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Maséqua Myers

Producer Maséqua Myers was born on January 7, 1953 in Birmingham, Alabama to Thelma and Willie Myers. She attended Cook Elementary School in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Calumet High School in 1970 in Chicago. Myers received her dual A.A. degrees in nursing and theatre in 1974 from Kennedy-King College, in Chicago.

Myers served as project developer for Urban Gateways in Chicago from 1974 to 1976, and worked at LaMont Zeno Theatre/Better Boys Foundation in Chicago from 1974 to 1979. She became the equity union deputy representative at the Goodman and Victory Gardens Theatres in Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1980. Myers served at the Wolftrap Institute for Early Learning as part of the Arts in Phoenix and Washington, D.C. from 1983 to 1985. She also handled contract negotiations at the Independent Professional Performing Artists Institute, in Phoenix, in 1985 and was co-owner and executive producer of Mixed Media Productions, Inc., in Phoenix and Los Angeles from 1986 to 1992. Myers also served as artist in residence at the Wolftrap Arts Institute, Washington D.C. and Phoenix, Arizona from 1986 to 1992.

Myers is credited for her work as producer/co-author of the internationally distributed educational video, Faces of Racism for the National YWCA of the USA in 1990. In 1992, she established and served as chief executive officer at Maséqua Myers and Associates; and, in 2014, she became the executive director, for the historic South Side Community Art Center.

Myers produced Miss Dessa, the romantic-comedy play, which received nine 1993 NAACP Theatre Awards Los Angeles, CA. She produced the pilot and episodes of Stories From the Soul, a half hour dramatic TV series for Robert Townsend, served as director of production for the Black Family Channel in 2005. She produced the documentary, Interview with A Chicago Cop, which was featured in the Arizona Black Film Festival in 2006. She was also the film training director for the feature film, Of Boys and Men starring Angela Bassett and Robert Townsend).

Maséqua Myers-Rami and her husband Pemon Rami have two adult children Babatunde and Tacuma.

Maséqua Myers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 13, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.140

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/13/2018

Last Name

Rami

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Perspectives Charter - Calumet Leadership

Kennedy–King College

Northeastern Illinois University

First Name

Masequa

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MYE04

Favorite Season

Warm

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Trinidad

Favorite Quote

Life Is Not Fair And Then You Die.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Producer Maséqua Myers (1953- ) founded Maséqua Myers and Associates, and was producer and co-author of the internationally distributed educational video, Faces of Racism, for the National YWCA of the USA in 1990.

Favorite Color

Red

Ron Bryant

Producer Ron Bryant was born on January 6, 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio to Doris Morris and T.Y. Bryant, Jr. He graduated from South High School in Youngstown, Ohio in 1970, and earned an athletic scholarship to attend Kent State University at Salem in Salem, Ohio. In 1971, he transferred to Youngstown State University, where he majored in mass communication and received his B.A. degree in 1974.

After graduation, Bryant moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to host “The Al Knight Show” on WAMO-AM. He then worked for the television production center before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he worked for the public radio station KGNU. In 1984, Bryant returned to Youngstown, where he worked as a disc jockey and film editor for the NBC affiliate WFMJ-TV. Bryant was featured in over 1,200 commercials as a voice-over artist. He also worked as a music reviewer and entertainment editor for the Call and Post and the Columbus Post. He also worked part-time at the jazz radio station WBBY and as the program director of WZZT. Bryant also served as the marketing and communications director for The Near East Area Commission, and assisted in the development of the Community 21 Cable Access initiative. In 2002, Bryant developed and produced the American Diversity Magazine television show, which aired on the Ohio News Network. In 2003, he became the news and community affairs director at WVKO in Cleveland. In 2006, Bryant accepted a position as the minority media coordinator and deputy communications director with the Ohio Democratic Party. In 2011, he became the director of news and community affairs for the Bounce TV affiliate in Columbus. In 2014, Bryant served as the executive director of the Intern Student Network Broadcast Project, an initiative aimed at training youth in Franklin County in the fundamentals of broadcast production.

Over the course of his career, Bryant produced a variety of health-based programming that targeted underserved populations in central Ohio, including his 2010 program For Goodness Sake. Bryant also won the Telly Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for a program he produced called Trailblazers: African-Americans Making a Difference.

Ron Bryant was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on November 13, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.200

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2017

Last Name

Bryant

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Youngstown South High School

Princeton Junior High School

Rutherford B. Hayes Middle School

Martin Luther King Elementary School

Jefferson Elementary School

Elm Street School

First Name

Ron

Birth City, State, Country

Barberton

HM ID

BRY06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Myrtle Beach and New York

Favorite Quote

Find someone who will pay you for what you would gladly do for free -- work your passion.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/6/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Short Ribs, Beef Ribs

Short Description

Producer Ronald N. Bryant (1952 - ), the minority media coordinator and deputy communications director for the Ohio Democratic Party, served as the director of news and community affairs for Bounce TV in Columbus, Ohio.

Favorite Color

Orange

Tanya Hart

Producer and television host Tanya Hart was born on January 29, 1949 in Muskegon, Michigan to Lewis Hinton and Jean Hinton. She received her B.A. degree in communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan in 1971, and her M.Ed. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976.

Hart worked for WBZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Boston, where she served as host and contributing producer of Coming Together an Emmy Award winning prime-time news magazine series. She was also an announcer for WBZ’s evening newscast and hosted and produced syndicated specials. After eleven years at WBZ, Hart moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and joined BET’s West Coast production operations and helped launched its first program in BET’s Burbank Studios. There, Hart served as host and senior producer of BET’s, Live From LA with Tanya Hart, where she interviewed celebrities and recorded over three hundred episodes. Also in 1990, she interviewed Winnie Mandela during the world tour with Nelson Mandela, for a U.S. television exclusive. In 1992, Hart was based at the Walt Disney Studios lot, where her company, Tanya Hart Communications, developed and produced films, television programs, syndicated radio programs, and music with Boston International Records and Hollywood Records. In 1995, Hart became an entertainment correspondent on the KACE-FM morning show in Los Angeles. She also served as a host with Roger Ebert covering the Academy Awards, and appeared as herself in the iconic All My Children. For six years, she served as a correspondent and alternate host of E! Entertainment’s The Gossip Show. From 2001 to 2005, Hart hosted the daily syndicated radio feature Hart Moments which her company also produced. In 2003, excerpts from her interview with Tupac Shakur were featured in the documentary Tupac: Resurrection. In 2005, she released her debut album Tanya Hart Sings. She has also produced several documentaries for PBS, as well an audio documentary Ray Charles: The Music Lives On. In 2006, Hart was a producer and guest disc jockey on Live in Hollywood, the weekly syndicated television show. She became host of Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart on American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). Hart has also appeared on Rolonda, Court TV, Inside Edition, Celebrity Justice, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo and Forgive or Forget.

Hart has been recognized with numerous awards, including The Diversity In Media Award from the Caucus of Producers, Writers and Directors, four Emmys, eight Emmy nominations, and five medals from the International TV and Film Festival of New York. In addition, she received the Peabody and Ohio State Awards for her documentary films. In 2016, she became co-chair of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, making her the first African-American and first woman to lead the organization

Tanya Hart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.156

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/16/2017

Last Name

Hart

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Michigan State University

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Tanya

Birth City, State, Country

Muskegon

HM ID

HAR50

Favorite Season

Spring/fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

At the end of the day...

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/29/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

I'm a really good cook, I like many things

Short Description

Producer and television host Tanya Hart (1949 - ) launched BET’s West Coast production operations and served as host and contributing producer of the Emmy-award-winning show, Coming Together, she also hosted Live from LA with Tanya Hart.

Favorite Color

Purple and blue in winter, orange and yellow in the summer

Ruth Batton Campbell

Producer and public relations director Ruth Campbell was born on June 30, 1939 in Benton, Mississippi to Viola Brice and Cleophas Batton. Campbell received her A.A. degree from Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1959, her B.S. degree in language arts from Jackson State College in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1961, and her M.A. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1970.

Campbell taught English, French, public speaking and literature as a public school teacher before she worked with the Mississippi Research and Development Center as a market analyst. She later entered broadcasting at the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, where she served as host of the longest running minority-oriented public affairs series in the state. She served as script editor, producer, director, and became the executive producer for all public affairs programming at the network. Then, Campbell was appointed special assistant of scheduling to the Governor of Mississippi, Ray Mabus. Campbell then served for four years as associate director at the Jackson State University School of Lifelong Learning, where she also taught speech and mass communication. She then worked as manager of customer service at Trilogy Communications, Inc. and as public relations director for MetroCenter Mall. In 1999, Campbell became the public information officer for the City of Jackson’s Parks and Recreation. In 2008, Campbell became the deputy director for the Jackson’s Department of Human and Cultural Services.

Campbell has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to her community. She has been the recipient of a Humanitarian Award from the University of Southern Mississippi, Presidential Citation for Alumni of the Year Award, a Distinguished Leadership Award from the Pearl Street AME Church, and a Founders Award from the National Black Programming Consortium, among others.

Campbell chaired the National Black Programming Consortium and also served on the advisory board for Catholic Charities, the advisory council for 21st Century Community Learning Center, and as a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Friends of Public Broadcasting, which is within the Mississippi Educational Television Network.

Ruth Campbell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.101

Sex

Female

Interview Date

05/24/2017

Last Name

Campbell

Maker Category
Middle Name

Batton

Organizations
Schools

Edmund Burke Elementary School

Felton Elementary School

Phenix High School

Technical High School

Omaha North High School

Kadena High School

First Name

Ruth

HM ID

CAM11

Favorite Season

Fall/winter

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Pray, Work, Don't Worry

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

6/30/1939

Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Favorite Food

Soul food, seafood

Short Description

Producer and public relations director Ruth Campbell (1939 - ) hosted Mississippi’s longest running minority-oriented public affairs series and served as deputy director of the City of Jackson Department of Human and Cultural Services.

Employment

City of Jackson

Metro Center Mall

Trilogy Communications

Jackson State University

The University Center

The Governor's Office

Mississippi Educational TV

Favorite Color

Blue and green

Timing Pairs
0,0:959,20:1689,32:1981,37:2930,52:4098,73:4609,81:5704,91:6726,111:8916,162:10084,202:12858,282:13150,287:18684,303:19052,308:19420,313:19972,349:22916,380:23468,387:24112,401:24480,413:33650,553:34245,569:34585,574:40454,631:40814,637:41822,660:42182,666:44270,723:44558,728:49190,767:49466,772:51150,782:55392,849:55772,855:56228,862:56836,872:61382,899:65738,973:67619,1007:71734,1028:72400,1040:76100,1119:76618,1131:89540,1273:90260,1284:97740,1400:98212,1409:102235,1482:107290,1588:117931,1653:118470,1662:119009,1670:120710,1680:121286,1697:127830,1804:129990,1891:130550,1900:132070,1926:132550,1934:133270,1946:139720,2030$0,0:4880,50:6580,75:12785,229:14485,258:15845,274:16270,281:19390,300:25290,378:36600,505:37242,512:37670,517:39275,552:40452,566:49214,622:52618,717:62104,843:64304,881:65008,890:66680,923:67208,930:70376,994:77475,1049:78420,1068:79050,1075:87096,1118:87588,1125:88244,1135:100616,1283:101061,1289:104532,1352:104888,1357:105333,1363:105689,1368:106579,1380:108626,1416:111652,1466:112364,1480:116605,1496:118934,1508:123090,1536:124350,1558:125120,1571:129998,1635:130294,1640:130590,1645:131552,1662:133991,1673:134379,1678:140207,1740:140515,1745:141208,1755:141824,1764:148831,1904:149139,1909:155704,1957:159520,2029:159944,2034:164560,2076:165835,2095:172720,2210:173145,2218:177082,2232:177492,2238:177820,2243:178722,2259:179460,2269:180772,2291:182412,2316:184980,2322:194854,2382:198140,2399:203284,2457:215960,2557:221230,2576:222374,2585:224370,2591:230690,2625:231105,2631:231686,2641:232765,2658:234093,2682:234674,2690:235089,2696:241750,2828
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruth Campbell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her birth mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell talks about the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell recalls being raised by her stepmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell talks about her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell remembers her paternal grandfather, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell remembers her paternal grandfather, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her early years in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell remembers a white childhood friend

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell recalls meeting her birth mother for the first time

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls how her father met her birth mother and stepmother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell describes her impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell remembers staying at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell recalls listening to radio reports about World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her family's apartment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell recalls attending a concert by Marian Anderson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell talks about her childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls returning to Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell recalls returning to Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruth Campbell describes her social activities in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell talks about her father's travels to Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell recalls moving to Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell remembers attending Omaha North High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell talks about her travels to Japan, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell talks about her travels to Japan, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell describes her education on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls her friends on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell talks about race relations on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell recalls accompanying tourists around Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell describes her experiences on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell talks about her social activities on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell recalls her treatment on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell remembers starring in a skit at Kadena High School

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Ruth Campbell remembers staying at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
Ruth Campbell describes her experiences on Okinawa Island, Japan
Transcript
All right, so let's continue to talk about the, the neighborhood. So we started with your best friend and her father, and you were telling a story about playing Monopoly, but something about the safe? About the combi- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We got in the safe and we got real money. So when they came home that night and it was a Friday night, 'cause Friday night was always fish, we have fish and we were at Aunt Willow's [Willow White (ph.)]. We had hundred dollar bills, fifty dollar bills, we had real money playing Monopoly spread all over the living room floor, and of course they had a stroke. But the o- only other thing I wanna tell you about that, about Aunt Willow and Uncle Ed [Ed White (ph.)] is that because of Uncle Ed when we came south that summer to visit, we stayed at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis [Tennessee] where black people could not stay. And we stayed there because of Un- Ed's connections. Now I don't know what those connections were, okay. But when we got into Memphis and we drove over to the Peabody, we drove around in the back to the alley. We were led in through the kitchen, we were taken to the servant's elevator and we went upstairs to our room and we stayed there. Dinner was brought to us and, and I remember them telling us that we could not go out in the hall. Now Aunt Willow probably could 'cause she was very, very fair and one of her children were fair, but the other one was about my color. But they also had this long lustrous hair, and of course you can tell I didn't (laughter). But anyway and we stayed there. And that morning, they brought us breakfast and we ate, we went back down the service elevator, back through the alley, got in our car and came on south. And in those days you couldn't stay in hotels.$$Did you know the significance of being able to (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Do I know what?$$Did you know the significance of you being able to stay at the Peabody at that time?$$No not then, we were too young. But later I knew (laughter).$Talk to me about Okinawa [Okinawa Island, Japan], about what you--were you able to just go anywhere you wanted to go on the island (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Anywhere we wanted to go we could even ride--I even learned, well actually I spoke pretty good Japanese by the time I left. Now I don't remember any of it because what you don't use you lose. And I probably don't remember anything but (speaks Japanese), I probably can count ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, shichi. You know, some few little things like that. But I had learned enough to even read the buses and you could take the, the Okinawan buses and go from one base to another. Like we--we'd leave Kadena and go to Sukiran [Camp Sukiran, Japan], which was I think at that time, I don't know if it was Marine [U.S. Marine Corps] or [U.S.] Army. And so you could go mostly anywhere. We had one uprising that I remember that we were a part of. We were coming from the teen club and at this point we had moved on Kadena Air Base [Okinawa, Japan], 1407 Stillwell Park, Kadena Air Base. And we were coming from the teens--teen center. And all of a sudden there was this push of people, it was an anti-American riot and they started rocking the car, you know, 'cause we had to stop we couldn't get through. And I heard somebody say, "American baby-sans," and all of a sudden out of this crowd came sailors and Marines and soldiers and [U.S.] Air Force folk, and they surrounded this car and they pushed people back and we had armed guard into the base. And I don't remember now what the uprising was about, but I do remember we were terrified there for a minute. They were telling us to go home, down with Americans and you know this sort of thing. And my--one of my most beautiful memories from Okinawa was being at White Beach, which is really to the northern end, I believe, of the island. And it's up on a, you can go up on a high bluff and you can look down at the sea. And we were up there one day and the [U.S.] 7th Fleet came in and if you wanna feel pride, is to watch a fleet of [U.S.] Navy ships move into an area. I mean it's just, the ships looked white, the water was blue, the day was golden, the sky was azure, it was just, I mean, I don't think I've ever had a more patriotic moment than see those ships coming in. It was like, problems, we're here. And they came in and we got to go on board one of the ships. And you won't--this is incredible, we went on the ship and we got to tour the ship, and the sailors were giving the kids their caps, the girls, their caps. One sailor, American black gave me his cap. I met him again years later, he remembered me, I didn't remember him, at Jackson State University [Jackson, Mississippi].$$That's, that's amazing (laughter). That's amazing (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It's amazing.

Robert Tutman

Cameraman and producer Robert Tutman was born on October 15, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Tutman initially worked as a still photographer until 1968, when he was hired as a cameraman for NBC’s WBAL-TV in Baltimore. In 1970, Tutman moved to CBS Network News in Chicago, Illinois, becoming the company’s first African American cameraman. For the next twenty-five years, Tutman covered national and international news stories for CBS. He also taught as an associate professor at Columbia University in 1973 through the Michelle Clark Minority Fellowship.

From 1995 to 1999, Tutman served as a senior cameraman for Chicago’s WBBM-TV, where he worked on breaking news stories, from hard news to feature pieces, documentaries, special projects and long format programs. In 1996, Tutman established his own production company, and, from 1999 to 2001 he produced fifty half-hour programs and twelve three-hour specials for the Chicago Public Schools. He went on to serve as a producer for Monument City Films in Baltimore from 2001 to 2002; and, in 2003, became a producer for WYCC-TV, a PBS station based in Chicago. Tutman later worked as director of photography for The Africa Channel and as a producer at Chicago Film Works. His film credits include The Providence Effect and Common Enemy.

Tutman’s honors include Emmy Award nominations as well as the Gold Camera Award, which he received during the 1996 Chicago Industrial Film Festival for his work on Common Enemy. He has also served as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Robert Tutman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 22, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.261

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2014

Last Name

Tutman

Maker Category
Schools

Coleridge Taylor Elementary School

P.S. 111, Frances Ellen Harper Elementary School

Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts

Baltimore City College

Coppin State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

TUT01

Favorite Season

Any Time I'm Alive

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Stuck On Stupid.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/15/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Photojournalist and producer Robert Tutman (1946 - ) was the first African American cameraman hired by CBS News, where he served from 1970 to 1999.

Employment

WBAL-TV

CBS Network News

WBBM-TV

Monument City Films

Robert Tutman Productions

WYCC-TV

The Africa Channel

Chicago Film Works

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3116,64:3496,70:4104,77:8588,193:9044,200:25874,548:34031,632:34339,637:34801,645:35109,650:41202,726:44800,772:45448,783:66350,1159:68305,1177:71365,1224:78068,1368:78416,1373:78938,1381:81026,1427:87572,1594:87940,1599:96905,1741:111182,1965:111922,1984:115412,2017:116088,2042:125222,2183:126916,2213:127840,2228:135165,2291:141188,2376:145933,2486:149021,2499:150897,2540:155380,2638:158740,2738:162100,2827:162500,2833:162900,2839:171261,2947:173718,3007:184297,3174:190213,3274:192301,3308:199996,3393:202350,3416:202863,3429:203946,3488:208065,3541:220142,3717:227996,3896:233190,3942:243404,4086:252110,4210:252455,4216:253973,4249:260424,4324:262452,4364:263700,4395:264090,4401:265182,4423:265572,4429:266274,4441:272490,4573$0,0:10415,129:10829,135:11312,146:11588,151:14969,213:15452,221:18737,240:19295,248:25004,307:29247,347:31235,391:31590,398:32513,420:33649,448:55228,762:55543,768:61053,839:77638,1108:82670,1221:84076,1248:93577,1418:94003,1425:96062,1473:105822,1564:109078,1644:119730,1778:120738,1794:121026,1799:124698,1902:126354,1944:130272,1979:133540,2042:143288,2142:143820,2153:144124,2158:145390,2267:166445,2531:172748,2665:183465,2777:184375,2875:190950,3176:230808,3568:233200,3599:262973,3986:266111,4042:266580,4051:266915,4087:277555,4179:278910,4185:289830,4539:302960,4768:303196,4773:303550,4780:305615,4833:308430,4892
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Tutman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his mother's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman talks about his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman describes his earliest memory of school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman remembers his neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman talks about the development of social policies

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman recalls his early frustrations with school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman remembers learning about Frances Watkins Harper

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman describes his experiences as a Boy Scout

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes how he became interested in photography

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers his first professional photography lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers his high school photography club

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman talks about Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman recalls his introduction to the photography community

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman remembers working at a Chinese restaurant

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman recalls his decision to attend Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman talks about his decision to complete two extra years of high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman remembers his family's reaction to his delayed high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman recalls his decision to leave college and work in a steel mill

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about the African American community in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman recalls his start as a professional cameraman

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman recalls the opportunities for black reporters during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers covering the assassination of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers his hiring as a cameraman for CBS News

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman remembers covering the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman describes Emperor Hirohito's visit to the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman remembers meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman recalls his conversation with Rosa Parks

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his colleagues at CBS News

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman talks about his friendship with Ed Bradley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about the private personalities of television reporters

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers the election of Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman recalls covering Walter Mondale's vice presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman describes his interviews with Walter Mondale

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman remembers Walter Mondale's intervention on behalf of his grandmother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his friendship with Walter Mondale

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about DeWayne Wickham

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman remembers leaving the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman talks about the physical demands of newsreel videography

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the changes in management at CBS News

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman remembers being captured while reporting overseas

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman talks about the dangers of working as a news cameraman

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman talks about challenging the prejudice of white reporters

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his passion for newsreel videography

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman describes his travel schedule as a cameraman

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman talks about balancing his career and personal life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman talks about minimizing his exposure to danger

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman describes the risks of covering events like September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman talks about his involvement in education

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes his work on feature and documentary films

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Tutman remembers his awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Tutman describes his work with The Africa Channel

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Tutman remembers joining Chicago Film Works

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the changes in video technology

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Robert Tutman talks about his camera preferences

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Robert Tutman describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Tutman reflects upon his relationship with DeWayne Wickham

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Tutman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Tutman shares his concerns for the future of black journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Tutman talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Tutman reflects upon the importance of practice

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Tutman describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$8

DATitle
Robert Tutman describes how he became interested in photography
Robert Tutman remembers being captured while reporting overseas
Transcript
Now did you have any particular talents you were cultivating in those days? Were you--were you artistic then?$$Yeah--a photographer, that's the only thing I wanted to do.$$Okay, I mean in, in middle school [Booker T. Washington Junior High School; Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts, Baltimore, Maryland]? I mean, I mean when did photography? I know, I know you did, did you have a camera (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I got hooked on photography, I got hooked on photography in 1954, when I was eight years old.$$Okay.$$And the reason that I got hooked on photography is my cousin Reggie [ph.] was a con man and he's also my best friend at the time but he was older than me and he knew all of these tricks that we did not know. I learned how to count because my cousin Reggie hustled me out of a dime, he came up to me and he showed me a nickel and I had a dime and he said, "Look, I'll trade you the big one for the little one," and so I traded him a dime for a nickel and I came back in the house and I showed my grandfather [Tutman's maternal grandfather, Claude Allen] my nickel, he said, said, "Buck where did you get that from?" I said, "I got this from Reggie." He said, "Well how how'd you get this from Reggie?" I said, "We traded it." He said, "Minnie [Tutman's maternal grandmother, Minnie Magee Allen], the boy can't count," and the next thing I knew I was sitting down learning how to count money.$$So, in terms of the can- photography (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Photography?$$Yeah, how did Reggie--?$$Do you know what sun pictures are by any chance?$$Some pictures?$$Sun, S-U-N.$$Sun, oh--$$Sun pictures.$$--with a pinhole camera?$$No. Sun--well that is another way of sun pictures, but what they used to sale was a little pack of paper than had photosensitive paper in it and negatives. And they would cut black and white negatives out of 35mm movie film, old movie film that they didn't use and stick this in a little package and they'd sell this for a dime. And you'd take this little pack of paper and you take this negative and put it on this pack of paper and sit it out in the sun and you'd make a picture, sun picture. Well, my cousin Reggie knew about this because he was older and so, he said to us, "You give me a dime," back to the dime again, "and I'll show you a magic trick." I said, "Okay," so we go down in the basement he's got this thing setup in the basement and he's got these three trays of magic water setup in the basement and he's got a light and he's got some magic paper and he said, "Now come here, give me your money," everybody give him, everybody gives their money out to Reggie, he said, "Now give me your hand," so he'd put your hand on this piece of magic paper and he'd turn the light on and turn the light off real quick and then he said some magic words over the pap- (makes sound), I don't know what he said, magic. And now you're looking at this paper in the dark, he says, "Now," he says this magic over the water and takes the paper and he sticks it in the water and, and the hand comes up, and I'm, man that was it, done, I was hooked, that's it, I had it, that's what I want to do, magic. So I go back and I try it and it don't work, I take a piece of paper and it just, it, man I said the same words, I did--don't work, he said, "I'm not gone show you my trick." And what had happened is, my uncle Milton [Milton Allen], which was my mother's [Theresa Allen Tutman] brother was a professional photographer and Reggie had found a box of his photo paper back in the basement and Reggie had gone to the store, he got thirty-five cents somewhere and what was called a tri-chem pack, which were three chemicals for thirty-five cents which were photo chemicals 'cause that's how you used to buy chemicals back in the '50s [1950s], you just buy a pack of chemicals, go and mix them up, print a picture--most people that were in photography did their own work. You had your own dar- darkroom, you printed your own pictures, you developed your own negatives, and so that's what he did. And, it was magic and I just, I wanted to take pictures after that so I had a little Brownie Hawkeye and I ran around shooting pictures every chance I could get. That's all I wanted to do was take pictures. I spent hours in the darkroom, hou- I mean every day I was in the darkroom. That's just what I did: I didn't care about school, I didn't care about anything; I just wanted to be in the darkroom taking pictues (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So this is from age eight?$$Oh yeah.$$Okay.$$Magic.$They do it, they did--we had a guy get captured overseas in Iraq, Iran, somewhere, I don't know where it was, might have been in South America, I just forgot where it was and they were being held prisoner and CBS network television hired a team of mercenaries to go in and get this guy out and they went in shooting and got this guy out who was a reporter that was being held prisoner. And when I heard about it, I had just come on board with the company and I got indignant, "How dare you go into a foreign country and, and (unclear) you shouldn't do any, that you don't have any right to do any--wha- what? Are you people--who do you think?" And a guy turns to me, "Hey, if you got captured, we'd come and get your black ass too, so what do you have to say about that?" "Hey man thanks, appreciate it." So, we never had any fear of getting in trouble, we never had any fear of anything happening because we knew that the company would bail us out.$$Now did, did you cover a story at any time, you know, whether it be in the Middle East or Asia, or Central or South--South America, or Africa where you thought you were going to get kidnapped?$$Oh got kidnapped, got captured.$$Okay.$$Yeah, oh sure, that's happened before. I got captured in Cairo [Egypt] when Ansar--Anwar Sadat got killed and when Anwar Sadat got killed he--we went to cover his funeral, so I'm out, I'm taking pictures and I walk out and I'm taking pictures and this guy said, "We told you not to take--." They grabbed us, took the camera, took all our gear, they're holding us--man, I'm like, (makes sound), and now, you know, now they holding us, shit, nobody knows where we are, we don't have any credentials, we don't have any passports, they're holding us, like, shit. So, guy comes in, "Okay, I told you not to take pictures so you're going to be here." "Wait a minute, you didn't tell me anything." "Yes, I did." I said, "Have you ever met a black American before?" He's like, "Well no." I said, "Then if you've never met a black American before, I'm a black American, how could you have told me anything?" The guy was like, "Where are you from?" I'm like, "I'm from Chicago [Illinois]." "Chicago?" He said, "This is--Al Capone," he says, "Al Capone is a friend of mine." I said, "Well he's a friend of mine too." He said, "Man this is friends here, my friend here," and all of a sudden, he and I and Al Capone became friends and he let us go. I said, "Well can I get my camera?" "Yeah, take your camera man that's, we're friends," so because we fr- all friends with Al Capone, I got to go. Now I'm in Nicaragua and we get captured in Nicaragua, so we get captured in Nicaragua, they're holding us and then they're getting ready to let us go, right?$$Now you're being held by the Contras or the Sandinistas [Sandinista National Liberation Front] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sandinista got us.$$Okay.$$So the Sandis got us and now they going to let us go, they ain't keep us but for two, three days that's all, not a long time. So the guy says, "Okay, strip, take your clothes off." I said, "Take your clothes off? Man, I'm not taking my clothes off." Said, "You got, man it's like--we need everything, we need shoes, we need clothes, we need socks, we need everything you've got and you're going back to your hotel but we gotta have your--." It's about eight of us they had, and, "Strip naked and get outta here." I'm like, "Man, you cannot, you cannot take my clothes, now what--," I said, "let me explain something to you man, six white guys, black guy, if we walk out the jungle naked, the only person's picture that's going to be on the front of Newsweek magazine is me, they're not going to put the naked white guys, they going to put the naked black guy with the camera." The guy looked at me, he looked at them, and he looked at me and we come walking out the jungle, I got all my shit, and walking with six naked white boys (laughter).$$What a story, that's--so now, wa- those the only two times that you got--?$$Those are the only two times that I got captured by people that I didn't think were going to let me go.$$$$Okay, okay but it's, it's, it's then it's a usual thing to be detained or, or (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh man, you get detained--I've been detained by all the ti- I was in Wounded Knee [South Dakota] when they took over the post office at Wounded Knee, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] grabs us sneaking out and they hold us and questioning you and stuff, "Man go away," you know, "free press," you know, they keep you for two hours, cops will hold you, happens all the time, you don't ev- you know, like they're gonna let you go, I mean like, you're not doing anything, you're not trying to hurt anybody, you know, free speech means a lot to members of the press sometimes. Well used to twenty years ago, I don't know what it's doing now.

James Poyser

Songwriter, producer and musician James Jason Poyser was born in Sheffield, England in 1967 to Jamaican parents Reverend Felix and Lilith Poyser. Poyser’s family moved to West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when he was nine years old and he discovered his musical talents in the church. Poyser attended Philadelphia Public Schools and graduated from Temple University with his B.S. degree in finance.

Upon graduation, Poyser apprenticed with the songwriting/producing duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Poyser then established the Axis Music Group with his partners, Vikter Duplaix and Chauncey Childs. He became a founding member of the musical collective Soulquarians and went on to write and produce songs for various legendary and award-winning artists including Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Common, Anthony Hamilton, D'Angelo, The Roots, and Keyshia Cole. He was credited as writer/producer for multiple songs on Erykah Badu’s debut album, Baduizm; has writer, producer and musician credits on Lauryn Hill’s multiple Grammy-winning album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; was a musician on Adele’s acclaimed album, 21; and served as executive co-producer and writer on Al Green’s Lay it Down. He was also the executive producer on Badu's highly celebrated albums, Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground.

He is an active session musician and has contributed to the works of other artists such as Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray and Femi Kuti. In addition, Poyser has toured, and played live as a keyboardist with Jay-Z, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Aretha Franklin, among others. He is a regular member of The Roots, and has joined them on stage as the houseband for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and subsequently The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Poyser’s awards include a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2003 for co-writing Erykah Badu and Common's hit “Love Of My Life.”

He resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James Poyser was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.143

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2014

Last Name

Poyser

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Temple University

Add B. Anderson Elementary School

John P. Turner Middle School

West Philadelphia Catholic High School

George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science

Drexel University

First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Sheffield

HM ID

POY01

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

The Beach

Favorite Quote

God Bless You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

1/30/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

England

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Songwriter, producer, and musician James Poyser (1967 - ) was co-founder of the Axis Music Group and founding member of the musical collective Soulquarians. He was a Grammy award-winning songwriter, musician and multi-platinum producer. Poyser was also a regular member of The Roots, and joined them as the houseband for NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Employment

Axis Music Group

Soulquarians

The Roots / The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Poyser's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Poyser lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Poyser describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Poyser talks about his parents' early relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Poyser describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Poyser lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Poyser recalls his family's immigration to England and the United States, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Poyser describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Poyser recalls his family's immigration to England and the United States, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Poyser talks about his father's church in Sheffield, England

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Poyser recalls his education in Great Britain

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - James Poyser describes his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - James Poyser remembers moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - James Poyser recalls his father founding New Testament Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - James Poyser talks about adjusting to life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes his exposure to American television

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his parents' decision to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls his time at Add B. Anderson Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers family holidays during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his early education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about his early exposure to playing music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls his responsibilities during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Poyser talks about his parents' careers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Poyser talks about the Philadelphia based organization MOVE

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Poyser recalls the violence in his childhood community

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - James Poyser remembers studying chemical engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - James Poyser recalls learning to play the piano

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes the differences between playing drums and piano

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his first exposure to secular music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls transferring to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers the music scene at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls meeting DJ Jazzy Jeff

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about touring with CeCe Peniston

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls co-founding Axis Music Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers learning music production from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Poyser remembers learning music production from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes his breakthrough work on the 'Baduizm' album

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about his creative process

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls co-writing songs with Erykah Badu

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers his first paycheck after producing the 'Baduizm' album

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Poyser describes his relationship with The Roots

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about the Soulquarians

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls producing music with D'Angelo

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers Common's relationship with Erykah Badu

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James Poyser describes J Dilla's influence on contemporary music

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Poyser describes Frankie Knuckles' music

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Poyser talks about the evolution of Questlove's stage name

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Poyser recalls performing on The Voodoo World Tour

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers his major projects in 2000

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls producing the 'Mama's Gun' album

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Poyser talks about Common's and Erykah Badu's break up

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Poyser recalls producing the song 'Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Poyser remembers Jill Scott's involvement with A Touch of Jazz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Poyser recalls producing music with Lauryn Hill

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Poyser remembers working with Mary J. Blige

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Poyser recalls difficult recording sessions

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Poyser talks about changes in the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Poyser remembers the birth of his son, Jadyn Poyser

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Poyser recalls joining The Roots on the 'Late Show with David Letterman'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Poyser describes the challenges of playing in a house band

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Poyser talks about his future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Poyser describes his musical influences

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Poyser talks about the appropriation of neo soul music by foreign artists

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Poyser reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Poyser reflects upon the legacies of the artists he's known

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Poyser reflects upon his legacy

Tonya Lewis Lee

Producer, author and lawyer Tonya Lewis Lee was born on March 30, 1966 to Lillian Glenn Lewis and George Lewis, a corporate executive at Philip Morris. Lee received her B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1988, and her J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1991.

Upon graduation, Lee worked at the law firm of Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (now Nixon Peabody LLP) in Washington, D.C., where she primarily serviced Gannett Co., Inc. on corporate and First Amendment issues. In 1992, during the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend in Washington, D.C., Lee met her future husband, Spike Lee. A year later, they were married in New York City in a private ceremony.

In 1998, Lee founded the media production company, Madstone Company, Inc., where she worked with Disney Television Animation and Nickelodeon. Lee produced the 2004 documentary, I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, which won the Beacon and Parents’ Choice awards. In 2005, she executively produced the TV miniseries, Miracle’s Boys. Then, in 2006, Lee worked with TV Land to produce the talk show, That’s What I’m Talking About, which was hosted by Wayne Brady. The following year, Lee became the spokesperson for the Office of Minority Health’s campaign, “A Healthy Baby Begins With You,” which addressed the high infant mortality rate in the United States; and she then produced a documentary about the campaign, Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation’s Babies. In 2012, she co-founded the film and television production company, ToniK Productions, which produced Lee’s co-written screenplay, The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

Outspoken on the issues of women and race, Lee has had a speaking tour schedule and has appeared on national and local television and radio stations across the United States. She has written for magazines such as Avenue, Gotham, O at Home and Glamour. She has also been featured in The New York Times, Avenue, Town and Country, New York Magazine, O, Essence, Ebony, NV Magazine, Redbook, Child and New York Family Magazine. Lee is co-author, with Crystal McCrary, of the 2004 novel Gotham Diaries, and has co-authored three books with Spike Lee: Please, Baby, Please (2002); Please, Puppy, Please (2004); and Giant Steps to Change the World (2011).

Lee resides in New York City with her husband and their two children, Satchel and Jackson.

Tonya Lewis Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.104

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/6/2014

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lewis

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Sarah Lawrence College

University of Virginia School of Law

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tonya

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

LEE09

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/30/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Producer, author, and lawyer Tonya Lewis Lee (1966 - ) was the founder of Madstone Company, Inc. and co-founder of ToniK Productions. She co-authored the 2004 novel Gotham Diaries, and has authored three books with her husband, Spike Lee: Please, Baby, Please; Please, Puppy, Please; and Giant Steps to Change the World.

Employment

Nixon Peabody LLP

Madstone Company, Inc.

ToniK Productions

Judi Moore Latta

Producer and educator Judi Moore Latta was born on August 3, 1948 in Tallahassee, Florida to college professors Oscar and LaVerne Moore. In 1966, Latta graduated from Florida A & M University High School as valedictorian. She earned her B.S. degree in English education from Hampton Institute in 1970 and her M.A. degree in English literature from Boston University in 1971. In 1999, Latta received her Ph.D. degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland.

In 1972, Latta was hired as an assistant professor at the University of the District of Columbia, where she taught until 1980. From 1978 to 1979, Latta worked at WETA-TV/FM as a producer for From Jumpstreet: The Story of Black Music. From 1980 to 1988, she served as an independent producer for the Public Radio System and produced dozens of documentaries and other long form reports for National Public Radio. In 1984, Latta joined the faculty at Howard University as an assistant professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Film. Then, in 1988, she was hired as NPR’s first education reporter, where she was responsible for creating the Education beat for NPR’s National Desk. She then served as NPR’s executive producer of special programs and created Latin File, the first radio network Hispanic daily news program. From 1990 to 1992, Latta worked as a reporter and producer for WUSA-TV’s Capital Edition and, in 1992, served as producer of WRC-TV’s documentary special Drugs at Work. She then returned to NPR in 1992 as a senior producer of the twenty-six-part documentary series Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions. After receiving her Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland, and Latta was made full professor and chair of Howard University’s Department of Radio, TV and Film in 2000. In 2002, she became the first woman to serve in the role of interim general manager of Howard University’s WHUT-TV. Latta also served as co-chair of the University’s Certificate Program in Women’s Studies from 2005 to 2011, and as director of WHUR-WORLD from 2006 to 2009. In 2009, she was appointed Howard University’s executive director of communications and marketing, and served in the president’s executive leadership cabinet until 2012.

Latta has received numerous awards and recognition from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Women in Radio and Television, National Education Association, National Association of Black Journalists and National Federation of Community Broadcasters. In 1992, Latta was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award for her production of Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions. She is a community volunteer, as well as a member of the Links Inc. (Silver Spring Chapter), the Olive Branch Community Church and the National Council of Negro Women (Potomac Valley Section).

Latta and her husband, Joseph Latta, D.D.S., live in Takoma Park, Maryland. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Judi Moore Latta was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 21, 2014 and January 31, 2017.

Accession Number

A2014.093

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/21/2014 |and| 01/31/2017

Last Name

Latta

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Moore

Occupation
Schools

FAMU Developmental Research School

Hampton University

Boston University

University of Maryland

First Name

Judi

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

LAT06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any place warm

Favorite Quote

Every act has a consequence

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/3/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Any Vegetable

Short Description

Producer and educator Judi Moore Latta (1948 - ) , professor of communications at Howard University, was NPR’s first education reporter and was senior producer of the award-winning documentary series Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions. In 2002, she became the first woman to serve as interim general manager of Howard University’s WHUT-TV.

Employment

Howard University

National Public Radio

WUSA-TV

WUDC-FM

WETA-TV/FM

Public Radio System

Favorite Color

Green

Pete Moore

Singer, songwriter and producer Warren “Pete” Moore was born on November 19, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Northern High School in Detroit, and was a childhood friend of singer Smokey Robinson. The two formed a singing group in 1955 called the Five Chimes, where Moore was the bass singer. In 1956, they changed their group’s name to the Matadors.

The Matadors caught the attention of Berry Gordy in the late 1950s, and, in 1959, the group recorded their first songs on Gordy’s newly formed Tamla label. The Matadors then changed their name to the Miracles, and went on to become the first successful recording act for Gordy's Motown Records. In 1967, the Miracles changed their name to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. After producing many musical hits, Robinson left the group in 1972, but Moore and the Miracles carried on until the entire group disbanded in 1978. In 2007, Moore founded the Las Vegas-based entertainment firm, WBMM Enterprises. He is also co-owner, with Miracles member Billy Griffin, of the music publishing company Grimora Music.

Moore co-wrote several of the Miracles hits, including 1965’s "Ooo Baby Baby;” 1965’s Grammy Hall of Fame inductee “The Tracks Of My Tears;” “My Girl Has Gone,” a Billboard Top 20 hit from 1965; “Going to a Go-Go;” and the multi-million selling #1 pop smash, "Love Machine;" among others. The song "Overture" from the Miracles’ album City of Angels, co-written by Moore, was used as the official theme on Radio Monte Carlo in France from 1978 to 1979. He was also the vocal arranger on all of the Miracles’ hits.

Moore produced several hit songs as well, including the Miracles' 1965 R&B chart hit, “Choosey Beggar,” their 1969 hit, “Here I Go Again,” and the group's million-selling Top 10 hit, “Baby Baby Don't Cry” in 1969. He also produced the group’s City Of Angels album, along with albums by Marvin Gaye, and the Supremes. Moore's compositions have been recorded by Marvin Gaye, Debbie Boone, Linda Ronstadt, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, Tom Jones, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and The Four Tops.

Moore has received many honors and awards. He has been a four-time winner of the Broadcast Music, Inc. award for songwriting, and was inducted with the rest of the Miracles into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2009, the Miracles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and, in 2012, Moore was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has received the Award Of Merit by the American Society of Composers, Authors,and Publishers. The Miracles are also four-time inductees into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Moore passed away on November 19, 2017.

Pete Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 21, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.316

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/21/2013

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Warren

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

MOO18

State

Michigan

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

11/19/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Death Date

11/19/2017

Short Description

Singer, songwriter, and producer Pete Moore (1939 - 2017)

Employment

Miracles

WBMM Enterprises

Grimora Music