laurence Dellums] said, "Never be the guy out front, be behind the scenes pushing." So that's what we were--that's what I was about.