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Robert A. Harris

Music professor and conductor Robert A. Harris was born on January 9, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Major Harris, was a factory worker; his mother, Rusha Harris, a homemaker. Harris attended Sherrill Elementary and graduated from Charles Chadsey High School in 1956. He studied at Wayne State University where he earned his B.A. degree in music education in 1960 and his M.A. degree in music on 1962. Harris briefly attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and then received his Ph.D. degree in composition and theory from Michigan State University in 1971. He also completed post-doctoral work at Aspen Music School in 1973 and 1974.

In 1960, Harris was hired as a music teacher in the Detroit Public Schools. He was then appointed as an assistant professor of music at Wayne State University. Harris became Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University in 1964, and then joined the faculty of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music as professor of conducting and director of choral organizations in 1977. He has also served as a visiting professor at Wayne State University, the University of Texas, and the University of South Africa in Pretoria. In 2012, Harris retired as professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Harris has appeared as a conductor, choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and in the Republic of China where he served as one of two guest conductors/clinicians for the Taipei Philharmonic Choral and Conducting Workshop. His international performances also include South Korea as the guest conductor for the Inchon City Chorale, and Hong Kong as a guest conductor of a Choral Festival Youth Chorale. As an international music instructor, Harris has presented master classes, workshops, and lectures on conducting in South Africa, as well as presenting lectures and master classes on African American spirituals in Argentina.

Harris served as a member and co-chair of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. Harris is associated with a number of professional and honorary organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), Chorus America, Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Music Society and Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity.

Harris has received several awards and honors, including the Wayne State University “Alumni Arts Achievement Award in Music,” the Northwestern University School of Music “Faculty Exemplar Teaching Award,” and the Northwestern University Alumni Association “Excellence in Teaching Award.” As a composer, Harris has been the recipient of over forty commissions from various schools, churches and musical organizations. His compositions, especially those of the choral genre, have been performed throughout the United States, Europe and South Africa. A number of his compositions have been published.

Robert A. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.234

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2013

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Allen

Schools

Sherrill Elementary School

Chadsey High School

Wayne State University

Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

Michigan State University

Aspen Music School

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HAR43

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

United Kingdom

Favorite Quote

It's Better to Have It and Not Need It Than to Need It and Not Have It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/9/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Evanston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Conductor and music professor Robert A. Harris (1938 - ) , former Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University, retired as professor emeritus of the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2012.

Employment

Detroit Public Schools System

Wayne State University

Michigan State University

Northwestern University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert A. Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his adoptive father's, Major Lee Harris', first name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about his adoptive parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his biological father and being adopted by his aunt and uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris describes his early exposure to the Baptist and Methodist churches

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris describes his childhood neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert A. Harris describes his exposure to jazz and bebop music as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris recalls attending shows at the Paradise Theater and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about his music education and instructors at Sherrill Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about his extracurricular activities at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his maternal uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about black history organizations and clubs in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his mentors at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris remembers collecting classical music records and receiving a gift from a choir director as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris explains the history of African American spirituals

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about sacred anthems and oratorios

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about Leonard Bernstein's influence on his classical music interest

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert A. Harris recalls listening to jazz pianist, Alice Coltrane

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris describes an experience of racial stereotyping by a teacher at Sherrill Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about his college preparatory curriculum at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about his decision to study music in college and his first conducting experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his decision to attend Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris describes integrating a Detroit, Michigan restaurant and a Washington D.C. hotel pool

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his mentors at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about his music education curriculum at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching in the Detroit Public Schools while studying for his Master's degree at Wayne State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris recalls his decision to join the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about his Master's thesis on 1920s African American classically trained musicians and hearing Paul Robeson sing in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about black music ensembles in Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris recalls his decision to stop his doctorate studies at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about earning his Ph.D. and teaching at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about composing choral music and meeting Eva Jessye

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about joining the faculty of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about the differences between Michigan State University and Northwestern University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about the students at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about the music faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching conducting at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris describes the role of the conductor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris describes his conducting philosophy and conducting 'Not In Our Time' by Richard Blackford

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about preparing for a performance and explains how a musical composition translates into a performance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about black composers and conductors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his own compositions

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about writing for choral ensembles and solo vocalists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about classical church music in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about former students

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about conducting internationally and in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris talks about musical collaborations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about the Winnetka Congregational Church in Winnetka, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris describes his dream choral ensemble

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his satisfaction with his life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

10$2

DATitle
Robert A. Harris talks about his Master's thesis on 1920s African American classically trained musicians and hearing Paul Robeson sing in Detroit, Michigan
Robert A. Harris describes his conducting philosophy and conducting 'Not In Our Time' by Richard Blackford
Transcript
Let me go back a little bit and ask you about your thesis, I guess, and--$$Okay.$$So you had to do something.$$I had to do a thesis for my master's degree.$$Right, right. So what, what did you do?$$It was a--it was an oral history, isn't this interesting, called 'Serious Music and the Negro Musician Between 1920 and 1924: An Oral History.' And what I wanted to do was to, to trace what had happened with black musicians who were classically trained rather than in jazz in the early days, and so what I did was with the help of a--of a librarian and a--and a--and a gentleman by the name of Kemper Harrell who also became an, an influence and mentor, was to--he gave me the names of many living black musicians who had, were performing during that time like Roland Hayes, Carl Diton, I mean there was--and so we earmarked five people. And what I did was I went with a tape recorder and I formulated a series of questions that I would ask everybody and then specific questions for that particular individual, and went to New York [City] and Boston [Massachusetts] and interviewed these people on tape, and then transcribed those tapes as a part of my--that was my master's thesis.$$Okay. So interviews with five people? And Roland Hayes was one?$$Roland Hayes was one.$$Okay. Who, who else? Roland Hayes--$$Carl Diton, D-I-T-O-N, who was a composer, Melville Charlton, C-H-A-R-L-T-O-N, who was a concert organist, Charlotte Wallace Murray who was a concert singer--who else was there? There's one more person I'm missing.$$Okay, so that's--$$I interviewed [Francis] Hall Johnson, too, but I couldn't--but he was--he had just had a stroke so I couldn't use that because he could hardly speak, but I did get a chance to meet him. There's somebody whose name--it'll come to me in a minute.$$Okay.$$But--and so what I did was transcribe these into a format with question, answer, question, answer, question, answer, and then at the end, summarize what were the findings of how black musicians--and the reason I--the reason I--I stopped at 1924 because that was the time when Roland Hayes made his Town Hall [Carnegie Hall, New York, New York] debut and he was the first black artist to make--to sing in, in, in Carnegie Hall--Town Hall, in New York [sic, Sissieretta Jones first performed at Carnegie Hall in 1892]. So I was interested in what--and, and the whole thing was, we just found that the churches had always been the, the, the venue where concert artists would, would perform because they were not allowed to perform in concert halls.$$Were the black universities or historically black colleges [HBCUs]--$$That, that would be different--yeah.$$--Producing most of the--$$Yeah, and, and they could perform at--in, in, in black colleges and churches, but not in, in traditional concert halls. And so Roland Hayes made his, his Town Hall debut in 1924, which was the first time that that had happened, and then after that, of course.$$Okay.$$And this predated Marian Anderson and this predated--Paul Robeson was, was, was along at that time, too, but he was a young man at that point, yeah. I didn't get a--he was--he would have been a part of that, that, that age group at that time, but he was not one of the people--persons I had the chance to interview.$$Right, I think he was--$$He was born somewhere around 1890 [sic, 1898], wasn't he? I think somewhere in that--around that time.$$Yeah, he was kind of in--this time was a--or by '62 [1962], he was almost in seclusion or something.$$Well, you know, he had gone through that thing about being a Communist and all that stuff, you know.$$Right, he passed away in '76 [1976] I remember now.$$Yeah, okay.$$But he was--he had been pretty much in seclusion almost for--$$Yeah, by that time--$$--For about ten years.$$--He, he was probably eighties. You know, he couldn't--you know, but he was--he was a force to be reckoned with as a musician, as an actor, as an activist, you know. I remembered in Detroit [Michigan] when I was the music--minister of music at Hartford Avenue Baptist Church [later, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan], Reverend Charles A. Hill who had been one of the first black people to run for the city council in Detroit used to bring Paul Robeson in to do concerts.$$And so did you see him live at--$$One time--yeah, I did.$$Oh, that's something, yeah. Yeah, one of the great musicians, singers, as well as an activist.$$Yeah.$$Did, did, did he give a message in his--$$I don't--I don't--I don't remember him speaking, I mean, except while he was singing, but, but he was such a powerful presence.$$The songs were like freedom songs--$$Freedom songs, spirituals.$$--They had themes--(simultaneous)--$$And he--but he also did a lot of, of German lieder [songs] and things along that line. He did a lot of stuff from the European tradition. He was a very highly trained singer.$$There's a history of blacks in classical music that goes way, way back and--who was that, Sissieretta Jones--$$Sissieretta Jones.$$--Yeah, and--$$Yeah, she was known as the Black Patti, Sissieretta Jones. And, and her name came up a lot when I was talking--doing my interviews with the people that I--comprised my, my thesis. And--I'm tryin' to think, there's another singer who, who also, in, in addition to Sissieretta Jones whose name kept coming up. I can't remember who it is now.$$Yeah, yeah there's a--there's a book--now was the book--we interviewed--we had a chance to interview him before he passed away, but we interviewed [HM] Raoul Abdul, the author of 'Blacks in Classical Music.'$$Right.$$Was that available when you were--$$Yes, it was.$Do you have like favorite conductors?$$I think for specific pieces, you know. It might be--but I mean I'm not one who has to--has to have [Georg] Solti or has to have [Arturo] Toscanini or something. I just--you know, I--I'm more about the music than I am about who's conducting it.$$Now, what's your own philosophy of conducting?$$My philosophy of conducting is that I must do the very best job I can of making what is on that paper come alive so that the listener will hear it and be pleased by what he or she hears and knowing the fact that it's being done with a--with thought, with integrity, with honesty, which is what I always try to, to get my students to understand, that the compos--that our purpose is to reveal the composer, and if we are going to do his or her music, we must do it to the very best of our ability with all the studying and insight that we can.$$Is there a--is there a certain composer whose work is the most challenging to conduct?$$It's all challenging. But I would think--it--it's, it's challenging in different ways, you know. I'm--I'm a strong--I mean, I think if there's one composer that--if you were to say to me you could--you're going to a desert island, you can only take one piece of music, what would you take? I'd take [Johann Sebastian] Bach, okay. Because I feel it--I--I'm drawn to the intellectuality of that--of his music, of the way he thought, of the--of the--of the way his concepts of structure, his concept of counterpoint. I mean, that's--that's just where my mind goes with that, you know. I often tell people that of all my conducting teachers, Bach was the best one, you know. But, but, but all composers--I mean, there's--all of it has its challenges. I mean, obviously music of, of later composers, which is very, very intricate and very involved may have a different kind of challenge. I mean, I've conducted some very new pieces, which took an awful lot of work to delve into them because you're, you're not only learning the new piece, but you're learning a new style. You're learning a new language of a--of a new composer, you know. A piece I did--we, we did the American premier last year as my swan song at Northwestern [University, Evanston, Illinois] of a British composer's piece called 'Not In Our Time' by Richard Blackford which was a piece that basically commemorated 9/11 [September 11th, 2001] even though it wasn't specific, but it did. And I had to learn--I went over and studied the piece with the composer in order to get--to delve into it. And I was in England when, when it--when it was given its premier performance, and I went to all those performances and rehearsals, trying to see how this piece is working. I had done my homework, but then to, to get a more insight, I spent time in England studying it before doing it here. And then, of course, he was here for the compose--for the performance, and that was even better.$$Was he satisfied with--$$He was very pleased.$$Okay.

Ronald Gerald Coleman

African American Studies professor Ronald Gerald Coleman was born on April 3, 1944, in San Francisco, California, to Gertrude Hughes, a San Francisco School District food service manager, and Jesse Coleman, a railroad waiter/bartender for Southern Pacific and Amtrak. He attended San Francisco’s Pacific Heights and Emerson Elementary Schools and graduated from George Washington Senior High School. In 1966, Coleman graduated from the University of Utah with his B.A. degree in sociology. He was hired to teach in the San Francisco Unified School District and then at Sacramento City College.

In 1973, Coleman received his M.A. degree in social science from California State University, in Sacramento. Coleman joined the University of Utah faculty as an instructor of history and ethnic studies in 1973 where he taught courses on African American history. His work in history and ethnic studies has been presented at various professional meetings. He has also lectured on topics ranging from African American history to contemporary race relations in the United States. Coleman has written several publications including articles on western black history.

Coleman has served as a member of the University of Utah Senate; the Athletic Board; the faculty mentoring program; and the faculty affirmative action committee. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Fraternity and is a life member of the NAACP. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Calvin S. and Jeneal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching, the 2000 Governor’s Award in Humanities and the Albert B. Fitz Civil Rights Worker of the Year Award.

Coleman lives in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Accession Number

A2008.057

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/17/2008

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Gerald

Schools

George Washington High School

Pacific Heights Elementary School

Emerson Elementary School

California State University, Sacramento

University of Utah

William E. Gladstone Elementary School

First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

San Francisco

HM ID

COL18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego, California

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

4/3/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

African american history professor Ronald Gerald Coleman (1944 - ) taught history and ethnic studies at the University of Utah from 1973. Coleman specialized in the history of African Americans in the American West, and received numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship and civil rights work.

Employment

General Mills

San Francisco Unified School District

Sacramento City College

University of Utah

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Gerald Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Gerald Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about his maternal grandmother's employer

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about his research on his father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls living with his maternal grandparents in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls his earliest experience of southern segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about his early neighborhood and mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his community in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls attending Pacific Heights School in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes the famous people in his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ronald Gerald Coleman remembers George Washington Senior High School in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his parents' experience with housing discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls his post high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about playing football at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes the civil rights activities in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ronald Gerald Coleman recalls his deferment from the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ronald Gerald Coleman remembers working at General Mills Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ronald Gerald Coleman remembers his teaching experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his graduate education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about race relations in Utah

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about the African American members of the Mormon faith

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about his favorite historians

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ronald Gerald Coleman remembers Allen Allensworth

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ronald Gerald Coleman reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ronald Gerald Coleman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ronald Gerald Coleman talks about the African American community in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ronald Gerald Coleman describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ronald Gerald Coleman narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Ronald Gerald Coleman describes his early religious experiences
Ronald Gerald Coleman remembers Allen Allensworth
Transcript
We were a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church [San Francisco, California], also attended bible school at my godparents' which was Second Union Baptist Church [Second Union Missionary Baptist Church, San Francisco, California]. So we back forth Baptist or A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] it didn't make any difference and in, in the church the women of that church I mean they, they--I'm indebted to them. They took me when I was very young and immature and they always made me feel I was very special.$$Now what was the name of the church again?$$Bethel A.M.E.$$Bethel A.M.E., okay.$$They nurtured me, trained me, I mean that's for--you know that one time. Oratorical skills were important and it's kind of interesting today how some people try to minimize that or try to make light of it by implying that there's no substance behind a good speech if you know what I'm talking about. Don't hate, congratulate, and so I--they just helped me. I mean I certainly wasn't gonna get it in the schools. I mean schools were okay, I went to predominately--I didn't go to white--I didn't go to school with white people for the most part. It was African Americans, Asians, a few Mexican Americans, but very few white people, and it was--I went to Bethel A.M.E., I mean it wasn't an option. You had to go every Sunday and the Sunday school--and there I, I made my first addresses. Had my first, really first black history lesson and that I didn't have to do a report but I learned a song that sang about Richard Allen, one of the founders of the A.M.E. Church, and I still know that song today man.$$How does it go, I've never heard this.$$(Singing) "Come gather around your children and a story you should hear of a man we all know and love, his name was Richard Allen and they say he was a slave but he steady rose to great--to heights above, Richard Allen, Richard Allen," and that's (laughter) you know, yeah, that's, that was my first black history lesson.$$Okay.$We were talking about Allen Allensworth is one of your favorite characters?$$Yeah, I'll tell you when--if--there was some discussions as to whether or not to bring the soldiers to Salt Lake City's [Salt Lake City, Utah] Fort Douglas in 1896 and early that year The Salt Lake Tribune which is still in existence today and a vehemently anti-LDS news- and it was a vehemently anti-LDS newspaper along with the Utah Senator Frank Cannon [Frank J. Cannon] tried to get the military officials to not send the entire regiment here, and there was--it was claimed that at certain times of the year the soldiers would have to ride on the same streetcar line with some of the better citizens of the community and that drunken black soldiers behaved far worse than drunken white soldiers. But the unit had never been together in its entirety and they'd been out on the front western frontier for some thirty years, so as a reward for an extended service they wanted to give them a good post and Fort Douglas was considered to be one of the better western forts in the 1890s, and so when they sent those soldiers here in the fall of 1896 the entire regiment it was about 475 black soldiers along with wives, children, camp followers. I mean it quadrupled the black population here in the city--in the county here, excuse me, and certainly enriched the lives of the black community here for a three year period of time and so colonel--no, Chaplain Allensworth wanted to make sure that the soldiers were on their best behavior and went to the local authorities and asked that they do everything they could to make sure that unwanted, undesirable people didn't come up around the fort. And you ask about what makes me really get turned on to him is that he was a great bridge builder, he was very articulate, he carried himself, handsome man, spoke well, worked actively in the larger community, white as well as black community and when the soldiers in 1898 when the drums of war began to beat for what came to be known as the Spanish American War and they decided to send the, the infantry [24th Infantry Regiment]. Man, he gives this wonderful, wonderful speech to the regiment as they're there and periodically he said, "Quit yourself like men, quit your--." I mean you know he was calling and appealing to them to man up, and when he, when they, they returned he was gone and the self-discipline and control that they had exercised from '96 [1896] to '97 [1897] to '98 [1898] coming back at the end of '98 [1898] you know you've been out the war and you done put it all out on the line, you're not gonna be willing to take too much stuff from anybody, and so when they'd run into some hostility, some of the salons didn't wanna serve them, they talked about getting their guns and on one occasion the--on one occasion the local authorities asked the, the sold- the officers to come get the soldiers. The unit had, had grown larger but they didn't have an Allensworth. Allensworth went on to do a lot of other things, but I've always just thought about that address that he had made, 'cause he drew from history, drew from in terms of military history and he kept appealing to them to, "Quit yourself like men," very--and then the brother went on to do some other wonderful things.$$He founded the town Allensworth, California you said?$$Yes, yes.