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George Van Amson

Investment banker George Van Amson was born on January 30, 1952 in New York City, New York to Willie-Mae and Adolph Van Amson. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1970, and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1974. Van Amson went on to receive his M.B.A degree with honors from Harvard Business School in 1982.

Upon graduating from Columbia University, Van Amson worked for Revlon and Citibank, before being hired as an analyst in the controller’s office at Goldman and Sachs in 1979. He left to pursue his master’s degree at Harvard Business School, and returned to Goldman and Sachs in 1982, where he worked as a trader, and eventually rose to vice president of equities in the firm’s trading and arbitrage division in 1986. In 1991, he was promoted to senior international trader, primarily trading Canadian and precious-metal stock, and making Goldman and Sachs the leader in underwriting Latin American financial issues. Morgan Stanley hired Van Amson in 1992, where he served in various senior trading roles before becoming manager of the sales trading service desk for global wealth management clients. Van Amson was later promoted to head of North American Analyst and Associate Advising Development programs, before also becoming managing director of sales and trading in the institutional equity division.

Van Amson served as chairman of Wall Street’s campaign for the United Negro College Fund, and president of the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association. A trustee emeritus at Columbia University, advisor for the finance committee of New York’s Riverside Church, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he also served on the boards of the Metropolitan Opera, Columbia University’s Community Impact, and the Columbia Alumni Association.

Van Amson has received numerous awards during his career, including being named in Black Enterprise’s Top African Americans on Wall Street in 1992, 1996, and 2006. He was also the recipient of the 1993 World Economic Forum Global Leader award, the 2007 Racial Harmony award presented by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, the Distinguished Alumni award from Brooklyn Technical High School in 2013, and the Harvard Business School Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2017.

Van Amson and his wife, Wendy, were married in 1986 and reside in New York City. They have three children; Alexandria, Victoria, and Skyler.

George Van Amson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 18, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.075

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/18/2019

Last Name

Van Amson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Brooklyn Technical High School

Columbia University

Harvard Business School

P.S. 72 Dr. William Dorney School

P.S. 71 Rose E. Scala School

Henry J. Bruckner Jr. High School 101

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

VAN09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Lions don't concern themselves with the opinion of sheep.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/30/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

All food...Porterhouse Steak or Fried Chicken

Employment

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Morgan Stanley

Revlon

Citibank, N.A.

Favorite Color

Blue

Ernie Suggs

Journalist Ernie Suggs was born in 1967 in Brooklyn, New York. He entered into college at North Carolina Central University in 1985, where he was editor and chief and sports editor for the college’s award winning newspaper, The Campus Echo , and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He graduated in 1990, with his B.A. degree in English Literature.

In 1990, Suggs was awarded an internship by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) to work for Gannett Newspapers based in White Plains, New York. He returned to Durham, North Carolina in 1992, as a writer for The Herald-Sun . In 1996, Suggs was awarded a fellowship from the Education Writers Association, which culminated in his seventeen piece series Fighting to Survive: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face the 21st Century . He went on to become a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1997, where he covered politics, civil rights and race. In 2001, Suggs authored the Aetna African American History Calendar, which was focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Suggs’ series on HBCUs was the most in-depth newspaper examination of the topic ever undertaken, and was recognized for many awards: Journalist of the Year from the American Association of University Professors; First Place, Salute to Excellence Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting from the National Association of Black Journalists; Journalist of the Year from the North Carolina Black Publishers Association; Journalist of the Year from the North Carolina Press Association; and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2002, he was named director of Region IV of the NABJ, and became vice-president of the organization in 2005. Suggs was chosen for the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 2008, and in 2009, he joined the Nieman Foundation’s board. In 2010, he was the keynote speaker at 61st Annual Honors Convocation at North Carolina Central University; and he was given the Pioneer Black Journalist Award by NABJ in 2013.

Ernie Suggs was interviewed by The History Makers on February 18, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.073

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/18/2014

Last Name

Suggs

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Terrell

Occupation
Schools

PS 241 Emma L Johnston School

J W Parker Middle School

G R Edwards Middle School

Rocky Mount High School

North Carolina Central University

Harvard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ernie

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

SUG02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Be The Best You Can Be.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/18/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Journalist Ernie Suggs (1967 - ) is a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the former vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, and author of the award-winning series Fighting to Survive: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Face the 21st Century.

Employment

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Durham Herald-Sun

Gannet Westchester Newspapers

Favorite Color

Gold

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ernie Suggs' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs talks about his maternal grandmother's education at an all-black boarding school in Whitakers, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs describes the people who raised his mother: his maternal grandfather, his great aunt Clarene, and Alice Wells

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs describes his mother's childhood in Edgecombe County, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Suggs talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Suggs describes his parents' relationship and his similarity to his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs talks about being reunited with his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs describes his sister's disappearance

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs talks about his sister and her upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs reflects upon his childhood neighborhood and his early academic ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs talks about growing up in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs talks about his early interest in the news and attending P.S. 241 in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Suggs talks about his favorite teachers and his favorite subjects in elementary school at P.S. 241 in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs describes his interest in comic books and the Marvel Universe

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs explains his mother's decision to move to North Carolina in 1979

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs talks about the early New York City hip hop scene

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs talks about his school experiences in North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs talks about taking college prep courses at Rocky Mount High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs talks about his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs explains the social relations at Rocky Mount High School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina during the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ernie Suggs describes his college application process

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ernie Suggs recalls his decision to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Suggs describes HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs talks about his mentors at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs talks about writing for the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Campus Echo, the student newspaper at North Carolina Central University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs explains his English literature major at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs talks about his National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) internship at Gannett Westchester Newspapers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs talks about graduating from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina and his post-college job plans

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs describes working for Gannett Westchester Newspapers in Westchester County, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs explains his responsibilities as a journalist for the Herald Sun in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Suggs recalls the stories he covered as a reporter for the Herald Sun in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ernie Suggs talks about reporting on historically black colleges and universities in the late 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ernie Suggs explains the challenges facing historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs talks about the future of historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs talks about his award-winning series on historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs talks about volunteering at and reporting on the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs talks about North Carolina Central University's sports programs

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs talks about joining the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a staff journalist in 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs talks about his membership in the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs talks about stories and individuals he reported on for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ernie Suggs describes the movie industry in Atlanta, Georgia and the opportunities the city offers

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ernie Suggs talks about Georgia state and Atlanta city politics in the early 21st century

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ernie Suggs talks about Martin Luther King, III's presidency of the SCLC and the organization's activism in the early 21st century

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ernie Suggs talks about how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy has impacted his children

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ernie Suggs talks about the controversies surrounding the Martin Luther King, Jr. family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ernie Suggs talks about the legal battles waged by the children of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ernie Suggs talks about the children of Martin Luther King, Jr. and their control over his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ernie Suggs describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ernie Suggs recalls his time at Harvard University as a Nieman Journalism Fellow in 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ernie Suggs talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ernie Suggs reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Ernie Suggs talks about his early interest in the news and attending P.S. 241 in Brooklyn, New York
Ernie Suggs talks about stories and individuals he reported on for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Transcript
Back to the newspapers though, you would--why would you be so desperate to get a newspaper?$$I liked to know what was going on so I would--you know, back in those days and I'm sure it's still now they had the newsstands where the newspapers would just basically be out and I would just walk by and pick one up and just keep walking (laughter). So that was my--that was the existence of my life of crime. So I would steal the [New York] Post, the [New York] Daily News, the New York Times to just kind of read what was going on. I enjoyed--I think I was able to understand the Post and the Daily News a little better because it was about New York, and it always had those spectacular headlines. The New York Times is a little bit high-brow for a preteen. But yeah I would just read it, pick it up and take it to the house, let somebody else read it but you know that was one of things I would do, steal newspapers.$$So there wasn't a particular part, I know you were a sports writer at one point in high school.$$No, it wasn't anything--$$It wasn't because of the sports necessarily.$$No, I would read everything. I would read what was going on in the city, you know, the blackout.$$The blackout was yeah go head.$$The '70s [1970s] there was so much stuff going on in New York City with the blackouts with the bankruptcy, the Bella Abzug and [Mayor] Ed Koch. For me it was a very exciting time. There was always stuff happening. So I would want to know what was going on. I would want to know what was actually going on in the city in terms of murders, the [New York] Yankees of course, TV shows. I loved watching television so reading was probably an extension of that. So yeah I wanted to read everything. I wanted to know what was going on particularly in the city.$$Okay.$$So I imagine I stole the Post and the Daily News more than the Times.$$Did you have any favorite writers in the newspaper?$$No it wasn't any--it was just like what's going on in the news today. I would just go by and snatch it and just keep walking and that was it (laughter).$$Okay.$$I wasn't trying to go see what Bill Madden wrote or anything.$$So at P.S. 241 [Emma L. Johnston School, Brooklyn, New York] you're in a gifted program and like who's in school with you? Is it mostly African American or is it mixed?$$It's mostly African Americans. It's a Brooklyn neighborhood so it's mostly African American but it was--it had a good deal of diversity as well particularly in the gifted program.$$Okay.$$So, yeah as I said the diversity was there. I mean, I learned a lot about diversity in New York in, at P.S. 241 in terms of different cultures, languages, different types of people.$I know you said James Mallory was here already at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution but what else attracted you to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution?$$Atlanta [Georgia], you know Atlanta at that time was the black mecca, so to speak, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. It was only five hours away from North Carolina--my home in North Carolina so I can drive quickly. I had a lot of friends who were moving here and people were always just talking about Atlanta as this place that people were coming to that you can make a lot of money. There was a big music scene that was coming about that was kind of changing. Atlanta was becoming a focus of that. Not that I was a music person but Atlanta was becoming the focus of a lot of things and it was a place that--it was a big city and you know as I said, you always want to go to a bigger city when you work for a newspaper. So Atlanta was at the top of my list. It was always at the top of the list and you know New York [City], of course, going back to New York to work in the city. But Atlanta was a reasonable place that was close and it was kind of southern and I had kind of gotten used to the whole southern thing living in North Carolina so this was the place where I wanted to come.$$Okay what were some of the notable stories that you've been involved in with your writing here in Atlanta?$$Well I've been here since 1997 as you said so that's about seventeen years so I've covered everything. I came here as a night cops reporter. So my first job--it's weird because after covering all this great stuff in Durham where you're kind of the big fish in the little pond, you become the little fish here. So my first job for the first six months was night cops. So I would come in every day at 3:00 and work until 12:00 until after the news went off covering cops. Shootings, accidents, traffic jams just you know you name it, I did it. So I did that for about six months then I moved on to education, covered higher education and then K-12. So I've basically covered everything at this paper that you can cover. I've covered cops, education, I've done some sports, I've done some features. I've done crime, of course, but the thing that I cover that's kind of always been an overriding theme of all my coverage has been race. I've covered government politics, elections but race has always been kind of the main area that I've become--that I've become an expert in, that a lot of my coverage always kind of goes back to. So if I'm covering government or if I'm covering politics and something racial happens or there is a racial or an event that happens or some situation that involves race, I'm usually the guy that gets pulled in to cover that because of my expertise and because of my interest in it. So with Atlanta being the home of the Civil Rights Movement because of the people who live here. So I've covered [HM] Joseph Lowery and [HM] C.T. Vivian and Hosea Williams and [HM] Andrew Young and [HM] Fred Shuttlesworth and you know, [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.], his life and legacy hovers over all of that. So I've covered everything about the King legacy since day one. Since I've gotten here that's kind of been what I've been in charge of doing. So I'm that guy who covers all of that and it's been great 'cause these are the kind of people when you talk about the history, I've always had a keen interest in history, these are the kind of people I read about growing up. These are the people that I--and to be able to meet Coretta Scott King and [Andrew] Andy Young and Joseph Lowery--Joseph Lowery performed my wedding. So these are the kind of people that I've read about who I kind of consider the second founding fathers of the country that I'm covering now on a regular basis who call me every now--it's funny we talked about [HM Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson and my first kind of experience watching his campaign. You know, Jesse Jackson has my cell phone number and I--sometimes I look on my phone and I see, oh man Jesse's calling and I don't have time to talk to him right now (laughter). You know what I'm saying so it's kind of weird that you know, this guy that you grew up idolizing now becomes kind of a peer or someone that you kind of can, you know, feel comfortable talking to and kind of reaching out to and, and associating yourself with.

Leon Bibb

Broadcast journalist Leon Douglas Bibb was born on October 5, 1944 in Butler, Alabama to Georgia and Leon Bibb. At the age of one, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he grew up and graduated from Glenville High School. Bibb received his B.S. degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1966. He then went on to study radio, TV and film as a graduate student. He also served in the Vietnam War and was awarded a Bronze Star.

In the late 1960s, Bibb worked as a news reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. He was hired as a reporter for WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio in 1971, and worked as a news anchor and reporter for WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio from 1972 to 1979. In 1976, while at WCMH-TV, Bibb became Ohio’s first African American primetime anchor. Then, in 1979, he moved to WKYC-TV in Cleveland, and was promoted to primary news anchor for the Monday through Friday newscasts in 1986. In 1995, Bibb was hired as a news anchor and reporter for WEWS-TV. He has narrated and hosted many shows at WEWS-TV, including “My Ohio with Leon Bibb,” “Leon Bibb's Perspective,” “Kaleidoscope,” and a series called “Our Hometown.” Bibb has interviewed numerous political leaders and notable figures, including President Barack Obama, President George H. W. Bush, Neil Armstrong, and James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, Bibb has written several short stories and poems, many of which have been published.

Bibb has won six local Emmy Awards and received several citations from the Cleveland Press Club for excellence in journalism. He has also received the Distinguished Journalist Award from the Society for Professional Journalists, and Awards of Excellence from Cleveland State University and the Radio-TV Council. Bibb has been inducted into the Broadcaster's Hall of Fame, Glenville High School Hall of Fame, Bowling Green State University School of Communications Hall of Fame, Associated Press Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sigma Delta Chi Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 1996, Governor George Voinovich appointed Bibb to the Board of Trustees at Bowling Green State University, where he also served as chairman.

Bibb lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife, Marguerite. They have two daughters: Jennifer and Alison.

Leon Bibb was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.050

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/13/2014

Last Name

Bibb

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Douglas

Schools

Bowling Green State University

Glenville High School

Empire Junior High School

Miles Standish Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leon

Birth City, State, Country

Butler

HM ID

BIB01

Favorite Season

Early October

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The True Wealth Of A Nation Lies Not In Its Gold And Silver, But In The Knowledge Of Its People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

10/5/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp, Chili, or Mahi Mahi

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Leon Bibb (1944 - ) was the State of Ohio’s first African American primetime anchor. He has received six local Emmy Awards, several Cleveland Press Club citations, the Distinguished Journalist Award from the Society for Professional Journalists, and has been inducted into the Broadcaster's Hall of Fame.

Employment

WEWS - TV 5

WKYC - TV 3

WCMH - TV 4

WTOL - TV 11

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leon Bibb's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb talks about the land in Alabama owned by his maternal family after the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb describes his maternal grandmother, Katie Crowell

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb describes his mother's childhood and education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb describes how his father was inspired by his mentor, Mr. Fred, to attend college

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb talks about his parents' move to Cleveland, Ohio and then back to Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb talks about noted black Clevelander, John O. Holly, and the Future Outlook League

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb describes his father's experience in the U.S. Army during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb talks about his father's return from World War II and the family's return to Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb talks about his sister, Shirley Blackwell

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb shares his memories of moving into a duplex in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb describes his elementary school and a teacher that encouraged him to pursue a career in journalism

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb recalls the TV and radio shows that influenced him as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb remembers watching the Civil Rights Movement on television

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb remembers the murder of Emmett Till and his experience in the South during car trips to Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb remembers joining Liberty Hill Baptist Church when he was ten years old

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb remembers his sixth grade teacher and mentor, Robert Taylor

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb recalls attending Empire Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb describes his passion for classic movies, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb describes his passion for classic movies, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb describes his role in the 2013 movie "Made in Cleveland"

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb shares his regrets for quitting his high school theater production of "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Leon Bibb describes his experience at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb recalls those African Americans who were on TV and radio when he grew up and his enjoyment of radio announcers

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb recalls his favorite radio announcers and the impact they had on him

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb describes his enrollment at Bowling Green State University and meeting his wife, Marguerite Bibb

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb recalls his increasing confidence in his journalistic skills at Bowling Green State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb describes his teacher at Bowling Green State University, Jeff Clark

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb describes being offered an internship at the Cleveland Call and Post in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb remembers covering Jim Brown's trial for the Cleveland Call and Post in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb remembers photographing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Cleveland Call and Post in 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb talks about the accessibility of Cleveland, Ohio athletes Jim Brown and Bill Willis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb talks about the environment for African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio around 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb recalls beginning his journalism career at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb describes being drafted into the Fourth Infantry Division of the U.S. Army to fight in the Vietnam War in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb describes serving in the Fourth Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb remembers his friend, Randall Lee Williams, who was killed during the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb talks about earning the Bronze Star Medal

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb describes enrolling at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio for graduate school in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb describes producing the news broadcast for WBGU-TV at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and moving to Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Leon Bibb talks about his experience as a reporter for WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Leon Bibb recalls being hired as a news anchor at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb describes his experience as a news anchor at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb describes interviewing James Earl Ray in 1978 with Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flint, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb describes interviewing James Earl Ray in 1978 with Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flint, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb describes the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb talks about the media coverage of James Earl Ray

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb describes being offered a position as news anchor for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb describes being offered a position as news anchor for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb remembers working with Al Roker at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb describes the social and political environment in Cleveland, Ohio when he returned in 1979

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb talks about the sports teams in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb describes the political environment in Cleveland, Ohio under city council president and HistoryMaker George Forbes

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb describes the economic revitalization of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1990s after the construction of Jacobs Field

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb describes the economic impact of restoring Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb talks about the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb recalls working as a reporter with the U.S. Coast Guard in Bahrain during Operation Desert Shield in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb remembers being demoted to street reporting after WKYC-TV was bought by Multimedia Broadcasting, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Leon Bibb remembers leaving WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio in 1995

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Leon Bibb describes hosting "Weekend Exchange" for WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Leon Bibb describes his public affairs program for WEWS-TV, "Kaleidoscope"

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb recalls the Cleveland Browns leaving and returning to Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb recalls the Cleveland Browns leaving and returning to Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb talks about the shows he currently hosts for WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio and interviewing Don King

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Leon Bibb shares his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Leon Bibb reflects on his work as his dream job

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Leon Bibb describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Leon Bibb describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Leon Bibb talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Leon Bibb reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Leon Bibb narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Leon Bibb describes interviewing James Earl Ray in 1978 with Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flint, pt. 1
Leon Bibb describes hosting "Weekend Exchange" for WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio
Transcript
Okay, well, one of the highlights I guess we'd have to say of your stay in Columbus [Ohio] was an interview in Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in [Morgan County] Tennessee of James Earl Ray. Now how did that come about?$$It be--it came because of a pornographer by the name of Larry Flint. Larry Flint ran Hustler magazine. And Larry Flint's Hustler magazine came out of Columbus, although he stayed in trouble with Cincinnati [Ohio] all the time over porno--pornographic issues. But, but he lived in Columbus, and we knew Larry. He was at the TV station all the time because he was interviewing me. You didn't even have to go to him. He'd come to the TV station to be interviewed about any controversy that was going on. He came to me one day and says, "How'd you like to interview James Earl Ray?" I says "Me?" He says, "Yeah, yeah, I, I don't trust the network boys. But, but I know that you Columbus guys--I, I can get you in." I says "You can get me in?" He says, "I'm trying to get him a new trial 'cause I don't think he killed Dr. King, and I'm trying to get him a new--a new trial." I says, "Okay," so I flew--so I run it by the TV station management. I says, "I can fly down with James--with, with, with Larry Flint. It's not gonna cost the station anything." They loved that. "It's not gonna cost you anything 'cause we'll go in his private plane. I'll do a piece on him, about how he's trying to get James Earl Ray a new trial. And we're gonna come back the same so I don't need a hotel." Okay, so a photographer and I go down with, with Larry Flint. Now this is two weeks before Larry Flint--three weeks before Larry Flint is shot in an assassination attempt, and paralyzed for the rest of his life. But he's walking around at this time. So 1978, we fly down, go to Brushy at--we, we land in, in, in Larry's private plane, a plush stretch, almost airlen--airliner style, airliner-length airplane, landed in Knoxville, Tennessee. He's got a limousine waitin' for us, so we get in the limousine. And I'm photographing him. And Bruce Johansson [ph.] is my cameraman, and we're photographing Larry as we drive the ninety miles or whatever to the prison--get to the prison. They know we're coming. We sign in. We go in a little holding area where they do such things, a room about the size of this--maybe not even this size. The next thing I know, James Earl Ray walks into the room, under guard of course. I don't think he's shackled or anything--don't think so, but I know he had on a blue shirt and blue jeans. He walks, in; he says, "You the man gonna interview me?" He's looking at me. I says "Hi, yeah, I am." He says, "Hi, I'm James Earl Ray," puts his hand out. Well, when a man puts his hand out, I shook his hand. It was just automatic. I mean I, I didn't think about it until I grabbed his hand. I said that's the hand that killed [Reverend] Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.], who I photographed in 1965 in Cleveland [Ohio] and who I loved. I didn't think about it 'til we held hands. And then I says well, if I hadn't of shaken his hand, he might have said well, okay, then don't worry about the interview then, and go back into his cell. He did not have to do an interview. So we sat down and we talked about life here and there, what's going on in prison a little bit. I mean I'm, I'm--he knows where I'm going, but I'm just in no hurry to ask the $64,000 question, which I finally asked. And Bruce behind me has got the camera whirring. I hear that click-click, click-click, click-click. We're, we're, we're rolling on camera. "Did you kill Dr. Martin Luther King?" "Oh, no, no, no, no, I didn't kill him." "Do you know who did?" "No, I, I, I, I, I wouldn't know who killed him." "But you were convicted of killing him." "That's true, but I didn't do it." And then he goes on and talks about he was running guns for a man by the name of Raul. This is the new information that had not come out before, to my knowledge--a man named Raul. That's why he was in I guess Memphis [Tennessee] at the time. But he didn't kill Dr. King he said. And we talked a little bit further and went on and on and on. And I--there, there was nothing new other than that that came out. He denied it, denied it, denied it. And fifteen, twenty minutes later it was over with and ended.$And I talked to Channel 5. Channel 5 knew what was going on. We had talked to 5 earlier, and they, they knew that, that I was gonna be out there, and they, they--I had dinner with the general manager at the time here and, and the news director, Gary Robertson--Gary Robinson--and the news director, Paul Stueber. We had dinner and they said, "We got an idea, and we would like for you to come do a show that doesn't exist now; nobody's ever done it before; and it's called the 'Weekend Exchange,' where you would be on the air from eight until 9:30 on Saturday and Sunday mornings, hour and a half each day. Come do that show." They had--the way they described it was something I'd always wanted to do, something like "CBS Sunday Morning," if you ever looked at that. It had that feel to it. And I did that show. And I had a--we had a staff of about four or five people who worked on that show, not counting the photographers who worked--reporters. And I said go long on our stories. If you need four minutes for a story, take the four minutes. Just take--make sure you use it wisely. And we put that live show on the air on Saturdays and Sunday mornings. And I did that for eighteen months or thereabouts and until--$$So this a, a show that's--that consists of mostly in--interviews, right, that, that you were conducting with people?$$We do in-studio interviews like we're doing right now. We'd shoot videotape of a story and hold it for the weekend. We--it was tape, it was live, it was--it was whatever it needed to be. The day Princess Diana died in England [sic, Paris, France on August 31, 1997], I got a phone call at, at 2:00 in the morning, or 1:00 in the morning, something like that--3:00 in the morning--"Leon, the Princess has died. Listen, we're, we're reworking the whole Saturday morning show. Get in here as soon as you can 'cause we're reworking the whole thing, and we'll be going live to London." I mean I did--and I did talkback interviews with people in London, England on the BBC about what was going on. We went live to Paris, France, where the--where, where Princess Diana died in the automobile crash with Dodi al-Fayed [sic, Dodi Fayed]. It--we took whatever we--whatever format it needed to take. We were not in a hurry to come on and say who got shot last night unless it was a major, major event. We would come on and I--and, and I, I would--we would have a live picture. And I would say "You're looking at a live television picture right now of, of, of the sun kind of rising up behind the--Jacobs Field [now Progressive Field], the baseball stadium. You'll see it right on the rim of the--of, of the stadium. The sun began its ascent from the eastern horizon at 6:42 this morning. It is now 8:01. It is now 8:01 or 8:30, whatever it was. And I says so the sun is still climbing to its zenith." And we would start it that way. We were not--and I says wa, wa--"So I'll be giving you the news headlines in just a moment, but let's check on the weather situation." We'll check with the weatherperson. And then we would say, say now these are some, some of the headlines of which took place. It was done that way. And then we would have a long format story, and we would have live interviews. People would come, and it was just a different kind of a--of a Channel 5 News--Channel 5 production, which I really, thoroughly loved--probably my favorite show of all the shows I've ever done in my life. And, and it kept me going, kept my face up there in television, got me back in television, and I did that for eighteen months, until they eventually killed the show and then say well, we want you to go to weekends now, the regular weekend 6:00 and 11:00 news as the co-anchor. And I was paired with, with a co-anchor woman there, or a co-anchor man. And, and we, we did the show at six and eleven until I got promoted to Monday through Friday here at Channel 5.$$Okay. So I mean was, wa--was it a, a ratings issues or, or what, for Morning Exchange?$$For, for the "Weekend Exchange?"$$Or "Weekend Exchange."$$I would guess. I don't think it ever received a huge, huge rating number. I don't know may--I don't--it might have been financial. You know, we had a crew. We had people working that, that show. We had live reports and all of that. It, it might have been that. I'm, I'm not quite certain what it was, but, but it was quality. It, it, it was quality work, as, as I've often said. You know, I live and die by ratings, but if nobody's watching and I know we're doing a fine job--if, if you've got a bar with, with, with, with, with, with dancing women over here on this corner and a church preaching the gospel over there, there may be more people in the bar than in the church, but that does not mean that the church is doing the right thing. It's doing what it's supposed to do. And so I always thought we were doing what we were supposed to do. So I was--I, I was kind of worried when, when, when, when the show died, but I didn't have to get up at 4:00 in the morning anymore either so. I was back to more traditional hours, working 3:00 to 11:30 doing the news on Saturdays and Sundays at six and eleven.

William A. Hawkins

Program director and math professor William Anthony Hawkins, Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947. His father, William Anthony Hawkins, Sr., was a postal worker; his mother, Amanda L. Hawkins, a dental hygienist. After graduating from Archbishop Carroll High School in 1964, Hawkins briefly attended Merrimack College before transferring to Howard University. While there, he studied under Dr. Louise Raphael, Professor James Joseph, and Dr. Arthur Thorpe (physics) and went on to graduate with his B.S. degree in mathematics in 1968. In 1970, Hawkins received his M.S. degree in physics from Howard University and his M.A. degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship while attending the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. James S. Milne and graduated from there with his Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 1982.

Hawkins has dedicated over forty-three years to the education of minority students. In 1968, Hawkins was hired as a teacher at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., soon discovering his passion for teaching. In 1970, Hawkins was appointed as an instructor at Federal City College (University of the District of Columbia). He went on to serve as chair of the mathematics department of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) for five years. In 1990, Hawkins took leave from his position as associate professor at UDC and became director of the Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement (SUMMA) Program at the Mathematical Association of America. SUMMA has raised more than $4 million to increase the representation of minorities in mathematics, science, and engineering and to improve the mathematics education of minorities. In 1995, Hawkins returned to UDC as an associate professor in the mathematics department while simultaneously directing the SUMMA program.

Hawkins authored Attracting Minorities into Teaching Mathematics 1994, and Constructing a Secure Pipeline for Minority Students 1995. Hawkins is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the National Association of Mathematicians, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He received the 2006 Benjamin Banneker Legacy Award from the Banneker Institute of Science & Technology, and the 2013 Gung and Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America.

William Anthony Hawkins, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.159

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/17/2013

Last Name

Hawkins

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Anthony

Schools

University of Michigan

Howard University

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

HAW03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Ignorance is never bliss.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/15/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice (Curried)

Short Description

Program director and math professor William A. Hawkins (1947 - ) , former director of Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement (SUMMA) at the Mathematical Association of America, received the 2013 Gung and Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics.

Employment

University of the District of Columbia

Mathematical Association of America

Cardozo High School

Federal City College

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Hawkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Hawkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Hawkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Hawkins describes his mother's growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about his mother's church, education and employment in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Hawkins describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about how his parents met and were married

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Hawkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about his father's service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about his parents' education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about his paternal aunt, Sarah Bray

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Hawkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about his father's employment at the U.S. Post Office

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about the neighborhoods he lived in and the schools he attended in Washington, District of Columbia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his experience in school, and his interests and activities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Hawkins talks about how Washington, D.C. was while he was growing up, and its evolution over the years

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Hawkins talks about his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the 1960 presidential elections and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Hawkins describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Hawkins describes his experience at Merrimack College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Hawkins describes being in a car accident in Washington, D.C. and his decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Hawkins describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his involvement with the SNCC in the summer of 1966, meeting Stokely Carmichael, and returning to Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about graduating from Howard University in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Hawkins talks about getting a deferment on the draft, and his decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement with the National Technical Association (NTA)

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about pursuing his master's degree in physics at Howard University and his master's degree in math at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about mathematicians, Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Evelyn Boyd Granville, Marjorie Lee Browne, and David Blackwell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement in political activism at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about the Ishango Society of Mathematics and Abdulalim Shabazz

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about his mentors at the University of Michigan - part one

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about his mentors at the University of Michigan - part two

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his doctoral dissertation in the area of algebraic geometry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his interest in teaching

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about the need for a public university such as the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about the demographics of the faculty at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Hawkins discusses historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the department of mathematics there

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Hawkins reflects upon the higher education system in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement with the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) and its SUMMA Program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about pre-college programs for underrepresented minorities in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (NREUP)

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about the importance and impact of summer undergraduate research programs and summer programs in math and science

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about the administrative process for running the National Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (NREUP)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Hawkins discusses minority Ph.D.s in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about HistoryMaker Luther Williams and other minorities at the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Hawkins describes his experience at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference march in Grenada, Mississippi in 1966

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about the importance of access to math and science

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the importance of being able to read and comprehend information

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Hawkins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Hawkins reflects upon undergraduate education and its role in facilitating economic equality

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Hawkins reflects upon religion and science, and the importance of fairness

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about his parents and his mother's apprehension towards his visit to the South during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$4

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
William Hawkins talks about his interest in teaching
William Hawkins talks about his mentors at the University of Michigan - part one
Transcript
Your Ph.D. dissertation [at University of Michigan], like, plunged you deeper into math, even though it was nothing groundbreaking--$$Oh, sure. Well, I mean--$$--but it really.$$Oh, it certainly. I mean, because you have to do something original to get your Ph.D. So, I mean it was a problem that my advisor had thought of, you know. He said, he would think about something for me to work on. And if he had came up with something good to me--this was sort of the situation. If he could come up with something good, then he would, you know, he might take me, 'cuz he didn't promise to take me on as a student. And anyway, he was gone. He was going to be gone. He went to France for a year. He liked to climb mountains, too. I was always worried that he wouldn't be able to come back, you know, wouldn't continue. But anyway. So, you know, the idea was that--and I liked, you know, what is--I liked algebra. Some people like analysis, which is sort of calculus and its derivations, you might say. And I liked that a lot, but I liked algebra more so. Like, I say, you know, group theory and things like that, I just ended up liking that more, much more than I liked even geometry. I liked geometry in high school and stuff, but this--. So, you know, and people, you know, what I guess students don't realize, basically, you are paid to do something you enjoy when you're, especially a graduate faculty member. I mean, you know, you, if you can get it, you can get it published. Now, I know things are changing, but if you can get it published, you know, get your peers to say this is something of significance, then you are basically paid to do what you want. I mean, you know. I mean, you have to teach classes, but, you know the research institutions, they teach the subjects that they want to teach. You know, they teach about their own research or things that they're interested in. So, I mean, nothing like higher education for a job. I mean, you're just paid to do what you want to do, you know. So I--that's one thing I've--I mean, I've enjoyed. I've enjoyed teaching. I haven't always taught. I left to go back to graduate school. So that was five years I was away. Then I came here full time, five years to the MAA [Mathematics Association of America]. And then I went back, you know. And I've actually included--took me a long time to realize. You know, I like teaching an awful lot, you know. And that's what I've certainly done most of my life. I've been doing it--so, I mean, I first started teaching, in terms of professionally, in 1969. That's a long time. That's 40, you know, 44 years, 45 years, you know.$I can say someone whom I thought was--what's his name? What's Ullman's last name? I mean that's his last name. What's his first name? Anyway, the person who was on my committee was someone I found that, underneath a rough, very rough surface exterior was someone who cared about students. He was actually--let see if I can get the name. (pause). I can't think of his name. He was at--'cuz when you went to Baton Rouge [Louisiana], right, to see Lovenia [DeConge-Watson, also a HistoryMaker], a Rogers Newman was on the faculty. I don't know if you spoke to him. He was a student at Michigan. His advisor was someone on my committee and was someone who was very hard to convince, even though he had had a black student, that things needed to change. Let's put it like that. I'll just, you know, he thought. But he was very--he had a very, very rough exterior, but really helpful to me. And I would not have finished probably graduate school without him, right. Even though he didn't teach me or anything, but he made contacts for me that I didn't know I needed to make, you know. He and I argued for an whole hour one day. Back and forth, back and forth, in his office; back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. At the end of that argument, he said, "Okay. Now, how are things going with you?" I mean, you know. I told him what my plans were and the person I had thought about taking on as my--actually to be my advisor. And he told me, "Well, this person is getting ready to go on sabbatical." And what he did, he set up a program for me where I could work with someone else on--for my preliminary exam while this other person I wanted to work with is gone. And I--well, what happened, I would have gone the beginning of the next semester looking for this person, he would have been gone, and I would have been at a total loss. I wouldn't have known what to do. And he--so he set it up. And the person he got for me to work with--not my advisor--is the person who is now in the National Academy and a really good guy, you know. And let me see if I can get his name. I can't think of his name right now. I know who he is. I'll think of it. But he would---he supervised me on my prelims. Very, very helpful. He wasn't my advisor, but the idea that someone with whom you don't actually agree on things, cared enough to do something like that, that was--he was very--can't think of Ullman's--U-L-L-M-A-N. That was--that was his last name. I can't think of his first name. He's deceased now. But he was Rogers Newman's--Rogers Newman's, right, advisor. Right. And Rogers was on the faculty at Southern [University, Baton Rouge]. And he was a big--he was a very--he was the president of NAM [National Association of Mathematicians] for--executive secretary of NAM or president, I think, for a while. So, anyway--Dan. No, that's the guy who's at GW [George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia] now.

Herman "Skip" Mason

Reverend and historian Herman ‘Skip’ Mason was born on July 14, 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia to Herman ‘Pop’ Mason and Deloris Hughes. At the age of fourteen, Mason read Alex Haley’s Roots and was inspired to research and document the history of African American people. In 1980, Mason graduated from Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia and enrolled at Morris Brown College in Atlanta. In 1982, Mason realized his life-long goal by being initiated into the Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated on the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. That same year, he became president of the chapter and during his tenure the fraternity was named Georgia College Chapter of the Year. After graduating college in 1984 with his B.A. degree in communications and history, Mason joined the Eta Lambda chapter and became the chapter’s historian in 1985. In 1989, Mason received his M.S. degree in library and information science with a concentration in African American history from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta and was awarded his certification in archival studies from the Archives Institute of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. Mason later studied at the Phillips School of Theology in Atlanta.

Mason began his career by working at the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta during his junior year of college as a historian where he interpreted the history of the Herndon Family and the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. In 1986, he worked for the U.S. Department of Interior interpreting the historical significance of the Martin Luther King family with the King Center Library and Archives. From 1987 to 1992, Mason worked for the Atlanta Fulton Public Library as the black studies librarian and archivist for the Special Collections Department. His work with the library involved developing strategies for identification and procurement of archival collections on African Americans in Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the Southeast region. During this period, Mason became the first national archivist for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and helped to facilitate the transfer of its archives to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. In 1992, Mason founded Digging It Up, a full scale African American research and consulting firm which he later renamed Skip Mason’s Archives in 1998. Mason also became the pastor of Greater Hopewell Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta and later, pastor of St. James C.M.E. Church in Washington, Georgia. In 2006, Mason curated House of Alpha, an exhibition which displayed the records of Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated, local chapters and the personal collection of fraternity members for the fraternity’s centenary in Washington, D.C. In 2008, Mason was named Alpha Phi Alpha, Incorporated’s thirty-third general president. Mason served as Morehouse College’s archivist and interim director of Student Affairs.

Mason has authored several books including, Going Against the Wind: A History of African Americans in Atlanta, Black Atlanta in the Roaring Twenties, African-American Life in Jacksonville, Florida, The History of Black Entertainment in Atlanta, and African-American Life in DeKalb County, 1823-1970 (Images of America: Georgia).

Herman ‘Skip’ Mason was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 06/20/2011.

Accession Number

A2011.037

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/20/2011

Last Name

Mason

Maker Category
Middle Name

"Skip"

Occupation
Schools

Berean Christian Junior Academy

E. C. Clement Elementary School

G.A. Towns Elementary School

Ben Hill UMC Christian Academy

Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School

Morris Brown College

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

Herman

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

MAS06

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/14/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Archivist Herman "Skip" Mason (1962 - ) served as the 33rd general president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the college archivist at Morris Brown College and Morehouse College.

Employment

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

Morris Brown College

Morehouse College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herman "Skip" Mason's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the discovery of his ancestors' burial grounds

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the discovery of his maternal great-grandfather's original name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his maternal grandmother's employers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the birth of his son

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining his stepfather's household

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his love of collecting

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the sights of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his relationship with his stepfather

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his childhood pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his elementary education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his mother's role in school desegregation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his first white teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls Therrell High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the impact of 'Roots'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the start of his genealogical research

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his decision to attend Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining the staff of the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers working at the Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his early genealogical research resources

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his introduction to archival work

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls working for the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers teaching history at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls developing the markers for the black historic districts of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls joining the staff of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls the loss of Morris Brown College's accreditation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls becoming the Morehouse College archivist

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the history of the Atlanta University Center Consortium

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his work as the Morehouse College archivist

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his early publications

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls his first historical exhibition

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers curating 'The House of Alpha' exhibition

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his collection of artifacts from Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason recalls campaigning for the national presidency of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his election as the national president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the power of social media

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his plans for the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes the importance of black historical archives

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Herman "Skip" Mason shares the results of his historical research

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the results of his genealogical research

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Herman "Skip" Mason remembers his experiences of unemployment

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Herman "Skip" Mason describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Herman "Skip" Mason reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
Herman "Skip" Mason talks about the discovery of his ancestors' burial grounds
Herman "Skip" Mason recalls becoming the Morehouse College archivist
Transcript
A few years ago we did the African ancestry DNA and I, I swabbed and, of course, it was purported to trace the DNA of my maternal line, my mother's mother's mother's and so forth. That's Amy's [Emmie London] line, and the results came back that we had a match from the, the Bamileke tribe in Cameroon, and so we unveiled that at a family reunion about three or four years ago in Macon [Georgia]. We were actually on the side of the plantation [McArthur Plantation], we found the descendants of the family that owned my family, the McArthurs, and we went to that site and it was just, it was so spiritual, walking down that long winding driveway to the spot that we had chosen. There was an old Confederate flag in the yard from the owner who currently owns the property now, but he was just so embracing and inviting. He said, "Y'all come on and make yourselves at home," and I couldn't help but to look at that Confederate flag and he also had a little, a little black figurine, a little jockey out in the yard as well. Just the ironies of the time, but about one hundred and fifty members of the family gathered on that site and it was just spiritual. The graves of the slave owning family were somewhere behind us. And I proclaimed on that day, that somewhere on this land are the remains of some of our ancestors. We didn't it, didn't know where it was, but we just assumed because most plantations or communities had an area where they would allow slaves to be buried. Well, let's fast forward, we get a call from the Georgia Department of Transportation. They're expanding the roadway, which was near the old side of the plantation, and a man who owned property that's part of this mansion, said, "Well, you may want to check, I believe, I heard that there was an old cemetery somewhere over there," and so DOT went out. There was really no evidence of any, any graves, but they went out and they began to do some, some scanning of the soil and so forth, and they uncovered what appeared to have been shallows of what were possibly graves, and they began to remove the layers of soil, and pretty much confirmed that there're probably bodies buried here, and then they called me out and a few family members out the day they brought the cadaver dogs out. And the cadaver dogs were let loose and each time the cadaver dog smelled human remains, they would sit right on top. Well a hundred and ten graves were uncovered, and two years ago we took the family reunion back so they could actually see the excavation, so family members were walking on this old cemetery and they could look down and see the skeleton remains because they were very slowly doing an archaeological dig and study of it. It was just the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my entire life, you know, and to have the little kids to witness and to be a part of this, and so the decision was made that the remains would be removed. Now I didn't contest it or fight it, one, because the DOT and this company called New South Associates [New South Associates, Inc., Stone Mountain, Georgia] who specialized in archaeological studies and digs said they wanted to study, you know, the remains, and study that area and they found, they found, jewelry, coffin nails, and so we documented it. I took a camera crew down as well, but it was just amazing. Now we're going through the DNA process. So what they're doing, they're taking samples of DNA from many members of our family and some of the people who lived in the community to see if any of them matched with the, the remains that they uncovered. But I would have never thought in a thousand years that I would have located the possible cemetery that may contain some of the remains, of some of the unmarked remains of my relatives. According to their research, the last grave was about, placed there may be around 1910. So after that you have years of growth, dirt, growth, grass, under bush, that had totally covered, there were no markers, no headstones, but I just simply said that because I kind of called it out at that reunion and said, "Somewhere over there's a cemetery," but had no idea, so, and this means a great deal to me, you know, I think I learned very early on that I wanted to be a historian, and you know, I wanted to learn more about my family. I think I shared with you earlier, Alex Haley's 'Roots' ['Roots: The Saga of an American Family'] just was a life changing moment for me at the age of, age of fourteen. All of that has led to Amy, who was our oldest known documented ancestor, documented in the wills of the slave owner and with the amount five hundred dollars, that's how much she was valued at the time that she was being given to one of the sons of the slave owner.$In August of oct- August of 2003, I faxed my resume over to Walter Massey [HistoryMaker Walter E. Massey] because I read an article in the paper that they had the Maynard Jackson papers, and I just sent a note, I said, "Well, if you need any assistance with that collection, I'd be interested." The next day I got a call from the provost. He said, "Well we have a position that we been trying to fill for two years, the director of the Learning Resource Center [Frederick Douglass Learning Resource Center]. It required one to have a degree in library science." And I said, "Well I have a degree in library science." He said, "Well why don't you come over to the school?" We went over to the school, he walked me through and he said, "We'd love to have you, are you interested?" And I wanted to say, "Am I interested?" I say, "I been unemployed for five months, you know, yes, I'm interested," and so I was hired to come to Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] to direct the Learning Resource Center and then he also included in my contract that I would be appointed the college archivist. But Morehouse didn't have an archive. They didn't have an archive. Dean Carter [HistoryMaker Lawrence Carter] had a collection of material, but they did not have a formal archive because they shared with the Woodruff Library [Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, Georgia] and he said, "We need our own archives here at Morehouse." And I was kind of shocked, I said a school like Morehouse, the Morehouse, Martin Luther King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] school, educating black men for a hundred thirty-five, forty years does not have its own archives, and they didn't. There were boxes of papers, Benjamin Mays papers scattered all over the campus in this orchestra pit, in the gymnasium, in the back rooms, hallways, everywhere, Morehouse papers were scattered all over, and so part of my job was to begin to collect, to bring in, to gather all of the historic material that had been displaced everywhere. Walter Massey, no, Hugh Gloster, who was the previous president. His robe was over in an empty building that had been a laundromat, his robe sitting over there. Walter Massey's first robe was over there. See what would happen, you know, they would, the campus operations folks would take boxes and they just put 'em anywhere, cause they didn't, they didn't know where these things were supposed to go, so fast forward, now today we have our own facility. We got a grant from the save the treasures [Save America's Treasures] and IMLS [Institute of Museum and Library Services] early to do an inventory and then to begin the processing of the Benjamin Mays papers, and so that--$$And when did you get that grant?$$The IMLS grant we received in 2004.$$Okay, so a year after you came.$$Yeah, a year after I came and we did our preliminary inventory of archival material there, with that grant and then to save the treasures grant we got two years ago, which has allowed me to hire two archivists, processing archivists, to begin to process the voluminous collection of papers of Dr. Benjamin Mays as president of Morehouse College.

William Akins

Academic administrator and educator during integration, William Charles Akins was born in 1932 in Austin, Texas. He attended segregated Blackshear Elementary School. He next went to Kealing Junior High School and then Anderson High School where he met W.B. Campbell who inspired him to become a principal. He graduated from Huston-Tillotson University with his B.A. degree in history in 1954 and received his M.A. degree from Prairie View A&M University in 1956. Akins also received his administrative certification from Southwest Texas State University.

In 1959, Akins began teaching at Anderson High School, his alma mater, also known as Old Anderson. Three years after beginning, he was recognized as Anderson’s Teacher of the Year. In 1964, Akins was selected to be the first African American teacher at Johnson High School, a recently desegregated school. In 1971, he returned to Anderson High School to serve as Assistant Principal where he served until it was closed due to busing desegregation laws. He was then transferred to Lanier High School before becoming the first principal of the new L.C. Anderson High School in 1973. Akins worked through conflicts to set the school on its feet. After leaving L.C. Anderson High School he assumed several central administration roles for the Austin Independent School District including Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs and Associate Superintendent for Development and Community Partnerships.

Akins received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Huston-Tillotson University in 1982. For his commitment to the Austin school district, in 1998, the district Board of Trustees voted to name Austin’s newest high school after Akins. The following year the groundbreaking ceremony for the W. Charles Akins High School was held and the school opened to more than 2,700 students.

Akins passed away on March 29, 2017 at age 84.

Accession Number

A2010.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/13/2010

Last Name

Akins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Charles

Schools

Huston-Tillotson University

Theodore Kealing Junior High School

Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy

L.C. Anderson High School

Prairie View A&M University

Texas State University

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Austin

HM ID

AKI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

California, Washington, D.C.

Favorite Quote

It Is Always Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/9/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Stew, Chocolate

Death Date

3/29/2017

Short Description

Academic administrator William Akins (1932 - 2017 ) was the founding principal of the integrated L.C. Anderson High School, and an administrator in the Austin Independent School District. In 2000, Akins High School was named in his honor.

Employment

Booker T. Washington High School

L.C. Anderson High School

Albert Sidney Johnston High School

Sidney Lanier High School

Austin Independent School District

KLRN-TV

Favorite Color

Brown, Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:1116,16:1488,21:3441,69:3813,74:11900,240:13664,352:14084,358:19292,445:19796,452:43780,787:46755,839:56820,984:57700,1001:59548,1023:62885,1078:67170,1143:67835,1152:68975,1165:75340,1379:86699,1515:102360,1756:110208,1834:110512,1839:123824,2046:152636,2439:168420,2693:187756,2890:208985,3171:209840,3181:230802,3415:247122,3629:250250,3653:252554,3706:276710,4128:277006,4133:278560,4160:285710,4226:288430,4290:297525,4467:299820,4505:301690,4538:312958,4681:315730,4717$0,0:2914,52:3666,60:5922,92:7050,103:8366,121:12300,150:14770,185:16650,196:19748,204:23654,259:24038,266:27130,279:28138,294:29062,307:29482,313:50246,595:54895,714:57028,757:59161,893:61450,905:91190,1269:91910,1326:92990,1343:98700,1376:102255,1499:106812,1572:118230,1709:120626,1741:126697,1813:128830,1833:129838,1849:130426,1857:130846,1863:132358,1889:133030,1899:138920,1961:139232,1983:139544,1988:140714,2000:141806,2019:151790,2224:152336,2232:152960,2241:153896,2257:160269,2308:160962,2318:161655,2330:162040,2336:166352,2419:170030,2444:172725,2519:173418,2532:174650,2570:174958,2582:177653,2623:180348,2705:180733,2711:182504,2733:192260,2858:192900,2871:193300,2877:197540,2963:198020,2970:206056,3062:209750,3092:211612,3114:212788,3131:215728,3218:229720,3451:238206,3538:239865,3577:246580,3741:248397,3781:254370,3813:256470,3845:257970,3874:259020,3889:261945,3975:274829,4113:279679,4199:285200,4213:290470,4276:291770,4300:301870,4386:302302,4424:312238,4589:312994,4647:326304,4802:326640,4807:330716,4858:331395,4867:332074,4876:332753,4884:350183,5072:351728,5091:353273,5107:354097,5116:358766,5173:359606,5185:360614,5201:363470,5264:363806,5269:365318,5361:375222,5443:375632,5449:375960,5454:376452,5461:380868,5518:381284,5523:382428,5537:388876,5652:402532,5808:403362,5820:408508,5917:408840,5926:415397,6053:417223,6086:423280,6125:424800,6154:425920,6172:430160,6276:430480,6281:431280,6300:434800,6381:439445,6409:439785,6414:444885,6522:445990,6536:449390,6600:450070,6614:450410,6619:450920,6626:453385,6660:456020,6719:457635,6761:464150,6790
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Akins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Akins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Akins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Akins remembers his mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Williams Akins talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Williams Akins describes his maternal relatives' complexions

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Akins describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Williams Akins talks about his parents' religious activities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Akins remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Akins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Akins describes the sights, sounds and smells of their childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Akins talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Akins describes his community in East Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers his neighbors' occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Akins describes his experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Akins recalls visiting his mother's white employers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Akins remembers Theodore Kealing Junior High School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Akins describes his paternal grandmother's home

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Akins talks about his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Akins remembers L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Akins recalls his aspiration to become a school principal

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Akins recalls his decision to attend Tillotson College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William Akins describes his freshman year at Tillotson College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Akins remembers his professors at Tillotson College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the establishment of Huston Tillotson College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Akins recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Akins describes his experiences on segregated trains

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Akins recalls his graduation from Huston Tillotson College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Akins remembers his search for a teaching position

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Akins describes how he joined the faculty of Booker T. Washington High School in Marlin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Akins describes his graduate education

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Akins recalls the mentorship of Hobart L. Gaines

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Akins remembers integrating the faculty of Albert Sidney Johnston High School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William Akins talks about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William Akins remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Akins remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Akins talks about the closure of L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Akins recalls his appointment as the principal of the new L.C. Anderson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Akins recalls the struggle to integrate L.C. Anderson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Akins describes the violence between students at L.C. Anderson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Akins describes his accomplishments as the principal of L.C. Anderson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Akins describes his role at the Austin Integrated School District

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Akins talks about his honorary doctorate from Huston Tillotson University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Akins describes his community service

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Akins remembers the founding of Akins High School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Akins reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Akins talks about his experiences as a high school football official

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Akins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Akins talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Akins shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Akins narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
William Akins remembers L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas
William Akins recalls the struggle to integrate L.C. Anderson High School
Transcript
So you go on to high school?$$Yes.$$And which high school?$$Anderson High School [L.C. Anderson High School, Austin, Texas].$$Is this the Old Anderson?$$Old Anderson, located on Pennsylvania Avenue. That's the high school. As a matter of fact, Kealing [Theodore Kealing Junior High School; Theodore Kealing Middle School, Austin, Texas] was right--a block from Anderson then. The new Kealing is still located in the same place. I was in the school district as one of the administrators when we rebuilt Kealing, and we put it back where it was. But the old Anderson building burned down, and there was a new Anderson building after I graduated, and it was built at 900 Thompson [Street]. And I don't want to get a little ahead of myself, but I became a teacher there at the new--at that time, the new Anderson High School. But going back to the old Anderson High School, I was in the band and we had great bands and we had strong teachers. Let me tell you about one particular teacher that had followed me, I'll say that (laughter). Mrs. L.E. Frazier [Lucille Frazier], outstanding English teacher, we were all afraid of her. She was small in stature, but good nonetheless. A strong disciplinarian, no question about it. She was at Blackshear [Blackshear Elementary School; Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy, Austin, Texas] when I was there, and I'll say, mean, mean (laughter). And lo and behold, when I got to Anderson, there she was again (laughter). A good teacher, though. We had to really write well and try to speak well and, you know, do your assignments. She, along with Mr. Timmons [Raymond Timmons], who was a geometry teacher--which I was pretty good in geometry, wasn't very good in math--and Mr. Isaac Chapman [ph.], and some of those. Mr. W.E. Pigford was the coach, the football coach when I was high school. I couldn't play football, but I loved it. I played it every opportunity I could get, sandlot. But he was a fine gentleman. He became principal later on, but he, while I was in high school he was coach. Mr. W.B. Campbell was our principal, who we admired dearly. He had been in World War I [WWI], and he was a captain in World War I. And, you know, reading all the stories, we couldn't imagine an African American being a captain in World War I, but he was. And big stately man, a great disciplinarian. He, too, had gone to the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan] to get his master's [degree]. And so, we admired Mr. Campbell. Walking down the hall, "Boy, get in the class." Miss Frazier and all those teachers were just--and then we had a science teacher that we loved dearly, and I want us to talk about him. (Laughter) His name was M.L. Pickard. Mr. Pickard was so enthusiastic about his work; he had humor all the time. I recall when he would write a formula in chemistry on the chalkboard, and he would not erase it with the eraser. He'd be so enthusiastic to go to the next point, he would like wave it with his sleeve and just keep on going. And we didn't think anything of it right then. But later on we said, "Hey, Mr. Pickard--." But we loved him because he had a little humor, he was an excellent teacher, and he made us good students. "Do your work." He didn't have to be the firm disciplinarian. Because of his subject matter, you became disciplined and you handled yourself and now--some teachers have this innate ability to make you feel good, and you like to go to class. He was such a teacher, M.L. Pickard. Anyway, I remember Mr. Pickard. All of them were good. Mr. C.P. Johnson was the social studies teacher that I admired and I wanted to be like. The first time I'd ever heard that there was a Morehouse College [Atlanta, Georgia] was in his class. I didn't know, I wasn't well read. I'd read newspapers and read our assignments, but I didn't know about Morehouse. I mean, in Austin [Texas], read the newspapers. He was a Morehouse man. He talked about it and got us all inspired about Morehouse. And then I began to think in terms of college, going to a university or going to a college when you get out of school. And they gave us kind of a thirst I think for learning. "Elevate your horizons. Be somebody. Go to school." And that's what I kind of I wanted to--I wanted to do that. When he said Anderson was a good school, I always thought it was a good school then. And even after I got out of there and came back to teach there, it still was a good school. And so, many of our students were inspired to move onward and upward, and to do your very best so you can become a professional and really be a credit, not only to your parents, to your family and to your community. So, I wanted to do that.$I want you to talk more about being a principal, an African American principal, in a school that has a majority of white children.$$Um-hm.$$What were some of the things that you had to face?$$The initial problem, in my judgment, was trying to get the kids to accept each other. Initially, the first two or three years, we had racial conflicts, pretty extensive fights. I wouldn't call it a war zone, but Austin [Texas] had trouble at all the schools when we initially integrated, before Anderson [L.C. Anderson High School, Austin, Texas] was built. They had tremendous fights at Reagan High School [John H. Reagan High School, Austin, Texas], where the kids were trying to accept each other. They didn't know each other, that's why. And McCallum High School [A.N. McCallum High School, Austin, Texas]--and we had a few at Lanier [Sidney Lanier High School, Austin, Texas] where I was an assistant. Well, at Anderson High School, when it opened, the kids who were brought there didn't go--old Anderson had been closed since '71 [1971]. The new Anderson at 8403 Mesa [Drive] was opened in '73 [1973], so it wasn't too much time in between there. So the youngsters who formerly attended old Anderson, 900 Thompson [Street], who living in the Booker T. Washington projects [Booker T. Washington Terraces, Austin, Texas], they were bussed into northwest Austin each day. That created hostility from the very beginning, because they didn't want to be bussed. First of all, they didn't want the school to be closed, and then they didn't want to be bussed there. Then some of the youngsters who were at--the white youngsters who were there--many of them had been students at McCallum and many of them had been students at Lanier. And I suspect their parents felt like they were probably safe from so much of this movement. But that wasn't so, because these kids were being bussed in every day from the Booker T. Washington units over on Thompson Street. Well, they were not. They were coming from disadvantaged situations, and their backgrounds were not as the backgrounds of those middle-class and upper middle-class youngsters. And so, there was a clash. And so one of the great challenges we had was to get the faculty together with me and the community to see if we couldn't, through our human relations efforts, to bring those kids together so they could know each other and to appreciate each other and respect each other. And that took a while, but I was very fortunate to have a lot of help. We had some parents from East Austin [Austin, Texas], and some of the ministers came in to assist me. And the district [Austin Independent School District] had mandated that we would all have human relations committees, parent committees, student committees, community committees. And all of that together, I think helped us to get through the first two or three years, which we had some difficulty. Okay, then the other thing was--and I think the school district, they were very nice to me, because they allowed me to help select my faculty, and that was really a joy. I was able to bring in some people who I had known and who had respected me, I thought (laughter.) And they did. So, I brought in some of my friends with whom I had taught at other places. For example, I brought in Mr. Charlie Weiser [ph.], who I had known as a fellow teacher down at Johnston [Albert Sidney Johnston High School, Austin, Texas]. The secretary from Johnston, she was nice to me. She came to be my secretary. They sent in another young man that I had not known, but he came in as another assistant principal. And then I was able to get a counselor that I had known. I brought in two counselors that I had known. I brought in some teachers that I had known. I had about seven or eight African American teachers on my faculty with me, with the other hundred or so from the other schools. And so, I had a faculty that was really supportive. Initially some of them were not, of course, and they were not accustomed to having an African American as their supervisor. I understood that, and so we had to work with that. We had to let them know that I wanted to be fair, and I wanted to be objective and open. And I wanted them to respect me, as I was going to sure respect them. And over time, my faculty was very supportive, and I appreciated them. As a matter of fact, I have friends even today that we still communicate and visit. So, that worked out fine finally. Now, some of the parents were a little hesitant, of course; you would imagine that they would be. We had some rather affluent parents in the area, and then we had some that were not so affluent, but who wanted to be, and who wanted to carry themselves as if they were. I could see through some of that. Many of them were critical of my administration, of course. It, it, would be shown in various ways. Discipline--my tendency is to be relatively mild mannered, but I've always been a pretty good disciplinarian. We had, we had school, but the fights occurred. And the building was three stories, and supervision was somewhat difficult, but we tried to man it so that we could be in position to stop the fights before they would occur and to be a deterrent. They wanted to work with the student leaders to get together and--, "Let's have little Coke [Coca-Cola] parties together. Let's talk about our problems during the day, and let's see how we can reach some common ground." And so, finally we did that. Our band program came together, our cheerleaders came together, and our football team came together. And so, we had all the ingredients to have a top school. Why wouldn't we? We had some affluence, a great amount of affluence. We had very bright students, and we had some students who wanted to be in a setting and wanted to improve themselves. And we had some students who did not have strong backgrounds, but they had come to Anderson and they too wanted to deport themselves better. And so, our quest was to get them together. We sought as a theme the pursuit of excellence, from the very beginning. And with the ingredients that's there, we should be the top school in the district. There was no question about it; we should have been, and I think we were. And even today, Anderson is still among the very top schools in the district, because that clientele has not changed appreciatively. We have fewer African American students now than we had then. And I stayed there right at ten years. I would have made my tenth year, but they moved me to central office. But I had some good years. I had some trying times, of course, I wouldn't deny that. But I grew as a person and as an administrator, and even as a teacher. And I worked with the community, and it worked out.

Robert Wright

Dimensions International, Inc., founder and chairman emeritus Robert Lee Wright was born on March 17, 1937, in Columbus, Georgia, to a bricklayer and a nurse. After graduating from high school, Wright went on to attend Ohio State University where he became classmates with future world class athletes Bob Ferguson and Mel Noel. Wright graduated in 1960 from Ohio State University College of Optometry with his degree in optometry. He returned to Georgia where he began practicing as an optometrist.

Upon his return home to Georgia, Wright became deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1965, he participated in the Selma to Montgomery March. Then, in 1968, Wright’s career interest changed to politics when he was recruited by the Republican Party to run for Columbus City Council. He won and was re-elected three times before being appointed to the position of Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development by President Ronald Reagan. After two years of working with the Reagan Administration, Wright resigned, and in 1985, he founded Dimensions International, Inc. Through Dimensions International, Wright began providing leading-edge technology to the government and private sector in the fields of systems engineering, information technology, and airspace management. A core subsidiary of Dimensions International is Flight Explorer, the leading provider of web-based global flight tracking information. Under Wright’s leadership, Dimensions International grew to a multimillion dollar defense contractor, listed amongst Black Enterprise’s 100.

Wright was chairman of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and of the Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Since 1999, he has been a director of Aflac, Inc. He has received many awards and recognitions, including the 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Technology Services; the Man of the Year of the National Federation of Black Women Business Owners; the 2007 Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award; the NAACP Achievement Award; and the Push Excellence Award.

Accession Number

A2008.077

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/1/2008

Last Name

Wright

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Spencer High School

Fifth Avenue School

The Ohio State University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

WRI04

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Richard Holmes

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rome, Italy

Favorite Quote

What Is, Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

3/17/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Alexandria

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pudding (Banana)

Short Description

Technology chief executive, civil rights activist, and city council member Robert Wright (1937 - ) was the founder and chairman emeritus of Dimensions International, Inc., a leading information technology and airspace management solutions provider. Wright participated in the Selma to Montgomery March, and worked in the Reagan administration after serving four terms in the Columbus, Georgia, city council.

Employment

Self-Employed

Columbus Council

U.S. Small Business Administration

Dimensions International, Inc.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1512,69:1932,80:31230,577:36270,670:36750,684:37710,699:38110,709:38430,714:46520,781:50345,810:64589,1028:67901,1099:88444,1221:91800,1238:92892,1248:103124,1375:107410,1413:107950,1420:108580,1429:117570,1507:120460,1568:121055,1576:130130,1668:131490,1689:132085,1697:143305,1947:146730,1961$0,0:14509,274:68578,990:68930,995:71130,1030:90991,1250:101786,1367:102474,1377:103850,1400:106000,1427:108064,1455:123650,1570:126700,1589:127610,1600:142534,1875:150834,1941:151758,1955:156240,1996:161314,2088:163034,2119:172330,2157:182956,2220:184441,2247:210386,2595:211025,2611:211593,2620:236540,2885:241140,3082
DAStories

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Wright describes his mother's community in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Wright describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Wright describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Wright describes his parents' personalities, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Wright describes his parents' personalities, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Wright describes his father's career in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Wright describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Wright describes the influence of Fort Benning on Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Wright describes his neighborhood in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Wright describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Wright recalls serving on a presidential commission with Hank Aaron

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Wright describes his early activities in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Wright describes his early academic interests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Wright remembers the Fifth Avenue School in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Wright remembers William H. Spencer High School in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Wright recalls his favorite music from his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Wright recalls his early experiences of watching television

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Wright remembers racial discrimination in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Wright recalls his decision to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Wright remembers his studies at The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Wright recalls his community at The Ohio State University, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Wright recalls his community at The Ohio State University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Wright recalls returning to Columbus, Georgia after college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Wright recalls his optometry practice in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Wright describes his civil rights and political activities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Wright recalls joining the Republican Party in Columbus, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Wright recalls his work with Republican politicians in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Wright remembers serving on the U.S. Small Business Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Wright describes the growth of the U.S. Small Business Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Wright describes his achievements at the U.S. Small Business Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Wright remembers founding Dimensions International, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Wright describes his career at Dimensions International, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Wright describes his achievements in business

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Wright describes his philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Wright describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Wright reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Wright reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Wright reflects upon his family

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Wright describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Robert Wright describes his achievements at the U.S. Small Business Administration
Robert Wright remembers founding Dimensions International, Inc.
Transcript
Now you were at the SBA [U.S. Small Business Administration] for two years. We were mentioning off-screen Sonicraft [Sonicraft, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] as being one of the--in Chicago [Illinois] as being one of the minority-owned businesses that you helped fund, you know. And quite a few businesses got big contracts, you know.$$Oh, yeah, yeah, quite a few businesses got huge contracts and, you know, I was instrumental in trying to get some of those contracts. The idea being if you get the contract, you can hire the people, you can bring the expertise, you can grow a business, you can make that business competitive so that when you can't bid for these or get these kind of contracts, you have a, a good foundation in which to grow your business on a competitive basis. That was the whole idea. We provide management, technical assistance. In some instances, we provided equipment to firms, so it was a great opportunity in my opinion for minority businesses to really get a step up.$$So the rewarding of contracts based largely on the management capacity of the business and what it's able to--$$Yeah, to a great extent and expertise to be able to handle the work. You, now, we wouldn't give a contract to make a, a highly technical electronic gadget to a guy who's a barber. That's not his expertise. Not taking anything away from that profession, but it's just not his expertise. But--so, the people that got contracts should've had some type of background that would lend itself to the contract that they were getting, either by having worked for someone else, having the degrees in that, or having a business that had grown up in that industry. Which is interesting because ultimately what I did in my business [Dimensions International, Inc.] is totally different from what I was trained to do (laughter).$$Right. It was--I was listening to you talk, I say, well, now. So, but, now, now you were, you were at SBA for two years.$$I was.$Now, what happened that you decided to--was it--and I guess I'm, you know--now, I'm thinking as I'm hearing you tell this story, so you're awarding these million dollar contracts to people and you see what it takes to get these contracts, and you're working on a government salary. You're thinking, well, heck, if I can get on the other side of this--is that what you thought?$$No, that was not my driver when I started Dimensions [Dimensions International, Inc.]. As a matter of fact, when I left the government I did not start Dimensions right away. I had no intentions for going into the government contracting business. I became a consultant to try to continue to help other firms get government business, try to help other firms get through the maze of the SBA [U.S. Small Business Administration] machinery so to speak. So I had, no, no, no--so I wasn't motivated by, oh, that's the way they're doing it, let me get out and do it to. But, I started a consulting business and at some point in time I got--I had several clients but unfortunately they all didn't pay me and that created--that was--presented problems for me. I'm going out helping a guy get a contract and, you know, and I'm need to be paid or help to do some marketing, or open a door and, or whatever. And, so I decided, well, maybe I need to look at this a different way. So, it was at least two years after I left the government before I really started, you know, taking a look at the government in terms of an opportunity for myself.$$Okay, so by 1984, I guess, then that you--so, well, really you started Dimensions International in '85 [1985] but I guess you started planning, you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Around '85 [1985] is when I really began to change the concept 'cause I started out as Bob Wright and Associates as a consulting firm. But then I began to--took on a new name with a different focus around '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And that's when I formed Dimensions International, and eventually incorporated as Dimensions International.$$Okay, now what did Dimensions do, basically?$$To start off I was just--I was in management consulting, doing studies, surveys, you know, things like that. And then one day, a firm that had outgrown the 8(a) Program [8(a) Business Development Program], the Shelton Market [ph.] was about to--then I eventually went into the 8(a) Program myself. I'm trying to get my story straight. And I went in as a management consulting firm. Eventually, this firm that was running computers for the [U.S.] Department of Agriculture had outgrown their ability to get this particular computer contract. And they asked me would I become the prime on that contract, they had the expertise and they would become a subcontractor to me. Well, that's a win-win for everybody. It's a win-win for their company because they're able to keep part of the business. It's a win for me because I'm able to get into a business I'm not in already with someone who's in it to provide the expertise. You see what I mean? And so, I was able to get into that contract--

Charles Teamer, Sr.

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. was born on May 20, 1933 in Shelby, North Carolina to B.T. Teamer and Mary Teamer. He received his B.S. degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, and later received his M.A. degree from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Teamer worked in the office of the business manager at South Carolina State University in 1954. He then became assistant business manager at Tennessee State University in 1958; and, in 1962, Teamer was hired as business manager at Wiley College. In 1965, Teamer became vice president of finance at Dillard University and was promoted to chief financial officer in 1968. In 1983, he was appointed by Louisiana Governor David Treen as the first African American on the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. From 1985 to 1988, Teamer served as the national president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1993, Teamer co-founded the Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman. He later retired from Dillard University in 1997, and continued to work as a consultant to Clark Atlanta University. In 2001, Teamer led a partnership of investors in opening The Cotton Exchange and Holiday Inn Express Hotel in downtown New Orleans, and became president of the World Trade Center of New Orleans in 2003.

Former executive director of the Amistad Research Center and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, Teamer has held numerous board appointments on the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, the Ford Foundation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Common Fund, the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers, the Ochsner Medical Foundation and the Audubon Institute. Teamer also served as board chair for the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Metropolitan Area Committee, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the United Way. He was a member of the business and higher-education council for the University of New Orleans and served on the board of the Southern Education Foundation. Teamer was president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers and vice president of fiscal affairs at Dillard University and Clark Atlanta University. He was a member of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and was on the board of administrators of Tulane University. Teamer was also the director of Entergy New Orleans.

Teamer was married for forty-seven years to the late Mary Dixon Teamer. They have three children: Charles, Jr., Roderic, Sr. and Cheryl. Teamer has six grandchildren.

Charles Teamer, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 and April 27, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.061

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2008

3/28/2008 |and| 4/27/2019

Last Name

Teamer

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Cleveland School

Tulane University

J.C. Price High School

University of Nebraska-Omaha

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Shelby

HM ID

TEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Any Golf Course

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

5/20/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Banker and civic leader Charles Teamer, Sr. (1933 - ) served as chief financial officer at Dillard University for over thirty years and co-founded Dryades Savings Bank and served as chairman.

Employment

Texas Southern University

Wiley College

Dillard University

Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B.

Tennessee State University

South Carolina State College

Clark Atlanta University

World Trade Center

U.S. Army

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black and Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:770,16:1694,54:2002,59:3311,133:6880,166:7280,171:14080,259:14580,265:21454,314:21718,319:25084,432:25678,442:27394,485:27790,492:28780,511:30364,548:31486,586:59486,843:69250,973:69775,981:70900,1000:71725,1015:82764,1137:86820,1176:98286,1291:99294,1306:99726,1313:115490,1550:116290,1563:116690,1569:119490,1613:131256,1781:136559,1841:137126,1849:137450,1854:150328,1983:151960,2017:152708,2026:154680,2059:164135,2198:164475,2207:165750,2234:170808,2280:171116,2285:171501,2291:172040,2300:172502,2308:172887,2314:185650,2513:186574,2523:191870,2565$0,0:666,25:5106,148:8325,248:9102,256:16612,380:17404,392:18052,402:20850,418:31900,558:32290,564:33772,584:42981,749:43366,755:46138,809:46754,824:49130,830:49922,850:52990,871:53234,876:53722,887:54027,893:54515,902:55491,927:58053,989:70904,1151:77600,1230:77900,1235:83300,1368:83825,1377:84650,1392:85325,1403:90800,1475:91625,1492:92375,1505:96141,1515:98066,1549:99914,1584:100530,1594:103240,1608:107676,1629:110050,1640:110809,1665:111430,1675:111706,1680:118544,1769:119156,1779:119904,1794:121128,1864:123100,1925:123576,1933:126228,2042:132098,2079:132616,2088:132912,2093:141570,2259:148960,2307:149404,2315:149996,2325:150884,2334:151180,2339:158194,2408:158579,2414:161428,2457:164592,2484:166209,2493:176400,2552:177048,2561:177615,2575:179559,2605:180288,2616:180936,2625:181260,2630:182811,2639:184116,2656:185508,2674:186030,2681:197495,2800:208290,2913:211060,2925:215000,2971
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Teamer, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his induction into the Masonry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Boy Scouts of America, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the Cleveland County Training School in Shelby, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Joe Louis' boxing matches

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his early awareness of African American history

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers J.C. Price High School in Salisbury, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls the faculty of Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the influence of communism

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his teachers at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers his U.S. Army service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes interstate travel during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls a sit-in at the Hotel Marshall in Marshall, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers Hobart S. Jarrett

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the influence of African American leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. remembers moving to New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. talks about the Mardi Gras krewe of Rex

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his introduction to corporate board service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls serving on the Boy Scouts of America council

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls working at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls founding the Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls his work for Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the impact of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his role as grand sire of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes for New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his work with the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Teamer, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Teamer, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Teamer, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Charles Teamer, Sr. describes the role of Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Charles Teamer, Sr. recalls acquiring the Historic Cotton Exchange in New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcript
Fast forwarding back to New Orleans [Louisiana] as we talk about the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana] and where we're going, a part of the role that I see is that the p- the percentage of people in the community who are underserved still remain. They're unbanked. And especially as we talk about rebuilding the community, you've been here for several days now and you've driven through the city and you recognize that you can be in a--what we would call a pretty good neighborhood, you're on one street, it seems to be growing and prospering, you go on the next street it's like, is this the same neighborhood? The patterns are so unpredictable. Let me give you an example. As I told you my wife [Mary Dixon Teamer] passed away in 2004. The storm [Hurricane Katrina] occurred in 2005. I had not completed the succession of the estate when, when the storm occurred. If something had happened to me, my children would've been in a terrible problem because the estate would still be open and the question would be who actually owns the property. If you transform that to people who are less informed you find incident after incident where the title to the property is unclear. New Orleans is a very old city. Its traditions are very old, so you might have generations of people living in the same house and they do not know where the title is. In the 9th Ward [New Orleans, Louisiana], for example, I'm told, that there's home after home in which the mortgages had been paid, the people have been there for years, there was no flood insurance. So flood insurance is mandatory when you have a mortgage, well if you don't have a mortgage you have no flood insurance and obviously then you're not gonna have any wind in- wind storm insurance. So consequently, the problems of redeveloping these properties becomes even more severe. What we are doing looking for innovative ways to serve the people in our community to, to, to, to come up with new products, but maybe more than new products just to be available to work and talk with the people in our community on a one-to-one basis. While everybody wants to use the Internet and the computer, the challenge is that the people who really need the services probably are not computer savvy. So that means that the cost of doing business is a little more expensive for hands on, but that's the only way we're gonna do it. And so what we're trying to do is create a way to do what needs to be done in our community while at the same time being a profitable and viable institution.$Tell me about the Cotton Exchange [Historic Cotton Exchange, New Orleans, Louisiana] and the Holiday Inn Express, now you were--$$Happy to.$$Okay.$$When we developed the franchise, the bank [Dryades Savings Bank, F.S.B., New Orleans, Louisiana], I learned from actually our congressman, [HistoryMaker] William Jefferson, that there were opportunities available for us in terms of purchase of buildings that had housed banks by the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. And through my relationships with people in the real estate business, I identified two or three properties of which this was one, this--that we would be interested in. One day somebody came and said to me, Charlie Teamer [HistoryMaker Charles Teamer, Sr.] there's some--there's a white group interested in your building, so to speak. So I decided that I would make an inquiry. I went to my bank, the bank that I was doing business with and talked with the people there and said I'm interested in purchasing the Cotton Exchange. No, I said I need a half million dollars. They in turn said, "What are you gonna do?" I said, "I'm gonna put a bid on the Cotton Exchange building." Because of my experience with them and having been a customer for a long time, they realized that the Cotton Exchange building was worth more than I was gonna pay for it. So they said, "We'll cover you." So I led a group of investors. We bought the building that we're in for considerably less than $500,000, eight story building, it was empty at the time. We purchased the building, moved the bank into the building, leased the first two floors to the bank for ninety-nine years, and decided that we would do something else with floors three through eight. We tried a number of things. We wanted to, to develop something like the Equal Opportunity [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] building in New York [New York], you know, where the United--where the Negro College Fund [United Negro College Fund] and Urban League [National Urban League] and all--but we weren't able to do that. So the first couple of years, three or four years, the third through the eighth floor was vacant. And then one day one of my acquaintances came in and said, you know, we are in the process of developing empty buildings, boutique hotels, and therefore, we'd like to develop a hotel in this building, floors three through eight. We created a partnership with three groups, our Cotton Exchange partners, one, which own this building to create a hotel. We sold floors one through two to our partnership, invested three through eight into a new partnership, bought the building next door and created a hotel, which we call the Cotton Exchange Hotel, it's a Holiday Inn franchise. So we are one-third owners of the hotel property that is next door. So therefore, we own these two floors and we're one-third owners of the building next door.$$Okay, okay.$$So we are substantial hoteliers in downtown New Orleans [Louisiana].

The Honorable Norman Rice

Norman Blann Rice, born on May 4, 1943 in Denver, Colorado, was the 49th mayor of Seattle, Washington. Rice was Seattle’s first and only African American mayor. Rice is the youngest son of Irene Hazel Johnson (1913-1993) and Otha Patrick Rice (1916-1993). Rice’s father worked as a porter on the railroads and for the United States Postal Service. He was also the owner and operator of Rice’s Tap Room and Oven in Denver. Rice’s mother was a caterer and a bank clerk. Rice’s parents divorced when he was a teenager. His grandmother, Reverend Susie Whitman (1895-1989), Assistant Pastor at Seattle’s First A.M.E. Church, was one of the first western women ministers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After graduating from Denver’s Manual High School in 1961, Rice attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. Distressed by the segregated housing and meal facilities and frustrated by the work load, he dropped out in his second year and went to work. Between 1963 and 1969, Rice held jobs as a hospital orderly, a meter reader and an engineer’s assistant. Rice arrived in Seattle in 1969 and restarted his education at Highline Community College and received his A.A. degree in 1970. Then, he attended the University of Washington through the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP). By 1972, Rice had earned his B.A. degree in communications and in 1974 his M.A. degree in public administration at the University of Washington.

Before entering city government, Rice worked as a reporter at KOMO-TV News and KIXI Radio, served as Assistant Director of the Seattle Urban League, was Executive Assistant and Director of Government Services for the Puget Sound Council of Governments and was employed as the Manager of Corporate Contributions and Social Policy at Rainier National Bank. Rice was first elected to the Seattle City Council in 1978 and reelected in 1979, 1983 and 1987, serving eleven years in all. Rice served as Mayor of Seattle from 1990 to 1997. Because of his warm personality and easy smile, he was affectionately known as “Mayor Nice.” From 1995 to 1996, Mayor Rice served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, an association of more than a thousand of America’s largest cities.

After nineteen years of public service in Seattle city government, Rice served as president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from 1998 to 2004. Rice was also Vice Chairman of Capital Access, LLC. Rice returned to academia in 2007 as a visiting professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, where he is to lead a series of public seminars on Civic Engagement for the 21st Century.

Rice married Constance Williams on February 15, 1973. They have one adult son, Mian Rice, and one grandchild, Sekoy Elliott Rice.

Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.300

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2007

Last Name

Rice

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Manual High School

University of Washington

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington

Wyman Elementary School

Morey Middle School

University of Colorado Boulder

First Name

Norman

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

RIC15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The Best Is Yet To Come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

5/4/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Norman Rice (1943 - ) was the first African American elected as the mayor of Seattle, Washington. Rice also served eleven years on the Seattle City Council and as a visiting professor at the University of Washington.

Employment

Denver General Hospital

Public Service Company of Colorado

International Business Machines (IBM)

KIXI Radio

J.C. Penney Company

KOMO-TV

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

KCTS-TV

Puget Sound Council of Governments

Rainier National Bank

Seattle City Council

Seattle Office of the Mayor

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:333,2:1554,16:5772,99:9324,211:12654,249:13320,256:14097,264:20011,279:20620,287:21490,300:24187,339:25753,365:28798,469:45114,605:45682,610:47244,622:49920,639:53348,675:53996,684:54563,693:55373,706:56588,736:60152,792:63554,847:64202,856:73166,964:73496,970:75476,1018:76994,1060:77456,1072:78908,1115:79436,1123:80162,1137:83660,1216:85508,1270:87620,1319:88082,1327:94335,1375:94595,1381:94855,1386:103630,1570:113186,1748:115232,1797:117014,1837:117278,1842:117740,1850:118136,1858:120644,1924:121238,1934:124440,1939$0,0:15229,216:26017,414:26761,423:33697,496:34061,501:34516,507:37246,551:38793,572:43525,647:43980,653:44344,658:47668,682:48053,688:48900,700:49285,707:49747,714:52082,735:53442,764:53714,769:57454,853:57726,858:59834,919:61194,945:61602,952:62622,969:63166,979:72668,1088:73242,1096:74718,1123:76522,1155:77096,1164:80849,1181:84065,1248:84936,1264:85472,1274:85874,1281:86142,1286:86611,1294:87080,1305:90430,1382:95254,1509:99700,1524:100720,1552:104330,1618
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Norman Rice's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his parents' restaurant

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his neighborhood in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interests

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the influence of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the importance of storytelling

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the television programs of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Wyman Elementary School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interest in politics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes Morey Junior High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Manual High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his experiences at Manual High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the aftermath of his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his experiences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers a patient at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working for the Public Service Company of Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as an engineer's assistant at IBM

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his internship at KIXI Radio in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as a news editor at KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his studies at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls becoming assistant director of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the civil rights issues in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the protests at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his study for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the 'Thursday Forum' on KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his role at the Puget Sound Council of Governments

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his decision to run for the Seattle City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his campaign for the Seattle City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his unsuccessful political campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his election as the mayor of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about mandatory busing in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the support for his mayoral campaign in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the Rainbow Coalition's support for his mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his appeal to voters

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his educational summit

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his civic career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his educational achievements as mayor of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as a news editor at KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington
The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his educational summit
Transcript
I stayed out of work for about a quarter, which actually helped me 'cause it kept me on track with school [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington]. And then, I got a job at KOMO-TV [Seattle, Washington] writing news and editing film for the eleven o'clock news, and also keeping track of the film library, taking the news and, and documenting it. Had some amazing days when it used to have tape--makes you go look for tape--I, I mean, film, rather--and you go look for a roll to use, and the film would emulsify, you know what I mean, it just, oh, it was fun. But, anyway, I worked there, had a very interesting time to, uh, and learning experience also. The most profound time was when, at the time, there were a lot of the black contractors, and the whole issue was getting high about hiring blacks on construction type sites. And I remember once the--I looked at a show. I was editing the film, and they were showing the white contractors fighting black contractors, and I kept saying, "That's not the story." I kept saying, "Why don't you go down to the union hall and say, 'Why aren't you hiring African American, you know, workers?'" And the guy, who was writing the story said, "That's not the story." And it was kind of at that point, I realized that, you know, I don't think I'll be a reporter because that's what the editor is going to tell me, you know, that when the truth of what you want to get to as a reporter, may not ever manifest itself in, in a news story. And the news story's always going to be for this moment and this time.$$The sensational aspect (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yep, and unless you're in control, as the editor or you're--own the station, you're not going to make change. And I realized that if I was going to come into that station, I would either--gonna be spending all my time arguing with my colleagues for why they aren't telling the truth, or I need to do something else.$You were talking about the educational summit, then, the--now how, how soon after you were elected [mayor of Seattle, Washington] that you (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The--we assembled, we, the summit came about--I, I took, like office in, how we say, '90 [1990], January '90 [1990]. The summit took place in April of '90 [1990]. We planned for, on a wonderful day in April, we assembled some two thousand people. What we did is we asked them to state for us, if you could look five years beyond today, what kind of, what would be a positive educational system? And we took those values that they used. We hooked up thirty-six sites with computers, inputted all their information into a single computer, calibrated that, and collated that, and came back the next day with, here's what we think you said. And then, we got validation that people agreed that's what they said. And then, we developed action plans where we got people involved on task forces to come up with three recommendations to achieve those goals. So, it was interactive, it was dynamic, it was a process that said, we asked you to tell us what you want. We came back and said, showed you that we had listened. And then, we asked you to come back, and be involved in the solution, rather than walking away. And that really set the tone for my administration on everything I did. And so, that was the civic engagement and the openness of the Rice [HistoryMaker Norman Rice] administration. And I think, made us so successful, so that by the time, I ran for reelection, I think I got elected with 60 something, plus percent.

Kenneth G. Rodgers

Artist and art historian Kenneth Gerald Rodgers was born on October 22, 1949 in Siler City, North Carolina to Cornelia and Johnnie Rodgers, a data entry operator and laborer, respectively. Rodgers’ uncle inspired him to begin drawing at the age of seven, and Rodgers became a young caricaturist. He graduated from Chatham High School in 1967 and received a scholarship to attend North Carolina A&T State University where he majored in art design. At North Carolina A&T State University, Rodgers learned the technical aspects of drawing, painting, design and color, and he mastered skills in still life and portraiture. Rodgers graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1971 with his B.S. degree in art design and, in 1972, became a graduate assistant at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery where he studied exhibition design, mounting and crafting. He received his M.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1973.

Rodgers’ academic career progressed in 1974 when he was named director of the art program at Voorhees College. Leaving Voorhees in 1977, he assumed the position of assistant professor of art at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 1984, Rodgers began the "Art of the Modern World" series in Ocean City, Maryland. In 1990, he joined the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and was charged with conserving, promoting and interpreting the history of black Marylanders and became chairman of the commission in 1993. As chairman, he supervised the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, Maryland. Also in 1993, Rodgers was named associate professor of African American Art History at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and was also named Artist-in-Residence at Mesa State College in Colorado.

In 1996, Rodgers became director of the North Carolina Central University Art Museum, which houses the largest collection of African American art in the state. In this capacity, Rodgers served as organizer and curator of several high profile exhibits including Edward Mitchell Bannister: American Landscape Artist, Re-connecting Roots: The Silver Anniversary Alumni Invitational, Charles White: American Draughtsman, Elizabeth Catlett: Master Printmaker and William H. Johnson: Revisiting an African American Modernist. In 2006, Rodgers was named Professor of Art and Director of the North Carolina University Art Museum. He has published several art compilations including William H. Johnson: Revisiting an African American Modernist and Climbing Up the Mountain: The Modern Art of Malvin Gray Johnson. Rodgers painted the official portrait of the first African American member of the North Carolina Council of State and the first African American State Auditor for North Carolina, Ralph Campbell. Rodgers has received numerous research grants and awards including: a National Endowment for the Humanities for study at the Vatican Museums and the American Academy in Rome, a Fulbright-Hays Study Abroad award for research in Kenya and Tanzania, and grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Duke-Semans Fine Arts Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation to support museum exhibitions and programs.

Rodgers is the father of two and lives in North Carolina with his wife, Shielda Glover Rodgers.

Kenneth Rodgers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 22, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.184

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/22/2007

Last Name

Rodgers

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Jordan-Matthews High School

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Kenneth

Birth City, State, Country

Siler City

HM ID

ROD04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Nobody's Exempt.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/22/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Tacos, Fajitas

Short Description

Fine artist, curator, art history professor, and museum director Kenneth G. Rodgers (1949 - ) taught at many universities, and in 2006, was named Professor of Art and Director of the North Carolina University Art Museum. He was a part of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and was charged with conserving, promoting and interpreting the history of black Marylanders.

Employment

North Carolina Central University

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Voorhees College

Florida A&M University

South Carolina State University

Favorite Color

Black

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Kenneth G. Rodgers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his maternal great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his neighborhood in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes himself as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the racial tensions in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers Corinth A.M.E. Zion Church in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes Chatham High School in Siler City, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his decision to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his first week of college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his first painting experiences in college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his art courses at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his political and social involvement in college

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the uprising after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his decision to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his first class in graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the facilities at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his artistic influences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his experiences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls applying to the North Carolina Museum of Art

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his experiences at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers shares his favorite memories with his children

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers exhibiting at the Orangeburg Festival of Roses

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his painting, 'Cardplayers'

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers talks about his favorite artists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his own artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his position at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers his exhibition of Edward Mitchell Bannister's work

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his neighborhood in Princess Anne, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kenneth G. Rodgers remembers the Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at North Carolina Central University Art Museum

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his exhibition of Charles Wilbert White's work

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls his exhibition of Elizabeth Catlett's work

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Kenneth G. Rodgers describes the work of Malvin Gray Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Kenneth G. Rodgers recalls the exhibition 'Raising Renee and Other Themes'

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Kenneth G. Rodgers reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Kenneth G. Rodgers reflects upon his artistic inspiration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Kenneth G. Rodgers narrates his photographs

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his own artwork
Kenneth G. Rodgers describes his position at North Carolina Central University Art Museum
Transcript
Describe another one of your favorite paintings, one you crafted yourself.$$Some years ago, I did a piece depicting two musicians, a cornet player, who happened to be on the right side of the painting, and another African musician playing his version of the xylophone, and the actual name of the instrument escapes me at the moment, but that was a work that allowed me not only to look at physiognomy, but it allowed me to look at these musical instruments and manipulate all kinds of modeling and shading effects as well. The unfortunate thing is that I did complete it and it was able to get into a major exhibit and I looked forward to getting it back, however it was purchased. And I really have mixed feelings about it, and you know it happens a lot with artists.$$What exhibit was it a part of?$$It was an exhibit at the J.B. Speed Art Museum [J.B. Speed Memorial Museum; Speed Art Museum] in Louisville, Kentucky. An exact title escapes me at the moment. But I think frequently artists are faced with this dilemma. Works of art become a part of you and you don't want to let go, but in the case of someone like, like myself, I don't produce work to sell it. I've never thought about it that way. I produce it because I like to do it. And, well that just happened to be a unique situation.$$Do you have any art that captures life in the South, either capturing relationships between white southerners and black southerners?$$I do not. I haven't really looked at that dynamic, but it's something that I plan to do. And I think I should say that one of the reasons I haven't done so is because I'm a bit of a hybrid, in that I'm doing curatorial work while trying to become a painter, and notice my expression, I'll still learning how to paint to the extent that some things have simply fallen through the cracks to coin the expression.$When you left Maryland, what year was that?$$I came to North Carolina in 1996.$$Why?$$I came here primarily because I heard about North Carolina Central University [Durham, North Carolina] and the fact that they had an exhibition space that was larger than the one that I currently worked at [at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland]. So I came to North Carolina Central University as director of their art museum [North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham, North Carolina].$$And what's your first memory?$$My first memory is my meeting with my board of directors, and thinking about the challenges that I might have in terms of putting together a body of programming that would do justice to the university, of course, would satiate the board members, but that would also continue this notion that I always had of pulling these artists out from the shadows and presenting them. So that first memories was of that meeting was my first, my very first meeting of the board.$$What was your first accomplishment in that role?$$I think the first accomplishment, certainly from the board's perspective, was to ensure them that they had made the right decision in, in bringing me along, that I would be faithful to the mission of the university, of the university museum.$$What was the mission?$$To promote, conserve and present African American art.$$So what, tell me the artists and the paintings you provide.$$Well, we had already at the museum the nucleus of a broad section of African American artists that we could build on. Almost all of the major artists were there, minus one or two.$$Who were they?$$There were the 19th century icons, Edward Mitchell Bannister, Henry Tanner [Henry Ossawa Tanner], Robert Scott Duncanson. There was also a generous representation of WPA [Works Progress Administration; Work Projects Administration] era artists. There were contemporary artists, including MacArthur winners [MacArthur Fellowship]. So the notion was to use these artists as a point of departure and to develop the (unclear) exhibits around what was already there. And I think we've probably been able to do that in, in some measure.$$What was the most startling experience for you?$$Well, I think the most startling experience might have been attempting to reconcile realistic acquisitions, plan and budget against what was in place because essentially there was not very much in place for acquisition so the, the first call of order is to add to the collection, and if you have the nucleus of, of works from various periods, how do you then add to those, and where do you, more importantly, get the monies from to do it?