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Charles Warfield, Jr.

Broadcasting executive Charles M. Warfield, Jr. was born in in Washington, D.C. in 1949. Warfield attended Hampton University and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in accounting in 1971.

Upon graduating, Warfield began his career as a staff auditor at Ernst & Young, and then joined RCA Corporation as supervising senior auditor in 1974. Warfield’s broadcasting career includes managing some of New York City’s top radio stations including twelve years at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC). He joined ICBC as a corporate controller and was promoted to vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio. Warfield was later hired at Summit Broadcasting Corporation, where he served as vice president and general manager of WRKS-FM Radio in New York City.

In July of 1997, Warfield was appointed as the vice president and general manager of heritage stations at WDAS-AM/FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later became the senior vice president of urban regional operations for Chancellor Media Corporation in March of 1998, with oversight of KKBT-FM in Los Angeles, California; WJLB-FM and WMXD-FM in Detroit, Michigan; WGCI-AM/FM and WVAZ-FM in Chicago, Illinois; WUSL-FM and WDAS-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and WEDR-FM in Miami, Florida. Warfield was promoted to senior vice president of regional operations in October of 1998, and assumed responsibility for Chancellor Media Corporation’s thirty stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Puerto Rico. From 1997 to 2003, Warfield served as senior vice president of regional operations for AMFM, Inc.; and, from 2000 to 2012, he served as vice president and chief operating officer of Inner City Broadcasting Holdings, Inc. In October of 2012, Warfield was named president and chief operating officer of YMF Media, LLC.

In 2009, Warfield was elected president of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP. The following year, he was appointed as the chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. He also served on the Radio Advertising Bureau Executive Committee. Warfield’s community involvement includes organizations such as the American Red Cross, the National Urban League, the Salvation Army, the United Negro College Fund, the Partnership for a Drug Free Greater New York and the Harlem Young Men’s Christian Association. In 2010, Warfield received the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Charles M. Warfield Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.281

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2013

Last Name

Warfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Morris

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

James G. Birney Elementary School

Kramer Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Academy

Anacostia High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WAR17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saint Martin

Favorite Quote

Straight Talk Makes For $Straight Understanding

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/10/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Charles Warfield, Jr. (1949 - ) served as president and chief operating officer of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Inc., and as vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio.

Employment

Ernst & Young

RCA Corporation

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Inc.

WBLS Radio

WLIB Radio

Summit Broadcasting Corporation/WRKS-FM

WDAS Radio

Chancellor Media Corporation

AMFM, Inc.

YMF Media, LLC

Medger Evers College

Uptown Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Warfield, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls spending the summers in Rappahannock County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early responsibilities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his brother with Down syndrome

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his relationship with his twin brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his family's holiday traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his childhood hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his experiences at Kramer Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early academic interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his start at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his decision to major in accounting

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the student protests at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the closure of the Hampton Institute in 1971

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision not to live in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his work at S.D. Leidesdorf and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his work at the RCA Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers joining the staff of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his career advice to African American youth

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his transition to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his interview at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his coworkers at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the influence of radio deejays

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Frankie Crocker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his role in station acquisitions at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his contributions to the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his promotion to vice president and general manager of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's human resources system

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the process of acquiring a radio station

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the challenges of managing a nationwide media company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the impact of recessions on the black radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the Quiet Storm radio format

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the competitors to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his decision to join WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remember Barry A. Mayo

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the audience of WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his changes at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his career at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his departure from WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his attempts to invest in a radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers working for Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls joining the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the longevity of WVON Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the role of syndication in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the importance of community relationships in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his experiences as senior vice president of the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his return to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about changes in the radio market

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the introduction of the portable people meter

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about competition from satellite radio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls serving on the executive committee of the National Association of Broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the conflict between Cathy Hughes and Dionne Warwick

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the bankruptcy of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the divestiture of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's assets

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the underrepresentation of African American radio executives

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the dissolution of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of black broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his contributions to the broadcasting industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for African Americans in the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

2$10

DATitle
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations
Transcript
Can you describe the organization you're coming into; and who, who some of the key players are, and, and what--because at this point--let's see--Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] began--I thought it began in (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Began in '72 [1972] with--$$It's--$$ --the AM--'74 [1974] with the FM [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], and by '75 [1975], '76 [1976], going into '77 [1977], FM had overtaken AM as the primary band for entertainment on the radio. And I was a bit star struck when I--when I first went into the company. I had--you're listening to the radio in New York City [New York, New York], and I listened to a lot of radio. And I'm, I'm here with the home of Frankie Crocker and Ken Webb and [HistoryMaker] Vy Higginsen on the air. It's--this is Percy Sutton's company. This is a high profile job opportunity in New York City. So you're, you're struck with that. You have the artists that come through the radio station that you would see from time to time coming to pay homage quite honestly to the man, Frankie Crocker. There was also [HistoryMaker] Hal Jackson, who was there as a vice chairman of the country--company. And Pepe--Pierre--Percy Sutton, who was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch, was in and out. And Charles Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] was in and out; and [HistoryMaker] Basil Paterson was in and out. And, and these kinds of people were in the environment all the time. David Lampel, who was the news director--people that you would hear on the radio, and now I'm here in this company, and it--yeah, it made--it made me feel very good. It was an important job, but then the reality of the work that you're facing, you know, sort of hits you in the face and says you got a real job here. All this was before computers. Records were maintained on handwritten cards, receivable cards. Human error was involved. They had a manual system for putting commercials on the air. And once the commercial ran--getting the commercial on an invoice and being billed, and how they handled the collection of money and offsets against accounts receivable, and, and the, the manual--our means of processing checks. There was a real need for the job at that point, and I embraced that, and I--and I worked hard as I was taught to always do--gained the confidence of, of people. One thing I learned at this point--and I, I guess I was learning it along the way is that I'm very good at the numbers; I understand the numbers; I can explain the numbers, but I wanted more in my life. I also had an interest in engaging with people. I wanted to learn the business, but I wanted to do more than be in the--the bean counter that's upstairs or downstairs or around the corner in accounting. And prep--Percy Sutton, when he lost the race for mayor and came into the company as chairman of the company, began to give me more and more responsibility and respect and, and counted on me. In the first year I was there I spent working with a consultant to the company, had engaged to raise money to buy radio stations in other cities, which was a very difficult thing to do in 1977 because African Americans--one you're in radio; you--it's a business you don't know because the entrepreneurs in radio at that point were successful business people in either arenas who are now investing in radio were not seasoned broadcasters, and they were surrounded by seasoned broadcasters. So we didn't have a lot of confidence in financial institutions to lend us money. But the first year I was there working with a consultant we were able to convince Citibank [Citibank, N.A.] to lend the company $15 million, which in 1978 allowed the company to buy an FM station in Detroit [Michigan], an AM/FM station in San Francisco [California], and an AM/FM station in Los Angeles [California] and get change back. Now today, you can't buy WLIB [WLIB Radio] in New York today for anything approaching--uh, maybe $15 million today you possibly could, but there's a valuation today that's totally different from what it was in, in those days. But I gained the confidence of, of Dorothy Brunson and, and Percy Sutton at that point, and he allowed me to learn more about the business and become more involved in, in other aspects and ultimately appointed me as the vice president and general manager of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] in 1981, replacing his son [HistoryMaker Pierre Sutton], who was de facto in that position and had been in that position when Dorothy Brunson left to run her own company. I will always be thankful to Inner City Broadcasting, to Percy Sutton. I don't believe that had I been a controller working for CBS or NBC or, or the other broadcast companies I would have ever been given an opportunity. And I've never taken that for granted, giving me the opportunity to learn the business. As I say, I learned the business from the bottom up. I learned the business from a P and L [profit and loss] perspective: here's how much money we're gonna make but understanding well, how do we get there? And it's because of the trust that he in- that he showed in me during my tenure there with Inner City Broadcasting.$One of the challenges--and, and I--and I take this seriously, with being one of the few African Americans given the opportunities that I've been given in this industry, I have to speak on behalf of those that did not get the opportunity that I have. I have to speak on behalf of the communities that we serve. And when I started with this company, I mentioned that it grew from roughly twenty-five stations to ninety-six. And they had a staff meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where they brought in the managers of all of all ninety-six of their radio operations. Six of us were African American out of these ninety-six managers. And I'm--and I'm in the room, and there's six people whose careers I followed-- Verna Greene in Detroit [Michigan]; [HistoryMaker] Jerry Rushin in Miami [Florida]. There was not an African American in, in Phila- in Los Angeles [California]. I'm running DAS [WDAS Radio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] AM and FM. Chester Schofield was running Power [WUSL Radio] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. [HistoryMaker] Marv Dyson was running GCI [WGCI Radio] in, in MXD [WMXD Radio, Detroit, Michigan]--I mean, GCI in--$$In Chicago [Illinois].$$ --in Chicago. Legendary individuals in this business, very successful in their own right, and they're all under this umbrella of Chancellor Media [Chancellor Media Corporation] at this point. In '98 [1998], I was approached by Jimmy deCastro as to whether I would be interested in overseeing the urban properties. Because I'm challenging them every opportunity I get, why aren't there more qualified African Americans that you can hire to run some of these radio properties, not just urban. I can run more than urban. That's what I run; that's what I'm comfortable with; that's what I been challenged to do and I've been successful at, but there need--there's the need for more diversity here. And you, you--if you're in the room where you can have the conversation, you have a responsibility to have the conversation. They gave me an opportunity for about six months to oversee the urban operations, so I was not only running DAS AM and FM in Philly, I was also over Power in Philadelphia. I was overseeing EDR [WEDR Radio, Miami, Florida] in Miami [Florida], Marv's stations in Chicago, ZAK [WZAK Radio] in, in Cleveland [Ohio]--there are two stations in Cleveland--the Beat [KKBT Radio; KRRL Radio] in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. I had--we had ten of the top urban radio stations in America under Chancellor Media that I had an opportunity to be involved with. In my, my under--what I do, I don't tell them how to run their radio stations. I can't tell Marv Dyson how to run a radio station. He's been doing that successfully for more years than I have. It's how do we help bring resources to help these stations continue to grow under the banner of Chancellor Media? And from there a few months later with some corporate changes, I was given an opportunity to, to drop the urban operations title, and I took on a cluster of thirty radio stations for Chancellor Media, AMFM [AMFM, Inc.], which concluded all of their stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta [Georgia], Miami, and Puerto Rico. So I had a thirty station region that I was responsible for which was all different types of formats--$$That's--$$ -- (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous)huge then. So what--how long did you do that?$$ I did that for about a year and a half, until the announced merger with, with Clear Channel [Clear Channel Communications, Inc.]. And I had an opportunity to stay with the company or to leave; and I exercised an option to leave (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) To leave (audio disturbance).

Norma Jean Darden

Former model, restaurateur and caterer Norma Jean Darden was born in Newark, New Jersey. Darden enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York where she graduated with her B.A. degree in liberal arts in 1961. She then entered the world of modeling while at Sarah Lawrence and was a part of the historic 1973 Models of Versailles show in Paris, which featured twenty models, the first collective of African American models to grace a European fashion runway. Throughout her modeling career, Darden graced the pages of fashion magazines such as Bazaar, Glamour, Mademoiselle and Vogue. After a medical condition forced her to leave the world of modeling in 1975, Darden and her sister Carole launched a catering business. Three years later, they co-wrote a seminal cookbook on Southern cooking titled, Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine: Recipes and Reminiscences of a Family.

Darden then opened her first restaurant in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood called Spoonbread, Inc, which specialized in Southern cuisine. In 1997, Darden opened two more restaurants with Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Miss Maude’s Spoonbread Too restaurants, both in Manhattan. Darden’s Spoonbread Catering has amassed a client list that includes Fortune 500 companies and celebrity clients like Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey. In addition, Darden appeared in the motion pictureThe Cotton Club in 1984 and has served as food stylist for the Eddie Murphy film, Boomerang. Additionally, Darden produced a one-woman show based on her book titled Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine, which premiered at the American Place Theatre.

Darden’s restaurants have been featured in publications as diverse as the New York Times, USA Today, Black Enterprise, Essence and Ebony magazines.

Additionally, Darden sits on the Board of the Salvation Army.

Norma Jean Darden was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on May 14, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.126

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/14/2012

Last Name

Darden

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jean

Occupation
Schools

Sarah Lawrence College

Nishuane

Hillside

Northfield School for Girls

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Norma

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

DAR04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Expenses

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Emergency #: 212-781-9096 (sister Carole)

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/4/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bread (Spoon)

Short Description

Restaurateur and model Norma Jean Darden (1940 - ) was one of the first African American models to grace a European runway and was considered one of the most successful black caterers in New York.

Employment

Spoonbread Inc

Public Theater

Wilhelmina Models

Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norma Jean Darden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norma Jean Darden lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norma Jean Darden describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her paternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her paternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her paternal family history, pt.3

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norma Jean Darden describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norma Jean Darden recalls dangers her father faced as a physician in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norma Jean Darden describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her father, a physician who practiced at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norma Jean Darden describes her family's move to Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norma Jean Darden describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her grade school years and being the potential target of a kidnapping

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norma Jean Darden remembers the sights, sounds, and smells from summers in Wilson, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norma Jean Darden recounts her grade school years at Nishuane School and Hillside School in Montclair, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norma Jean Darden describes her experience at Northfield School for Girls in Northfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norma Jean Darden describes her experience at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norma Jean Darden describes an experience of racial discrimination at Vogue headquarters

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norma Jean Darden describes picketing for the inclusions of black models and actors in Harper's Bazaar and on Broadway

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norma Jean Darden recalls meeting HistoryMaker Audrey Smaltz and black modeling agencies at the beginning of her career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norma Jean Darden talks about studying acting at Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville, New York and her first modeling break with Black Beauty Modeling Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her training as an actress

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Norma Jean Darden recalls dancing for Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her early years at Wilhelmina Models and the founder, Wilhelmina Cooper's death

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Norma Jean Darden recalls early black models and early black fashion shows

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Norma Jean Darden talks about the historic Battle of Versailles Fashion Show in Paris in 1973

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Norma Jean Darden talks about Beverly Johnson's Vogue cover

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her acting career in the 1970s and the end of her modeling career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her cookbook, 'Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine,' pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her cookbook, "Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine," pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Norma Jean Darden talks about the beginning of her catering career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Norma Jean Darden recalls her short-lived foray into the import/export business

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her catering company, Spoonbread, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her two restaurants, Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too, and Miss Maude's Spoonbread Too

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Norma Jean Darden describes the challenges of running a catering business

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her menu

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Norma Jean Darden talks the impact of 9/11 and President Bill Clinton's Harlem residency on her restaurant business

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Norma Jean Darden talks about the one-woman show based on her book, 'Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Norma Jean Darden remembers being feted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her future aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Norma Jean Darden describes what she would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Norma Jean Darden reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Norma Jean Darden describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Norma Jean Darden describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Norma Jean Darden talks about her clients

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Norma Jean Darden narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Norma Jean Darden remembers the sights, sounds, and smells from summers in Wilson, North Carolina
Norma Jean Darden talks about her cookbook, 'Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine,' pt.1
Transcript
Okay, now I'm gonna back up some here and I wanna ask you about growing up during the summers in Wilson, North Carolina.$$Right.$$Now there should be some difference sights and sounds and smells from Wilson. So--$$Yes, well when we would get to Wilson, it was like freedom. There was no school and my Aunt Norma and my Uncle Ciell [ph.] were very--didn't have any children, so they were always so happy to welcome us. And we lived right on the route that took you from Florida right up to New Jersey. So at night there were buses and, and trucks and it was so noisy we couldn't even sleep when we first got to Wilson. 'Cause in Newark [New Jersey], although we had the bar across the street and the rooming house and there was the, the Jews with their caps and they were singing and almost like chants. We had Father Divine and all the people dressed in white. And we had all the diversity in Newark and the crowdedness. When we got to Wilson, it was a whole 'nother thing. The rituals were entirely different. In Newark you put on your shorts and you went out and that was it. Then you went to bed. When you got to Wilson, you had on your play clothes during the day. Then you took your showers, then you got dressed up and you went calling. So you would go visit a neighbor, and my aunt would take us. And then we went to the movies. My mother [Mamie Jean Darden] and father [Walter Darden] weren't much on movies. But there was the black movie [theater] in Wilson, and--or else you could go to the white movie [theater] and sit in the balcony. And my aunt went to the movies every--at least three times a week. So we had movies. And then coming home, we walked through the black section and we would go to Shade's [ph.] Drug Store and we could get pineapple ice. And that was the most delicious thing I could ever wanna eat. And in Wilson we just saw black people. We really didn't interface with any white people at all, except if you went to a department store. We went with our Aunt Norma to Missionary Society at the A.M.E. Church with her meetings there. And then she taught Sunday schools on Sunday. And we always had company for Sunday dinner. And we were always dressed up in Wilson, whereas we were not dressed up in New Jersey. And there was this overwhelming smell of tobacco in Wilson. That was the big thing there, tobacco, tobacco, tobacco. And the people calling tobacco, and the tobacco warehouses. And there was churning. My aunt made homemade root beer in the backyard. She also cut up her own chickens. She would take them by the neck and ring 'em around and chop their necks. And it was--oh my God. That was just, you know in Newark you went in the grocery store and got a package of chicken. You didn't have to fix your own dinner quite that literally. And she was just fearless. And we'd take the eggs out of the inside of the chicken and put 'em in her gravy. And she was extremely organized. In the mornings, breakfast was ready. Then Uncle Ciell would go to work, and then she did her housework in her housecoat. And then when dinner came, everybody had their bath and we dressed for dinner. And we either went to somebody's house or had dinner at home. And we had no television there for a long time. Whereas we had television in, in New Jersey. But it was really a different existence, entirely. And everything was segregated, even the library. So I had almost read everything in the library for children in that children's section. And whereas in Montclair we had, you know, huge library. We--nothing was separated like that.$Now let's go back a little bit to the writing of 'Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine.'$$Okay.$$Now what--now this is something different from modeling or acting.$$Yes.$$And where did you get--how did you--were you inspired to do this and--$$Well I had no intentions of writing a cookbook, but the food editor who was Maxime McKendry [Maxime de la Falaise] at Vogue came along one day and a couple of black models was sitting together. And she asked what as our ethnic origin. And one model who was from Harlem [New York City, New York] said "Oh, I'm Arabic." I went what? This is news to me. And the next was saying well I'm part Swedish, I'm part this. And everybody just jumped into this I'm--someone in my family was Indian. So when they got to me, I said I guess I'm the only nigger here. And everything shut up. And I never use that word, it's not one of my favorite words. But it was just--it's just that everyone was being so evasive. And I said my grandfather was born a slave, and I have--so I guess I'm really homegrown. So she zeroed in on me and she said I bet you have an interesting cookbook. I went cookbook? That was the last thing on my mind. I was barely eating. So she said yes. I mean if you, if your family goes back that far, you must have very interesting recipes. And I said well we do. And I thought about the homemade ice cream, the pineapple sorbet that I'd had in the South and the homemade root beer Aunt Norma had made. And how she used to make her own rolls and, and Aunt Lizzie [ph.] made biscuits. And she was right. I did have a lot of recipes in my background that I hadn't even thought about and couldn't make myself. So I told my sister [Carole Darden] about this. And she said that she'd had a dream that we were working on a project together. And I told you she's Taurus and a social worker and I'm Scorpio and, and all over the place. And she said I dreamed we were doing a project together. She now claims this was her only prophetic dream. But we forgot about that. And then Maxine called me up at my house and she said I have a publisher for you and his name is Mr. Garden. And he wants to do your cookbook. So I called Mr. Garden and he told me to bring him a proposal. And the proposal would be a couple of recipes and how we would knit them together. So we wrote all of our relatives and asked them to send us recipes and we got from Cousin Em in Kentucky. We got a molasses pie from Ruby. And we got Aunt Norma to send us her magnificent eggplant. And then the rest of them didn't even write us. So we only had three recipes. And then out of the blue the 'New York Times' called me and said we understand you're writing a cookbook. Well we think that would be fabulous. Model writes cookbook. So they came to my apartment and took a picture of me and my cat with me making Aunt Norma's eggplant. And I only had three recipes, mind you. And they ran it in the 'New York Times.' So once they ran it in the 'Times,' Mr. Garden called me and said he was doing Pearl Bailey's cookbook and he couldn't possibly do two black cookbooks. So he wasn't interested. But he had us write up the proposals. So I had a proposal and I had the 'Times,' and another company called Liveright [Publishing Corporation] called and said they wanted to publish the cookbook. And they paid me five thousand dollars. So that was big money to get all at once on advance. So my sister and I got on Greyhound buses, planes, everything, and we went back south to interview our relatives and to find out what they liked to cook. But in finding out what they liked to cook, they told us about their lives, and they shared their photographs with us. And we came up with the first memoir cookbook. And that started a whole trend. 'Cause now you don't get a cookbook without pictures. And, but we were the first to do a memoir cookbook going back to slavery. And that set a trend for cookbooks. And we had not only the pictures and the stories and what the person was known for and the recipes. And Liveright went bankrupt. And so we got passed along to Doubleday. And our cookbook has been in print for thirty years, over thirty years. And we're now on [Amazon] Kindle.$$And that's a--that is quite a story.$$Well it's certainly true. I couldn't have made that one up.

Huel D. Perkins

Retired educator Huel Davis Perkins was born on December 27, 1924 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1943 and 1946, Perkins served in the U.S. Navy as a musician first class. He graduated from Southern University with highest honors in 1947.

From 1948 to 1950, Perkins worked as a music instructor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Perkins then served as an associate professor of music at Southern University from 1951 through 1960. During this time, Perkins also completed his M.A. degree in music from Northwestern University in 1951 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1958. From 1968 to 1978, Perkins served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Southern University. In addition, Perkins was appointed as the deputy director of education programming at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. in 1978. Perkins then commenced a long tenure at Louisiana State University where he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1979 through 1990 and as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and Special Assistant to the Chancellor from 1990 through 1998. In 1996, President Bill Clinton appointed Perkins to the Board of Advisors of the J.W. Fulbright foreign scholarship program. He served in this capacity until 2002. Perkins then founded Huel D. Perkins & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm and speakers bureau. He serves as its president. Perkins has also served as Chairman on the Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and has served as Grand Sire Archon of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. In 2005, Louisiana State University acknowledged Perkins’ years of service by awarding him the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and naming a doctoral fellowship program after him.

Perkins has also been honored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (Humanist of the Year); the National Conference of Christians and Jews (Brotherhood Award); the LSU Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa (Outstanding educator); the Baton Rouge Human Relations Council (Brotherhood Award); the Istrouma Area Council of Boy Scouts of America (Citizen of the Year); the Louisiana Chapter of NAACP (A. P. Turead Award); the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Award of Merit) and received the Centennial Award given by Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He has served as a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Perkins has critiqued and published numerous books and articles on the African American experience in America. He has served on several dozen boards dealing with social and educational issues including the Baton Rouge Symphony, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Corp., and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Perkins is the recipient of many public service awards for his achievements both in the civic and academic communities.

Perkins is married to Thelma O. Smith. 2008 marks the couple’s sixtieth wedding anniversary. They have one child, Huel Alfred Perkins.

Perkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 26, 2008.

Dr. Huel Perkins passed away on April 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2008.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/26/2008

Last Name

Perkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

Southern University Laboratory School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Northwestern University

First Name

Huel

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

PER04

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Man Comes To Earth Unarmed Except For His Mind; His Brain Is His Only Weapon.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

12/27/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baton Rouge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Meatballs

Death Date

4/15/2013

Short Description

Academic administrator and music professor Huel D. Perkins (1924 - 2013 ) was an instructor at Lincoln University and Southern University, where he also served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. At Louisiana State University, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In 2002, Perkins founded Huel D. Perkins & Associates, Inc.

Employment

Southern University and A&M

Louisiana State University

National Endowment for the Humanities

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Huel D. Perkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about the significance of his first name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins describes his father's law career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Huel D. Perkins describes how he takes after his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins describes his childhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins describes his childhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins recalls Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about Reverend Gardner Taylor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins recalls his early musicianship

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins recalls the musicians who served at Naval Station Great Lakes

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins recalls his decision to return to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his fiftieth wedding anniversary

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins describes his interdisciplinary teaching style

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his graduate studies in the humanities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins recalls student demonstrations at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon Felton Grandison Clark's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins talks about Valerian Smith's family

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins describes his transition to academic administration

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins remembers joining the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his career at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins talks about the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins describes his research on the Harlem Renaissance

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins talks about his published works

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon the importance of the humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Huel D. Perkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins talks about his favorite figures in the humanities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins remembers influencing his students' interest in opera

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins talks about 'Cyrano de Bergerac' by Edmond Rostand

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his civic activities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon his health

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Huel D. Perkins remembers joining the National Endowment for the Humanities
Huel D. Perkins describes his career at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge
Transcript
I spoke there [Dallas, Texas] on the importance of the humanities. The fellow was there, who was the chairman of the endowment for, for the humanities. And he came to me right after that and said, "Would you like to come to Washington [D.C.], would you like to come to the National Endowment for the Humanities [NEH]?" I said, "No sir, no sir, I would not like to." I said, "Besides, I've only, I've recently signed a contract to go to LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]." He said, "Oh, what's his name, I'll talk with your chancellor down there. I, I think I can get you released from them." I said, "Well, I, I'm not certain I want to do that." He twisted my arm and said, "You come up and you look at our operation. I think you will want to be a part of it." I went to Washington on a kind of a look-see. I decided that's what I wanted to do. They offered me a contract to, to join them in September. I'm supposed to report to LSU. What do I do? Now, I have, I've signed a contract. I have that commit- commitment. I go down--I'll never forget this. I go down to the chancellor, Paul Murrill [Paul W. Murrill], the same fellow who had enticed me to come to LSU. I said, "I agree, I will sign, I will sign my contract." I said, "I'm supposed to report September 1st." I said, "But in the meantime, I have gotten an offer to join the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington." You know what he said? I'll never forget this because he made, he made me feel so relieved about it all. He said, "Take the job in Washington." He said, "It will be both beneficial to you and to LSU. Drop me a note, and request a year's leave of absence, and go to Washington." That's what I did, that's what I did, and I am very happy that I did it, I am very happy that I did it.$Well, I--in Washington [D.C.], I was reading proposals, making speeches, interpreting the endowment [National Endowment for the Humanities] to, to the various publics and whatnot. At the end of that year, I didn't want to come to LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana] (laughter). They sent a dean up to Washington. He came up for another meeting. When he came by to see me, he said, "I'm told--we hear that you, you might want to stay in Washington a little longer than this year." He said, "I'm up here to tell you that we want you back, that we're expecting you back, and we have increased your salary just to make you, make sure you come back." So, I'm in another quandary--look, look, the qua- the quandary I gave to you earlier was when I wanted to go to--come back to Southern [Southern University; Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana], and finish my, my senior year, you remember. And I said, my mother [Velma Davis Perkins] and the fraternity [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity]--. Here I am, another quandary in my life: do I want to negate the contract down there, and stay on in Washington? 'Cause I was, I was really doing nicely in Washington, I really was--traveling all over the country and making speeches. And they liked me at the endowment, and that sort of thing, so I had to come and make some hard decisions there. My decision then was to come back to LSU. I talked with somebody, and they said, Washington is temporary. It changes administration every four years (laughter). You, you put your, your eggs in that basket, you don't know how long you're going to be there, you know, it could change. Well, I had some good counseling, so I came on back to LSU, came back to LSU, and stayed twenty-three years. I did twenty-seven at Southern, and I came back to LSU and did twenty-three, including two retirements. I retired once--they asked me to come back. I retired again, they asked me to come back. Then, this last time, which was in 2005, I think it was, I said I'm not going back this time. It became a joke: you're back (laughter) you're back down here. Every chancellor would ask me to come, come, come back there, mainly because I, I, I did a lot of letter writing, a lot of speech writing. And they would let me represent the university and I could represent it well, and people would see they have a black now at LSU, I mean, you know, who, who represents the university. Each chancellor would ask me, ask me to come back, and I, I'd stay here two or three months and, oh, come on, I'd go back down there.

John W. Barfield, Sr.

Maintenance company chief executive, entrepreneur and businessman John W. Barfield was born Johnny Williams Barfield on February 8, 1927 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Lena James Barfield and Edgar Barfield, both of whom worked as field hands. His father also worked in the coal mines and moved north in search of work. In 1932, when Barfield’s father had earned enough money to send for his family, they joined him in Washington, Pennsylvania. While living in Washington, Barfield began his first job, selling dry soap on commission for a white shop owner.

At the age of fifteen, Barfield relocated with his family to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where his father began working in a bomber plant in Willow Run. In 1945, Barfield dropped out of Ypsilanti Public High School and enlisted in the United States Army, serving two years in France and Germany. Upon his return, Barfield began working as a custodian for the University of Michigan, and, in 1949, he married Betty Williams Barfield. With his wife, Barfield cleaned newly constructed houses for additional income.

Barfield quit his job with the University of Michigan in 1955 because his cleaning job after hours had become more lucrative than his full-time one. He began his first company, a contract cleaning group called the Barfield Cleaning Company of Ypsilanti, Michigan, which employed 200 people. Barfield cleaned businesses at night and promoted his business during the day, always sure to wear a shirt and tie. The same year, Barfield also wrote the Barfield Method of Building Maintenance, which would set a standard for the commercial building maintenance industry. In 1969, Barfield Cleaning Company was acquired by the International Telephone and Telegraph Company in one of the highest multiples ever paid for a commercial cleaning company. Barfield and his wife continued working for the company for three additional years. Then, Barfield reentered the maintenance business when he incorporated the Barfield Building Maintenance Company and began promoting his business to different building managers. Also in 1974, when General Motors Corporation was unable to find minority and female suppliers, Barfield incorporated John Barfield and Associates, an organization that provided staffing services to General Motors, broadening its reach to include such companies as the Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

In 1978, General Motors requested that he manufacture transmission pins for them, and soon thereafter, Barfield founded the Barfield Manufacturing Company. In 1981, Barfield turned John Barfield and Associates over to his son, Jon. Three years later, the company was renamed The Bartech Group. The following year, Bartech would be named 1985 “Company of the Year” by Black Enterprise Magazine. In 1986, the Barfield Building Maintenance Company was acquired by Unified Building Maintenance Services, Inc., and in 1991, Barfield Manufacturing was purchased by Mascotech Industries, an automotive supplier. The following year, Barfield began his Share Products initiative, established to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in the United States. Barfield was a recipient of the The George Romney Award in 1996, recognizing lifelong achievement in volunteerism.

Barfield and his wife had six children and resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

John W. Barfield, Sr. passed away on January 2, 2018.

John W. Barfield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.191

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2007

Last Name

Barfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Schools

Ypsilanti Public High School

First Name

Jon

Birth City, State, Country

Tuscaloosa

HM ID

BAR10

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Bartech Group

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Punta De Mita, Mexico

Favorite Quote

I'm Glad To Meet A Fellow That Is Glad He Is Black. Who Is Conscious Of His Color And Appreciates The Fact That I'm Glad To Meet A Fellow That Is Glad He Is White.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

2/8/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pinto Beans, Onions, Cornbread

Death Date

1/2/2018

Short Description

Maintenance company chief executive John W. Barfield, Sr. (1927 - 2018 ) founded The Bartech Group, named the 1985 "Company of the Year" by Black Enterprise. Barfield received The George Romney Award recognizing lifelong achievement in volunteerism.

Employment

Bartech Group

Barfield Cleaning Company

University of Michigan

Barfield Manufacturing Company

Automotive Factories

Barfield Building Maintenance Company

General Motors Corporation

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John W. Barfield, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father's work as a coal miner

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his family's homemade syrup and sorghum

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his mother's illness and death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about the Barfield family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls the mentorship of businessman Bert Lutton

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his childhood in Margaret, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his neighborhood in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the coal mines of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his family's church in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his childhood in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the traditions of the Pentecostal church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the black community in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his early personality

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his U.S. Army service

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls founding J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers buying his first house in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his transition from residential to contract cleaning

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the difference between commercial and contract cleaning

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his methods at J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers segregation in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his perspective on wealth

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Association of Building Service Contractors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the 'Barfield Method of Building Maintenance'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers the sale of Barfield Cleaning Company, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers the sale of Barfield Cleaning Company, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls working at Barfield Cleaning Company after its sale

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his leadership style

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the sales of his other businesses

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the differences between his companies

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls founding John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his mentors in the manufacturing industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his manufacturing processes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his children's involvement in his businesses

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the development of John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls the challenges of business ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the divisions of John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his son's leadership of The Bartech Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Minority Supplier Development Council

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his advice to his employees

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his interest in hunting, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his interest in hunting, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon the black business community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon the black business community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his civic involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his work with the Ronald McDonald House Charities

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his art collection

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Association of Building Service Contractors
John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his civic involvement
Transcript
How did the, you get acquired? I mean that, you know, it's, it seemed like, okay, all of you are doing this, and then you're acquired by like a major company. How does that, how is that--$$Well, I put myself in a position to be seen, first by, by building a, a company that was as good as, as most in the country. I did things differently. I wrote a book called the 'Barfield Method of Building Maintenance' [John W. Barfield, Sr.]. I developed my own time standards. And when I went to the first meeting of the National Association of Building Service Contractors [Building Service Contractors Association International], a group of contractors that were trying to start an association, I recognized that there were people there that had been in business generations, sometimes two and three generations. And so I went there with the un- idea that there's a lot you can teach me, not that I can teach you something. And I think that, that, that meth- that message gained many friends for Betty [Barfield's wife, Betty Williams Barfield] and I. And, and so, before the convention was over, they asked me if I'd consider serving on the--as a member of the board of directors, the first board of directors, which I served on for five years. And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) This is of the nat--$$The National Association of Building Service Contractors. It was an association that was formed in 1965 for cleaning company, the cleaning company. And I said, "I, I'm honored that you've asked me to serve, but then I don't know very much about this, and you'll have to teach me." And they were willing to do that because I was humble. But it was not long before I realized that I knew about, more about cleaning than most of them, because most of them had, had gained their companies because, some of them because their folks had started their companies, and they had learned it from an administrative and from an executive standpoint, where I had learned mine from the floor up. So I knew as much and most of, of them, if not more. And so I, that's how I started. And, and it, it was not long before, before the meeting was over, they asked me to serve, which I served for five years, and I learned a lot during that time. And I noticed that in, in 1968, 1967, this industry was so profitable that a lot of companies wanted, bigger companies wanted to buy it. So in 1968, I was approached by International Telephone [International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation; ITT Corporation], Consolidated Foods [Consolidated Foods Corporation; Sara Lee Corporation], the Mackie corporation [ph.], the Senators corporation [ph.], and others. And, and we sold our business [Barfield Cleaning Company] to International Telephone and Telegraph for thirteen times earnings. And I was--we were well-off enough so that if we were not foolish with our newfound fortune, we were set for life, and that was when I was thirty-nine years old.$Now there are two, two other things I want to cover before we end. And one is the Share products initiative because, you know, you've done a lot of things. In fact, you were showing me in there this photo invention, which I think is still pretty great. But I want you to talk about Share products, and then there's, there are two other things.$$In the mid-'60s [1960s], something happened in this country that we all should be embarrassed about. And the government, state and federal governments decided that people that were in institutions, mental and health institutions, that were state and federal wards, would be better served if they were served by the private community. And, and they, they turned these people out in droves to be, to be managed by private, private industry. And the influx was so great that the private industry could not absorb them. And that was the beginning of our homeless problem in this country. And I'd, I'd saw that as a, as a terrible mis-justice for these people because it was pathetic in those days, the people that we saw, and even today. So I, I, I started Share products as a reprisal. I, I--to, to bring awareness to the plight of these people. And I sold about seventeen privately labeled products that were things like baby oil, and oatmeal, and garbage bags, and popcorn under, under the private label of Share products. And the idea was to give 50 percent of the profits to charitable organizations to buy food and shelter for homeless people. And, and that's, that was Share products, and we ran this for a number of years. There was no way it could have been successful because we didn't have enough money to, to run it properly, and we had no knowledge of it. But it was, it was our way of, of trying to help. And, and, and our way of creating a greater awareness of the plight of these unfortunate people. That was Share products.$$When you've, making decisions about what to get involved with philanthropically, like this was an area that--you know, the homeless that you identified, what are the key factors for you in many ways, Mr. Barfield [HistoryMaker John W. Barfield, Sr.]? Is it--and you mentioned the United, United Way [United Way Worldwide].$$Negro College Fund.$$United Negro College Fund [UNCF] is what I (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Is it, the question, what is my motivation?$$No, not your motivation, but how do you decide what you're going to get involved with? I mean what--because philanthropic things really are change agents in many ways. So, I was just wondering, you know, because Share was a big, big initiative. It was a big push to make a change. UNCF, you know, is, is also, you know, that's the whole education piece. I was just wondering, I was just wondering your thoughts.$$How do, how am I drawn to these?$$Um-hm.$$Well, with the United Negro College Fund, I was--Share products I was drawn because of the homeless situation. I was very, I was very much saddened by the, the conditions that I saw. The United Negro College Fund, there was a gentleman named Eugene Power, who was a developer of University Microfilm [University Microfilms International; ProQuest LLC]. He was a white man that for twenty-some years had been the voice of the United Negro College Fund in this community. He, he really, he loaned his name mostly to it. And every year we collected probably fifteen to twenty-five thousand dollars from the county to support black colleges in, in private schools. He came to me one year and said, "John, my wife is ill, and I'm well ill, and I can't carry this any longer. Would you take, would you take it over?" And I said that I would. And the first thing I realized--this was a white gentleman, and, and the first thing I realized, that it was--if, if I was gonna be successful with this, I had to incorporate both communities. So I went to a very prominent businessman, and I said, "Would you help me do this?" And he was white. And so now there's white and black, so it's not a black organization now; it's white and black. And he and I for twelve years, for the most, better part of twelve years, we raised funds for the United Negro College Fund. And the largest gift I got was a half a million dollars one year. And we would raise between three hundred and four hundred thousand dollars a year from our county for, for United Negro College Fund. But it was also unifying because it brought the black and the white community together for a single cause. And that was my motivation for that.

Robert Franklin

Robert Michael Franklin, Jr., is the presidential distinguished professor of social ethics at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and former president of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Franklin was born February 22, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1975 with a double major in political science and religion before going on to study at the University of Durham in England to pursue international studies. After traveling to North Africa and the Soviet Union, he enrolled in the Harvard Divinity School and received the master of divinity degree in 1978. He earned his doctorate degree in 1985 from the University of Chicago where his major fields of study included social ethics, psychology and African American religion.

Over the years, Franklin has worked as a scholar-theologian, educator, former seminary program administrator and foundation executive. He has served on the faculties of divinity and theology schools for the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Colgate-Rochester and Emory Universities. Before his presidency at the Interdenominational Theological Center, he served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where he was responsible for grants to African American churches that were engaged in secular social service delivery and for advising the president of the Foundation about future funding for religion and public life.

Franklin has written two books, Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought and Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis. He has also co-authored a book with Don Browning and others entitled From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate. Franklin is also the author of an internet study guide on the congregational use of the DreamWorks SKG film, The Prince of Egypt.

Sought after by the media, Franklin has provided guest commentary on religion for CNN and National Public Radio. He also serves on numerous boards of directors, including the Center on Philanthropy, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Congress of National Black Churches, the Georgia Humanities Council and Religion and Ethics News Weekly. He is also a member of the advisory board of the American Assembly and the Children’s Defense Fund’s Black Church and Community Crusade. Franklin has worked with the White House on numerous projects related to religion, race, public health and community development. He is also a member of the professional fraternity Sigma Pi Phi.

Franklin has been married to obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Cheryl Goffney Franklin since 1986. They have three children.

Accession Number

A2004.038

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/26/2004

Last Name

Franklin

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Morgan Park High School

Esmond Elem School

Morehouse College

Harvard University

University of Chicago

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Negril, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

The World Is Equally Balanced Between Good And Evil And Your Next Act Will Tip The Scales.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/22/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Scallops (Grilled), Fruit Salad

Short Description

College president and theologian Robert Franklin (1954 - ) was the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and former president of the Interdenominational Theological Center. Franklin also served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation.

Employment

NPR

Harvard University Divinity School

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Emory University Candler School of Theology

Ford Foundation

Interdenominational Theological Center

Morehouse College

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin talks about his paternal and maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Franklin describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin describes his childhood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Franklin describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Franklin recalls his experiences at Esmond Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Franklin describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin talks about his role models during his adolescence, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin talks about his role models during his adolescence, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin describes the community of Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin describes his activities and studies while at Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin talks about influential teachers at Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Franklin describes his church community during his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin describes his impressions of the Civil Rights Movement during his high school years

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin talks about his interest in attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin recalls being expelled from Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin talks about his decision to return to Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin recalls returning to Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois after his initial expulsion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin recalls being fired from his job at a grocery store

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Franklin talks about his views on activism during his senior year at Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin describes his parents' educational backgrounds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin recalls travelling to Atlanta, Georgia to enroll at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin recalls his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin talks about his extracurricular activities at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin talks about studying abroad at Durham University in England

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin talks about traveling in Europe and North Africa during college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Franklin talks about his impressions of Moroccan culture during his college travels

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin talks about how his international travels changed his outlook on American politics and journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Franklin describes how his academic interests shifted from political science to theology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin remembers his search for a graduate program in divinity

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin describes his experiences at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin recalls his experiences pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin talks about the beginning of his career as a professor of religion

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin talks about serving on the faculty of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Franklin talks about joining the Interdenominational Theological Center as its president

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin describes his travels while on sabbatical from the Interdenominational Theological Center

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin shares his thoughts on the relationship between church and state

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin talks about the present situation for black churches

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin talks about the film 'The Passion of the Christ'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Franklin describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Franklin talks about his views on gay marriage

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

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Franklin describes how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Franklin reflects on his father's feelings about his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Franklin describes working as a commentator for National Public Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Franklin talks about the future of African American churches

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert Franklin reflects on the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Franklin talks about the modern trend toward megachurches in Christianity

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Franklin narrates his photographs

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Robert Franklin talks about serving on the faculty of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia
Robert Franklin describes his impressions of the Civil Rights Movement during his high school years
Transcript
Well, 1988 rolled around, and I was a guest speaker here at Emory University [Atlanta, Georgia] for the Black History Month chapel program at Candler School of Theology [Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia], and I talked about the black church studies program at Colgate Rochester [Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York], which was the first of its kind to have in a seminary, predominantly white seminary, an academic program on the black church that looked at its history, its theology, its distinctive styles of worship, music, and preaching and its ethics and there's a role that it played in the Civil Rights Movement. I hadn't known that you could actually teach academic courses in that area and so they were, the students at Emory were excited. Why don't we have such a program? We're here in Atlanta [Georgia] where [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] lived, and so they invited me to come and help establish such a program. So I joined the faculty at Emory's Candler School of Theology in the fall of 1989, and helped to set up that program. Had a good experience there, we moved to Atlanta and I had this wonderful opportunity of getting to know many of the pastors and religious and political leaders of Atlanta that I've read about and known from a distance, and was happily in the Emory University community for a few years, when my research on why black men leave the church came to public visibility; in fact, there was an article in the Atlanta Journal [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] that focused on some of that research. Someone at the Ford Foundation [New York, New York] saw the article and called me and asked if I would consider becoming a consultant, 'cause they were working with black churches and clergy, given the importance of those churches, and helping to guide African American communities. The question was could clergy be trained to help deliver what might be called secular social services, so the church has a place where after-school public health, after-school violence prevention programs, where economic literacy could be taught where greater voter participation could be encouraged, so these were interests of the Ford Foundation, and they were really wanting to experiment with working with black clergy and churches in that area; so, they invited me. You know, I'm an emerging low-level expert on the black church at that point, having been at Colgate Rochester, and ultimately they persuaded me to join full time, so I left Emory and worked at the Ford Foundation as a program officer.$In my own study time, I began to read more and I was really being intellectually stimulated by, I recall, I mean this is Chicago [Illinois] in the late '60s [1960s] now, and so there is the [1968] Democratic [National] Convention in '68 [1968] and Sly and the Family Stone concert downtown. I begged my parents [Lee McCann Franklin and Robert Franklin, Sr.], can I go down? No, no you can't go, given the chaos that was likely to ensue, which, and some did. But Chicago was an exciting place to be at that time, and so at home watching this on television, getting as close to it as we could, but to see Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey [P.] Newton, all these people on the scene, the leaders of SDS [Students for a Democratic Society], and others, and then, of course, with Dr. King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] death in April of that year, '68 [1968] and Bobby Kennedy [Senator Robert F. Kennedy] in June. It was, that was a turning point year for me, more young men went to Vietnam [Vietnam War] in that year, or more died in 1968, than any other year of our fifteen, eighteen year engagement in Southeast Asia, and beginning to sort of see the remnants of young men that I knew who were returning from Vietnam, including a couple of cousins, my uncle, my father's youngest brother who also used to make those journeys from Mississippi to Detroit [Michigan] to visit his mother, would stop in Chicago to see my dad and a few brothers and sisters that were in Chicago, and he was killed in Vietnam, and this was the youngest brother so, in some sense, he was closest in age to me as I'm emerging in high school [Morgan Park High School, Chicago, Illinois]. And that had a real impact on war and the meaning of war and the finality of war and death and, this young guy, fun-loving, handsome young brother, who wasn't bothering anybody. He got on a plane one day and was taken to Asia and never came home. There was a whole painful mystery around, even, his remains because we had a funeral in which there was a closed coffin and we weren't sure it was him. In fact, half of the family insisted that it was not when they did insist that the remains be displayed to the family. So, it was kind of traumatizing never to have real closure on young Willie Franklin [ph.]. So, that was a part of my growing awareness that behind this little world I inhabited, Morgan Park [Chicago, Illinois], South Side of Chicago, these great leaders like King and Kennedy and Fred Hampton, and others, were being murdered, that the police no longer seemed to be just this efficient bureaucratic Chicago operation, but seemed to be, themselves, a kind of criminal class and the more ominous period in my own coming of age and the reading of literature and James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man,' and findings language to name that sense of alienation and despair and anger. And then, I guess the other part of this was the college decision because I wouldn't graduate until 1971, but I recall watching the death and the funeral of Dr. King, and much of that memorial service occurred on the Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia] campus, watching that procession of leaders march on to the campus, watching [Dr.] Benjamin Mays. My father, it was the first time he sort of basically said, "Sit down, I want you to watch this." And afterward, he said, "I think you oughta consider Morehouse College," so, that was his first time being kind of directive in terms of saying this institution is one you ought to think about. Of course, I went back to school, you know, I began to ask around and ask Mrs. Carmichael [ph.], I wanted to learn more about Morehouse, and she provided some materials, and began to focus on people like [HistoryMaker] Julian Bond and [HistoryMaker] John Lewis, who were in Ebony magazine, and others who had attended HBCUs. And I thought, yeah, that's for me.