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Anthony Reed

Marathoner Anthony R. Reed was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 2, 1955. At the age of eight, Reed was diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition. He graduated from John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 1973. Reed graduated from Webster University with his B.A. degrees in mathematics and business management in 1978. After enrolling at Abilene Christian University in Dallas, Reed received his M.B.A. degree in business administration in 1982. He went on to earn his M.S. degree in accounting and his certification in supply chain management from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992 and 2008, respectively. Reed is a Certified Public Accountant and certified Project Management Professional.

In 1977, Reed began his professional career as a computer programmer. He moved from St. Louis to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in 1978, and worked in IT management and executive positions for various Dallas-based organizations. In these roles, Reed was responsible for overseeing US or worldwide information technology applications. As an adjunct professor, Reed taught management, IT, accounting, and project management courses; and has authored over fifty books and articles. Since 1994, he has managed his own international accounting and project management consulting firm, Anthony R. Reed, CPA P.C. In addition to his academic and professional achievements, Reed is an accomplished marathoner. He began long-distance running in 1975 to combat his pre-diabetic condition. Reed, a certified running coach, is the first African American to compete in marathons (26.2 miles/42.2K) on all seven continents, including Antarctica. He also completed over one-hundred and twenty marathons in forty-eight states, and won trophies in various age groups and weight divisions. Reed is also on the Dallas (formerly White Rock) Marathon board of directors.

Reed’s published memoir is Running Shoes Are Cheaper than Insulin: Marathon Adventures on All Seven Continents. Additionally, he has written for publications such as Runner’s World and Computerworld. Reed has been featured in Southern Living, Ebony, the Journal of Accountancy, the Black MBA Magazine, and Runner’s World, among others.

In 2004, Reed, along with Charlotte Simmons-Foster, co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA), which is the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization that promotes distance running in the Black community. Reed is a charter member of the Black Data Processing Association’s (BDPA) Dallas Chapter and was active in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Reed has worked as a professional speaker for corporations, educational institutions, and professional organizations and was a member of the National Speakers Association. Reed is a member of Transforming Life Christian Church, where his wife, Deborah, is a minister.

Anthony R. Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/28/2013

Last Name

Reed

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Schools

University of Texas at Arlington

Albilene Christian University

Webster University

Madison Elementary School

Ashland Elementary School

Clark Elementary School

Enright Middle School

John Burroughs School

Texas Christian University

Washington University in St Louis

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

REE07

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Hills Build Character.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/2/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spam

Short Description

Marathoner Anthony Reed (1955 - ) was the first African American to compete in marathons in all seven continents of the world. He also co-founded the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA).

Employment

Texas Instruments

Efficient Networks

Motel 6, Accor North America

United Advertising Publications

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board

Ernst & Young

Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory, EG&G

Amberton University

DeVry University

El Centro College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Reed's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his maternal family's connection to the Windsor plantation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed describes his paternal family's move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his father's young adult years and career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers his uncle Prince Coleman, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed describes his childhood household

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his relationship with his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers his childhood interests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers visiting Mississippi as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his early interest in bowling

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed talks about his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers his church activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers being diagnosed with prediabetes as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about overcoming his speech impediment

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed remembers the impacts of race and class on his experiences at John Burroughs School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls enrolling at Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers the death of a friend

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed describes how he managed his prediabetes condition through running

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his running habits during college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed remembers influential peers from Washington University in St. Louis

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls attending Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers applying to Texas Christian University for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls transitioning from Texas Christian University to Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about working at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed recalls studying business at Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed remembers a business philosophy course at Abilene Christian University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers his decision to run in his first marathon

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about influential black marathoners

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes distance runner Ted Corbitt

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about the technological changes in running gear

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed remembers training for his first marathon

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed talks about pacing himself while running

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Anthony Reed describes the phases of distance running

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed talks about his plans to run in the Boston Marathon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed remembers running marathons in China, Antarctica and Kenya

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed talks about his sponsorship deal with Spira Footwear, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed remembers becoming the first African American to run a marathon on each continent

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed talks about his most challenging marathon

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed describes experimental running procedures

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed recalls competing in a biathlon

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed talks about his running mentors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed recalls forming the National Black Marathoner's Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anthony Reed describes his consulting and professional speaking work

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anthony Reed talks about his book, 'Running Shoes are Cheaper than Insulin'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anthony Reed describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anthony Reed shares his advice to young runners

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anthony Reed reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anthony Reed talks about his children

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Anthony Reed describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Anthony Reed narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Anthony Reed remembers influential figures from John Burroughs School in Ladue, Missouri
Anthony Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
Transcript
Tell us about Bernice [Bernice Curlett]?$$It's when I started at John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri]. Like I said, I had a--had a job working there every day after school cleaning up the--cleaning up the paint room. And Bernice was a lady, a black lady there who worked on the janitorial staff. And so she was the one that was responsible for assigning me my work and looking over the different things that I was doing. And Bernice was what I would call a very strong--a very strong black woman. She basically took me under her wing. And I can remember my--my first year there at Burroughs. Bernice would see me walking down the hall and she would say, "Tony [HistoryMaker Anthony Reed], look up, don't look down at the ground. Don't let these people see you looking down at the ground." I mean she put her foot squarely up my rear end and was really pushing, she was saying, 'cause she knew black history and I knew black history, and it's like, you know, you're representing, you have to do good here. You can't let them see you sweat, you can't let them see you fail. And so Bernice was a person who drove me for four years while I was there. And I think without her being there, I probably would not have graduated from the school. When I left Burroughs she was the only reason that I would go back to the school, to check up on her and to see how she's doing. So she for me was a major inspiration while I was there at Burroughs.$$Now that raises another question too, was there any instructor or administrator or any--any adult at Burroughs that took any interest in you succeeding or recognized talent in you or?$$No. There were some teachers there that I liked, Mrs. Ferber [ph.], Mr. Schmertz [ph.], and ironically they were both English teachers. I think I liked them because of--with them wanting to--to read books. I think they read more books about African Americans and I think they were able to sympathize more with my plight then the other teachers.$$But there's no real relationship?$$Right, but there wasn't any real relationship. In fact, at Burroughs they wrote a book about the athletes there at Burroughs, 'The Athletes Through the Decades' [sic. 'Teammates for Life: A History of Burroughs Athletics, 1923-2011,' Jim Lemen and Jud Calkins] and they talked about the different football teams that they had that, for example, won state in track and all of that. And then they talked about famous athletes who had since graduated from Burroughs and went on to--to doing other great things. And ironically when they wrote the book, they never wrote about my--my achievements as a distance runner. And yet they were aware of me being the first black in the world to run marathons on all seven continents, being one of the few people in the world who has run over 100 marathons, who has won trophies for running marathons. They never wrote anything about it. So to me that said a lot about the school.$$Yeah, well it's not much of a relationship there so, I guess. But, now did you make the National Honor Society yourself?$$No I didn't. It was just--it was a struggle for me to keep up there at the school. I made the national accounting honor society [Beta Alpha Psi] as a graduate student [at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas], but again that was years after I left Burroughs.$$Okay, at Burroughs, so at the time of graduation from Burroughs, you had played soccer, you ran some track, you were taking, you know, math courses. What were you, what was your counseling? What did the counselor tell you at Burroughs?$$Not much. They were, I think they were pleasantly surprised that I was still there. I was like--I was in the bottom 10 percent of my class. And so they were just, I think shocked and surprised that I made it there for four years. And like I said, the thing I learned there was just how to fight, just how to stick in there. You know, when other kids were able to go out and you know, have fun, I was going to school full time, working two part time jobs and studying as much as I could in order to try to keep up. I will kind of compare it to being in a 100 yard race and I have to start 125 yards back. So it was just struggling to stay up and catch up. All the students there graduated and went to college. It was like as soon as you set your foot in the door in your freshman year, you know, in high school, everyone there goes to college, it's just a given. So when I graduated from Burroughs, I got accepted to Washington University there in St. Louis [Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri]. And I stayed there for two and a half years before I got kicked out.$Okay so it was a lot of moving too involved. And one question we always ask and just considering all the places you moved in St. Louis [Missouri], just kind of tell us about some of the neighborhoods, and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Okay. My first recollection of where we lived was when we lived in the Blumeyer projects in St. Louis [Arthur Blumeyer Village].$$That's Blue--$$Blumeyer.$$M-I-R-E?$$I believe it's M-Y--$$M-Y-E-R?$$--I believe it's M-Y-R-E [sic.].$$M-Y-R-E.$$Yes. So there were two major housing projects in St. Louis, there was Pruitt Igoe and there were the Blumeyer projects. And I can remember we had concrete floors in the projects, I think they were about twelve to fifteen stories tall. I can remember there being fires in the trash chutes. I can remember smelling urine in the elevator having to go up to our apartment. It was--it was rough. Then we moved from there to north St. Louis where we lived in a duplex, and I can remember walking to school, which was kind of interesting 'cause a lot of kids today don't walk to school. And it would be snowing outside and they still had school. I can remember at Ashland [Ashland Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri] when it would be heavy snowfall, we'd still go outside to play and I can remember us building forts and having snowball fights between the forts in the schoolyard. When I returned to St. Louis to run a marathon, unbeknownst to me, the course literally ran by places in St. Louis I used to live. And I remember running by the area where the Blumeyer projects used to be at that time, and they had since torn them down and built low rise government housing there. And I remember running by there and there were some black kids that were sitting on the curb. And they got up and they started running along with me. And I got real emotional 'cause I was thinking, oh my goodness, am I being an example to these kids, kind of being a role model to them, and they're sitting up there thinking, wow, you know, if this black guy can run this marathon, maybe we can run it too. And that actually planted the seed for us organizing the National Black Marathoners' Association, was if we can be out there en masse, we can be role models for black kids to get out of their communities and to start seeing the rest of the world and realize that there was more to life than just, you know, the half square mile that they were growing up in. So for me that was really emotional. Other parts of St. Louis we lived in, it was--it was pleasant being there, and I guess one of the things that I say about growing up not--not having a lot is you never realize how much you don't have. 'Cause everyone around you has the same thing, everyone is experiencing the same things, but it wasn't until I went to high school, went to John Burroughs [John Burroughs School, Ladue, Missouri] that I realized how much more was out there and got an opportunity to see how very wealthy white people lived and how--$$Well, before we get there, I just want to have you just describe like, you know, some more about where you grew up?$$Okay, because we were moving every couple of years, it was really hard to establish friends with people in the neighborhood. It's--I can almost compare it to some people who--who are in the [U.S.] military. You really don't want to get to know people very well because they may be dead. So it was the same thing as we would move into a neighborhood. We really didn't get to know a lot of people that were living around us.

Rochelle Stevens

Track and field athlete and fitness center entrepreneur Rochelle Stevens was born on September 8, 1966, in Memphis, Tennessee to the Reverend Beatrice Holloway-Davis. She attended Melrose High School and took to running competitively at an early age. By the time Stevens graduated high school, she was a TSSAA high school State Champion, a National High School All-American, a city champion, and an AAU Junior Olympics National Champion. She attended Morgan State University on a full track scholarship and received her B.S. degree in telecommunications and sales from that institution. She went on to receive an M.S. degree in public relations from Columbus University and then began her professional track career in earnest, coached by her mother who had also been a college track star.

After her first attempt in 1988, Stevens qualified for the Olympics and went to the Olympic Games in 1992, in Barcelona, Spain. She won the silver medal for her performance in the women’s 4x400 meter relay race and came in sixth in the world in the solo 400 meter race. At the next Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996, Stevens competed in the women’s 4x400 meter race again and this time took home the gold medal.

Upon returning home to Memphis, Stevens founded the Rochelle Stevens Health and Wellness Spa, where she developed exercise, diet, and therapeutic programs. She also started and continues to sponsor the Rochelle Stevens International Track Invitational Meet, which is designed to expose high school students to college recruiters and formal track competitions. The event is certified to qualify runners for the junior Olympics, senior Olympics, and the Olympic trials.

Stevens retired from professional track competitions in 2000, and began substitute teaching and then serving as a behavioral specialist at Cherokee Elementary School, which she once attended. She has worked as a spokeswoman and motivational speaker for many Fortune 500 companies, including Nike, Maybelline, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Bank of America. Stevens is a member of the Better Business Bureau, the Black Business Association, the National Speaker Bureau, and the Word of Life Ministry.

Accession Number

A2010.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/29/2010

Last Name

Stevens

Maker Category
Schools

Cherokee Elementary School

Melrose High School

Morgan State University

Columbus University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rochelle

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

STE14

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Monte Carlo, France

Favorite Quote

Make It Happen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

9/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Track and field athlete Rochelle Stevens (1966 - ) won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games and the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in the 4x400 women's relay, and now runs her own health center.

Employment

Rochelle Stevens Health and Wellness Spa

Memphis City Schools

Favorite Color

Purple, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rochelle Stevens' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother, Beatrice Stevens Holloway, as a young woman

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her father, John Ollie Holloway

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her mother's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers attending church at Living Word Ministries

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens recalls living in Memphis' Orange Mound neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rochelle Stevens lists athlete alumni of Memphis' Melrose High School

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rochelle Stevens describes her childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her elementary and junior high schools

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her study habits in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens explains the effects of 'Roots' airing on television

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens remembers playing in the Cherokee Elementary School band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens remembers getting involved in running

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens talks about Olympic history and popular black athletes in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens speaks about playing basketball in junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in the AAU Junior Olympics

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens explains how she became a sprinter

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens remembers beating Edward Temple's top recruits

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her experience at Memphis' Melrose High School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens explains why she attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens recalls her studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens talks about writing skills in her work as a behavioral specialist

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens explains why she chose to major telecommunications at Morgan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing in Yugoslavia and East Berlin

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes competing in the Penn Relays

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens remembers setting track records at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens talks about the events she ran

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens describes her athletic diet

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens remembers Greek life at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her social life at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her senior year at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers the 1988 Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens remembers running club track

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her track career picking up

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes trying out for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and being trained by her mother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes her training regimen

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens lists the best European female runners in 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens talks about steroid use at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens recalls the 1992 U.S. Olympic trials

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens remembers her fame after the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens describes Florence Griffith Joyner's style

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rochelle Stevens describes her injuries in 1992 and 1996

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rochelle Stevens remembers competing injured in the 1996 Olympic Games

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rochelle Stevens remembers winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rochelle Stevens recalls suffering a career-ending knee injury in 2000

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rochelle Stevens describes the Rochelle Stevens Invitational Track Meet and sports camp

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her activities outside of track

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rochelle Stevens reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rochelle Stevens reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rochelle Stevens talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rochelle Stevens describes her hopes and concerns for the African-American community

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Rochelle Stevens describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Rochelle Stevens describes her experience at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, pt. 2
Rochelle Stevens remembers winning a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics
Transcript
How many roommates did you have [at the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona, Spain]?$$I had, I believe it was eight to our suite. And the rooms had to be about 8 x 6 [feet], smaller than a dorm room. It was just twin-sized beds and that's it. No pictures, no curtains, no nothing--just the mattress and a pillow, and they gave you your sheets. I was like, this looks like prison, you know. (Laughter) It didn't seem like I was going to be staying in a five-star hotel. They don't prep you on things like that. And you got eight suite mates all in this--$$It seems, it sounds as if the Olympic provisions were a lot less than what you were used to on the track circuit?$$Right, because on the circuit you're staying in five-star hotels. But when you're accommodating ten thousand athletes--those buildings were brand new, so it wasn't like they were, you know, too bad. But they built them according to their custom. They didn't really use air-conditioning in Spain, so we were hot. And this coach by the name of John Smith, who trained some other Olympic medalists, gold and world record holders, he said, "Ro [HistoryMaker Rochelle Stevens], they're going through the same conditions you're going through--the Russians, the Germans, everybody. Nobody has special perks or privileges." He said, "So, don't let this hot room get to you. Just know they're going through the same conditions you are." And with him just making that comment I stopped complaining, and it was like okay, they hot, too. But then we were like, "They're used to being hot. They don't have air-conditioning anyway." (Laughter) But I still put that behind me and looked at it as, you're not going to beat me. I'm not going to let this hot room or this hot weather bring me down because you're sleeping in the heat too. You're eating the same foods I'm eating. I just started putting it into that perspective, and I was able to halfway re-focus at the games in Barcelona [Spain]. But I ended up finishing sixth in the open 400 in lane one. And I think the worst I was supposed to finish was maybe third, but I never had lane one. I always had lane six, seven, or eight. And it was, I know I couldn't have been too focused because I actually saw the cameras as we was sprinting around the track. And you've got eighty-five thousand spectators and people taking pictures. I actually saw cameras flashing. I knew I was not focused if I was able to see people flashing those cameras. And it's like, I'm not going to ever catch up those girls. And so I was like, I'll just run for time, not knowing that it was four of us all running for the bronze. And when we all leaned, they had to come back, and those times were so close. All I know is I got sixth place. And my mom [Beatrice Stevens Holloway] was on the practice field waiting on me, and I cried because I was embarrassed. I got sixth place. I went in there with the fastest time in the world. You get sixth place, okay, you're sixth in the world. That sounds so good. But to actually get sixth place, oh, it was horrible (laughter) to tell somebody that.$$That's one race. You ran in how many races?$$We had to run rounds. We had to eliminate athletes every day. Again, we had four rounds, and I was the only American to make the finals. And so, that was a big deal to just make it to the finals.$$Okay. So you got sixth place in the--$$In the finals.$$In the 400 [meter] finals?$$Uh-huh, in the 400 finals.$$Now, you ran the 4 x 400 [relay], too, right?$$And I was the anchor leg for the 4 x 400, and Olha Bryzhina of Russia [Soviet Union] out-powered me the last thirty or forty meters of the race. But the plan was to give me a big enough lead so I could get away from her. But my lead was one step. That's not a lead when this is the same person that Flo Jo [Florence Griffith Joyner] couldn't catch four years earlier. And you know, Flo Jo, she ran like a forty-eight [second] 400 meter split and Olha forty-seven [seconds]. So, forty-seven will catch a forty-nine any day. Give me a big, big, big, lead. I got a one-step lead. (Laughter) I was determined that I was going to run her to the line. You know, I was thinking about Orange Mound [Memphis, Tennessee], I was thinking about where I was from. I'm like, "I'm from Orange Mound, you know." I'd give her that elbow and cut in front of her. Because technically, she was in front of me, but technically I just kind of ran a little dirty and gave her that cute little elbow and got in front of her. And interestingly, she was the person that I had studied for eight months because I was trying to figure out what was her running style, to run forty-seven [seconds]. And when you pull that tape and watch the race with us, we shift gears in the same place. We were the same stride. She was right behind me. It was like as if she was marking me. But in my mind, I had saw her in my mind for six months, and we moved in the same places, except she out-powered me at the end. That was the only thing.$So, what was it like to get the gold medal in the [at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia]--? And now, this, this is strange kind of, because you ran better before, but you didn't get the gold.$$Right.$$And here, you kind of limp into this one, and then get a gold medal. Does it cause you to be philosophical about life, or what?$$Well, the thing is, all I can think is all my life this is what I've been chasing after. This is what I've always wanted, was to win a gold medal for my country. And when my sister Catherine [Holloway] had died in 1989 of a brain tumor, you know, right before she died I had told her I was going to win a gold medal for her. And the press kind of brought that up, like, hey, you won this medal for your sister, and what does it feel like to win a gold medal for your sister and for your family? And it was just the most incredible moment. It was history that night, to be able to win and knowing that you're injured. And you know, it was just incredible. And to mention, I had this cosmetic make-up sponsorship at that time. I was a Posner girl, and they were promoting mascara to see, to make sure the mascara didn't run. And so, it was like I was this perfect model. I was sweating and it was a 100-and-something degrees outside, and my makeup is still flawless. My eye shadow and things were not running. I didn't have purple sweat and blue sweat and things. And I had told the president of the company--I had negotiated a bonus. I said, "If you all pay me this bonus, I can prove that your makeup is not going to run." You know, they was like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah," and they fell for it. And when I was on that award stand, I just thought about all the hard work and the years that was put into it, and I started crying on the awards stand. You know, the tears was just rolling. And the Jumbotron was on, and I'm like rocking. You know, I was all emotional, and no mascara was running. So it was an extra good race for me, considering I got paid the bonus because their makeup didn't run on national television during the awards ceremony. They was like, "Wow, she tricked us," (laughter).$$So what happened? Did they have a bigger parade when you came back to Atlanta [Georgia] this time?$$We had more people from the mid-South to make the Olympic team the second time around. Penny Hardaway was on the Dream Team this time. Nikki McCray was from the suburbs of Memphis [Tennessee], Collierville [Tennessee]. She was on the women's basketball team, and they won a gold. And then we had Cindy Parlow [Cone], who's from the suburbs of Memphis, which was Germantown [Memphis, Tennessee], and she was on the soccer team. So, we came back with four gold medals. And the city just honored all of us at the same time downtown. And the county and city mayors gave us proclamations and keys to the city, you know. But everybody was more excited for them, because that was their first Olympics and they was more like, "You've before, so it's no big deal." I was like, "Shoot, but I got the gold medal." And it is not an easy thing to make the Olympic team. And when you do the history on it, only forty-four or forty-three Americans won gold medals. So, when you have ten thousand athletes and only one hundred and some medals are going to be given out that are gold and you're one of them, it's more than, "You didn't do anything." And so, I had to kind of just overlook, you know, people because they truly don't understand the commitment, the dedication, the hard work, the sacrifice, the pain, the agony, the disappointments, the lack of sponsorship. They just don't have a clue what you go through to achieve a dream.

Claude Walton

All-American discus thrower Claude Alex Walton was born on August 1, 1913, in Marshall, Texas, to Claude Walton and Jenny V. Walton. Walton graduated from Denver, Colorado’s West High School in 1931.

After finishing high school, Walton attended the University of Colorado as a music major (piano). At 6 feet, 3 inches tall, Walton was approached by the track coach to encourage him to try out for the track team. Walton became the first African American varsity athlete at the University of Colorado, where he excelled as a discus thrower and played basketball.

While attending the University of Colorado, Walton was only one of six minority students on campus and his treatment was not always pleasant. Walton supported himself in school by working various jobs including as a hasher in the dining room at the Chi Psi fraternity house. He also found work sewing and stuffing mats for the track team, spreading sawdust in jumping pits and watering the football fields. At night, Walton played the piano in house bands at Denver and Boulder clubs. He played in the orchestra at the Airport Ballroom and for the dances of the sororities and fraternities. Unfortunately, Walton broke his ankle right before the qualifying meets for the 1936 Olympics so he could not compete in the Olympics in Germany with Jesse Owens. Nevertheless, he was named All-American after coming in second place in a 1937 national track meet, making him the first All-American athlete at The University of Colorado. Walton set the school record in the discus throw with a mark of 141-feet, 2 ½ inches. This effort earned him the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title. During his athletic career, Walton would best this mark several times. A discus throw of 157 feet at Colorado School of Mines in 1935 earned him national attention because it was the second best throw in the country at the time. Walton dominated the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and was a two-time champion. The track star left school for a steady job with the Chicago Park District (where he reached the position of associate superintendent) with just one English literature class remaining, making him ineligible for his B.A. degree and a place in the school’s Hall of Fame. Seventy-five years after Walton attended The University of Colorado, alumni and faculty members mounted a successful campaign to get him an honorary degree and entry into the university’s Hall of Fame in 2008. At ninety-four years old, he is the oldest Hall of Fame inductee.

Walton worked for the Chicago Park District for forty-eight years, eventually becoming a trustee for the department. He resides in Lombard, Illinois.

Walton passed away on March 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2008.122

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/4/2008 |and| 11/22/2008

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

West High School

University of Colorado Boulder

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Claude

Birth City, State, Country

Marshall

HM ID

WAL11

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Denver, Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/1/1913

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

3/24/2014

Short Description

Discus thrower Claude Walton (1913 - 2014 ) was the first All-American athlete at the University of Colorado, twice winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title. Seventy-five years after Walton attended the University of Colorado, alumni and faculty members mounted a successful campaign to get him an honorary degree and entry into the university’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Employment

Chi Psi Fraternity House

Chicago Park District

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Claude Walton's interview pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Claude Walton describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Claude Wilson's interview pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Claude Walton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Claude Walton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Claude Walton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Claude Walton talks about his parents' extended families

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Claude Walton describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Claude Walton recalls his mother's work

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Claude Walton talks about his mother's coin collection

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Claude Walton recalls his family's social interactions

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Claude Walton describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Claude Walton remembers his early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Claude Walton describes his early neighborhood in east Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Claude Walton remembers the music of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Claude Walton talks about his high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Claude Walton recalls joining the high school basketball and track teams

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Claude Walton remembers the Great Depression, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Claude Walton remembers the Great Depression, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Claude Walton recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Claude Walton talks about the lack of mentors in his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Claude Walton remembers his early recreational activities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Claude Walton talks about boxers Joe Louis and Jack Johnson

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Claude Walton remembers playing basketball at West High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Claude Walton recalls facing discrimination while playing sports

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Claude Walton recalls his move to Casper, Wyoming

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Claude Walton talks about his decision to attend the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Claude Walton recalls playing music at a brothel

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Claude Walton remembers his decision to study music at the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Claude Walton describes his track and field experiences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Claude Walton recalls being the only African American athlete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Claude Walton talks about academic performance in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Claude Walton recalls attending the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Claude Walton remembers Duke Ellington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Claude Walton describes the 1936 Summer Olympic tryouts

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Claude Walton talks about his move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Claude Walton describes his athletic accomplishments

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Claude Walton remembers U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Claude Walton talks about Gil Cruter

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Claude Walton recalls his sports accolades

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Claude Walton describes the African American students at the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Claude Walton describes his first assignments at the Chicago Park District

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Claude Walton recalls integrating the Chicago Park District

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Claude Walton talks about segregation in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Claude Walton describes the early days of Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Claude Walton talks about celebrity intructors at Washington Park

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Claude Walton describes the Chicago Park District's training system

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Claude Walton talks about the square dance lessons at the Chicago Park District

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Claude Walton describes the facilities at Washington Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Claude Walton talks about the negative impact of gang activity in parks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Claude Walton talks about the politics of the Chicago Park District

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Claude Walton recalls the lack of park services for Chicago's African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Claude Walton describes the development of Chicago's recreational facilities

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Claude Walton recalls taking the Chicago Park District civil service tests

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Claude Walton remembers the 1959 Pan American Games

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Claude Walton recalls his promotions at the Chicago Park District, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Claude Walton describes his promotions at the Chicago Park District, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Claude Walton reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Claude Walton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Claude Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Claude Walton describes his family

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Claude Walton talks about his philosophy in life

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Claude Walton describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Claude Walton narrates his photographs

John Carlos

John Carlos was born in 1945 in Harlem, New York. Carlos attended Machine Trade and Medical High School, where he was a talented track star. He received a full scholarship to East Texas State University (ETSU), and became that school’s first track and field Lone Star Conference Champion. After only one year at ETSU, Carlos was accepted at San Jose State University. Under the tutelage of Lloyd “Bud” Winter, a notable coach who would eventually be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, Carlos began to thrive as an athlete.

While attending San Jose State University, Carlos met sociologist Harry Edwards, and under Edward’s influence helped to co-found the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). Edwards wanted to boycott the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City as a protest of the United States’ inability to deal with its human rights injustices. Despite the support of Carlos, Carlos’ newfound friend and fellow athlete Tommie Smith and a variety of civil rights leaders, the boycott never occurred. However, Carlos remained impressed by Edward’s ideas. His athletic career, meanwhile, had taken off – in the 1967 Pan-American games, Carlos was a bronze medalist for the 200 meter event.

At the time of the trials for the 1968 Olympic Games, Carlos beat Smith’s world record time for the 200 meter dash by 0.3 seconds, although a technicality kept the score from being officially recorded. During the actual 200 meter event, Carlos finished third, behind Smith and Australian Peter Norman. While receiving their medals, Smith and Carlos raised their gloved fists as a silent protest of racism and economic depression among oppressed people in America. In response, International Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage banned the two men from the Olympic Village and forced them from the United States Olympic team. After their return to the United States, both men received death threats. However, they had become a significant symbol of the Civil Rights struggle. Carlos also saw Martin Luther King, Jr. just ten days before King’s assassination.

Carlos continued to compete and excel in the field of track, and 1969 proved to be a year of great accomplishment. He tied the 100-yard dash record that year with a time of 9.1 seconds and led San Jose State to the NCAA championship for the first time, thanks to his winnings in the 100, 220 and 4x100-yard relay events. After his track career ended, Carlos joined the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, where an unfortunate knee injury cut his professional football career short after only one year. He continued to play football in Canada for the CFL, with one season as a player for the Montreal Alouettes and one year with the Toronto Argonauts. In 1985, Carlos became a counselor for Palm Springs High School in California. In 1998, both Smith and Carlos were honored in a ceremony to commemorate their protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, and the two reunited again at the funeral for Australian runner Peter Norman’s funeral ceremony in 2006.

John Carlos was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.055

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2006

Last Name

Carlos

Maker Category
Middle Name

W.

Schools

Machine Trade and Medical High School

P.S. 139 Frederick Douglass School

Haaren High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

CAR09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Solitude

Favorite Quote

See Ya! Hate to Be Ya!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/5/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Palm Springs

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black Beans, Rice

Short Description

Track and field athlete John Carlos (1945 - ) is most well known for being the bronze medalist for the 200-meter race during the 1968 Olympic games and raising a black power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith.

Employment

Philadelphia Eagles (Football team)

Montreal Alouettes (Football club)

Toronto Argonauts (Football team)

Palm Springs High School

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Carlos' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Carlos lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Carlos describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Carlos describes his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Carlos describes the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York in the 1950a

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Carlos lists his children and siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Carlos describes his earliest childhood memories of Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Carlos recalls reuniting with his half-brother in the 2000s

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Carlos explains the origin of his interest in increasing African American representation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Carlos describes his primary and elementary school experiences in Harlem, New York, including having a learning disability

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Carlos talks about being an elementary school student at P.S. 5 in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Carlos recalls the excessive force used by white police officers and firemen in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Carlos talks about the drug crisis in Harlem, New York during the 1950s and psychosocial effects of drug abuse

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Carlos describes the discrimination experienced by his father from business suppliers and owners

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Carlos recounts the boycott of Haaren High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Carlos describes raiding food from freight trains in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Carlos describes a vision of the Olympics he experienced as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John Carlos describes his search for existential meaning and religious faith as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Carlos describes his expulsion from Haaren High School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Carlos recounts his experiences at a Catholic High School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Carlos describes his time at Machine and Metal Trades High School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Carlos describes his role with the New York Pioneers Track and Field Club, the United States' first interracial track team

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
John Carlos describes the discrimination experienced by his father from business suppliers and owners
John Carlos describes raiding food from freight trains in the 1950s
Transcript
Okay.$$Okay. So I'm looking at these things [drug addiction] real early, and I'm going through school with this. And I'm saying now like, you know, "If we don't have no promise by people in the wall that we can look at and say, 'Well, this man here did something or this woman did something,'" just like that poster I have there. You know, you sit back and you say, "Oh, I can say all right. These individuals accomplished something." Look at Jack Johnson. He was a boxer, but not only was he a boxer, he was an inventor too.$$Right.$$Or I put these collage up here on the wall because I want kids to say, "Hey, man, yeah, all ethnics groups played a role in this society in which we live."$$Absolutely.$$We can't pick and choose. And I grew up under that. My old man [father, Earl Vanderbilt Carlos] let me work things on my own to the point where if--if a guy at the candy store would come in and bring sodas. Now most times my old man be in there busy. Okay? Or my brother shining shoes. So when the guy would bring the sodas, we wouldn't count them right there.$$Right.$$But after he's gone, we count them. We might be four cases short. And it had been going like this for a long time. And I'm telling my father, I'm telling my father, and this particular day the guy came, and my father say, "Go count them sodas right now." And I'm thinking he wasn't paying attention. But he say, "Hey, man, I'm just too busy. I'm trying to get these people's shoes ready for when they come home from work." This particular Saturday he say, "Go count them sodas." I went and counted them, say, "Daddy, we're four cases short."$$Wow.$$And he went back there and he told the dude, say, "Hey, man, come on here." He say, "Count these cases with me." And the guy got kind of like, you know, disrespectful. And when he got disrespectful, my old man say, "Whoa, you ain't got no rush. I been buying this shit from you for a good while. Let's count these sodas." So when the guy count them and the sodas came up short, and I told my father, say, yeah, me and my brother, we say, "Daddy, they short all the time like this." And when my father questioned the guy about it, the guy got kind of huffy, like, look at my father like, "Boy, don't question me." And when he said that, I remember the hairs rolling on my neck. You know, my old man wasn't no young man. He calling him boy.$$Right.$$But my old man dealt with him right there on the scene, on the spot, and it was a big scene in the neighborhood [Harlem, New York, New York], and--$$What did your father do?$$Whipped his ass.$$Okay. That's--$$Whipped him from one end of the block to the other.$$(Laughter).$$And, and you know, even though he was whipping this man, I had pride. Not so much that he was whipping the man as much as I had pride for the fact that he wasn't going to let this man just take advantage of him, steal his shit, and then talk shit to him too.$$Right.$$From that right there, it kind of like woke me up, you know, in terms, not so much to say that you're going to whip everybody, but you can deal with any situation irregardless--$$Right.$$--Of what the color line is.$$$$Right.$$And I remember one Christmas we was going over to, right there on the 145th Street Bridge, okay?$$Okay.$$And we went over there, and if you remember, they used to sell all he Christmas trees down there for Christmas.$$Okay, I--$$And my old man was getting on in age, and he goes down there and asks for a tree, and we--ain't nobody there but us. Some white folks walked up and he tell my father, "Well, boy, you going to have to wait." And this guy's thirty-something maybe. And you look at my father. My father is in his sixties now. "Ah, you have to wait, boy. You boys going to have to wait." So, my old man didn't say nothing. He waited. And I asked him when the guy came around to us, I say, "Look, let me ask you a question. How old you have to be to be a man around here?" I say, "That's my father. He look like a boy to you?" So my old man telling me, "Naw, Johnny, be cool." Now I was--I mean I'm steaming.$$Right, how old are you approximately?$$Thirteen, fourteen years old.$$Okay.$$So I go back with my old man, I don't make no scene, but I left and I went and got my brother. Told my brother, said, "Come on." He say, "Where you going?" I say, "Man, just come on. We got to go do something." He say, "What?" I say, "Man, I got to go teach somebody something." So I burned up all his trees.$$(Laughter).$$I burned them all up. And I let him know. I say, "Hey, man, it's just based on the state of mind that you in. Everybody's not a boy and everybody's is going to not accept you calling them a boy." I say, "Remember this, next person you come to, maybe you'll have a little more kindness in your heart." And he didn't know whether to run after us or run to put his fire out. We got on out of there.$$(Laughter).$$And you know, things like this get me in trouble. You know, like my old man used to tell me, say, "Son, you got forty-eight hours to give me an explanation as to what you did and why you did it."$$Talking about the burning of the Christ--$$Talking about anything that I did.$$Oh, okay.$$I mean I was just--$$Forty-eight hours?$$--Forty-eight hours. "You got two days to get it together in your head as to why you did what you did, and make me understand it."$$Alright.$$So, I grew up with the same premise.$Okay.$$Now--$$You're just starting to be--cause trouble, just starting there.$$Oh, no. You know--here's another thing. In my neighborhood [Harlem, New York, New York], man, it wasn't no whole bunch of fathers in the house. Many of them been junkies for years. So they ain't--they absentee parents. The mom might be in the house, and she might be still junking. They didn't have no whole bunch of clothes or food coming into the houses. You know, just like you go to some people right now where they got crack cocaine, and you look in their box and they don't have nothing but the light bulb. Or back at that time, man, it wasn't crack cocaine and it wasn't no whole bunch of drugs, it was just pure "D" unemployment. Unconcerned. People didn't have no concern for them. I saw a kid--as a kid I saw on TV this guy in this green suit, Robin Hood. Robin Hood impressed me. That movie impressed me so much because here's a guy that thought like I did. He said, "Man, I'm not concerned about man's law. I'm concerned about God's law." And that's the same philosophy I have.$$Right.$$And I liked the fact that he didn't worry about the sheriff from Nottinghood [sic., Nottingham] and the King [John] and this and that. He did what he had to do to feed the people.$$Right.$$Okay?$$Alright.$$And I looked at that in terms of where the churches are back and then. Because the churches wasn't doing what they should have been doing. Adam Clayton Powell [Jr.] was doing his thing, but when you sit back, you see every other one was doing it.$$Right.$$Which they weren't. So then, I went back over to the freight yards right out in front of Yankee Stadium--$$Right.$$--And I started busting those seals on them freight trains. And I'm looking--at that time I think they had just started making succotash, frozen foods and stuff. They had clothes in there. So I would go back and monitor them trains, and I told my boys, I said, "Man, we going over there and we going to start hitting the freight trains." And telling me, "Oh, we going to make a lot of money." I said, "Naw, fellows. This ain't about the money." I said, "We ain't making a dime on this. We going back to try and help the people in the community." Okay? And they say, "What are you talking about?" I said, "We going to help the people in the community," and saying, "You need food in your house, you going to have it too." I said, "But this ain't about our pockets." So we went over there and we hit the freight trains.$$Right.$$Now, when we hit the freight trains, you know, the first thing in the front of my brain is Mr. Lester and Mr. Bryant [ph.]. And they know my mother [Vioris Lawrence] and father [Earl Vanderbilt Carlos]. So I go up to the guy on the bridge. You know, they used to have that little box there where the guy would open the bridge. And I knew just by living in Harlem, Harlem River Houses, because after we left Lenox Avenue, we moved up to Harlem River House on 153rd [Street]--$$Right.$$--And Seventh Avenue--$$Right.$$-On Edgecombe. So, I go straight to the guy in the booth--in the box and I said to him, I said, "Hey, buddy, how you doing?" He said, "What are you doing?" I said, "Man, I'm just trying to find out how you doing?" And he looked at me, he said, "Ah, I'm okay." I said to him, I said, "You sit in this box every day, all day?" He said, "For eight hours I sit in this box." I said, "What's your job?" He said, "My job is to make sure that if the tugboats was to come and they got a high mast on it, to open the bridge, a ferry come, whatever. My job is to open this bridge when it's necessary." So I said to him, I said, "Well, how much money they pay you?" He said, "They don't pay me enough for the work I do." And I said to him, I said, "Well, how would you like to have some extra food?" And he looked at me, he said, "What are you saying to me?" I said to him, I said, "When, you see us run across this bridge regularly." I said, "We going to hit these freight trains," I'm saying, "And the police going to come to you one day and tell you to open this bridge up." I said, "Man, all I ask you to do is give me ten minutes." He said, "I could never give you ten minutes." I said, "Give me seven minutes, and every time we come across the bridge, we'll drop you food for your family." And he was in agreement. So we started hitting the freight trains, and we bring it back and we give it to the people in the community. I mean, hey, here. This is for you guys because you ain't had nothing.$$How old are you at this time?$$At that time, I'm still around thirteen, fourteen.$$Okay.

Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr.

Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr., sales executive and Olympic medalist, was born March 9, 1922 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father owned an automobile repair shop and was reported in Ebony magazine as the first blind African American to use a seeing eye dog. Douglas attended Gladstone Elementary School and Gladstone Junior High School. As a teenager, he idolized Jesse Owens’ performance in the 1936 Olympics. He was playing football and running track when he graduated from Allderdice High School. Attending the University of Pittsburgh, Douglas won three collegiate titles in the long jump. He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1948. That same year, Douglas won the Bronze Medal for a 24 foot 8.75 inch long jump in the London Summer Olympics. Returning to the University of Pittsburgh, Douglas completed his M.Ed. degree in 1950.

Douglas worked as night manager for his father’s auto business until the Pabst Brewing Company hired him in 1950. At Pabst, he rose from sales representative to southern district manager. Douglas served as Pabst’s national special markets manager from 1965 to 1968. From 1977 to 1980, he worked as vice president of urban market development for Schieffelin and Somerset Co., where he helped popularize Hennessy Congac X.O, V.S.O.P, V.S and other brands in the African American community. Douglas has worked as an urban marketing consultant since 1987.

In 1980, Douglas founded the International Amateur Athletic Association, Inc. (IAAA), of which he is president. He has also served on the board of directors of the Jesse Owens Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh. Douglas, a member of the NAACP and Urban League, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Semi-retired, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia. He was selected by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 Most Successful Black Men.

Accession Number

A2005.039

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/7/2005

Last Name

Douglas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Paul

Schools

Taylor Allderdice High School

Gladstone Elementary School

Gladstone Middle School

University of Pittsburgh

Xavier University of Louisiana

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herbert

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

DOU03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Well, The Deal Is. . .

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

3/9/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ham, Spinach, Macaroni, Eggs, Milk, Italian Bread

Short Description

Marketing consultant and track and field athlete Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. (1922 - ) was the former national special markets manager for Pabst Brewing Company and also worked as vice president of urban market development for Schieffelin and Somerset Co., where he helped popularize Hennessy cognac in the African American community.

Employment

Douglas Garage

Pabst Brewing Co.

Schieffelin and Somerset Co.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1764,62:4200,108:14280,324:25426,495:27701,524:29521,547:31523,580:32251,591:33980,611:35982,642:44580,684:44990,690:80466,1199:91180,1396:95950,1468:124268,1872:124700,1879:125132,1886:133085,1960:159552,2347:205150,2929:224810,3194:235391,3282:241610,3340$0,0:8230,251:9385,268:15747,329:16791,342:39674,641:44017,706:44825,721:54365,845:60254,894:68375,983:73860,1043:76335,1067:77160,1082:78960,1122:79560,1130:80160,1139:91486,1298:99088,1364:99880,1380:104905,1433:115775,1583:117238,1623:117546,1628:120241,1670:133584,1902:135520,1929:135960,1948:136928,1963:137720,1974:139744,2000:159842,2257:165582,2364:179460,2517:181647,2555:182619,2572:183348,2582:195521,2702:195947,2802:210968,2905:211348,2911:211880,2917:214540,2972:215908,2998:258140,3648
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about how his father lost his sight

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. recalls his family home during childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. recalls his childhood community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his grade school experiences in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. recalls how Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe inspired him in his early track career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his athletic achievements during his college years

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about returning home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the early 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. recalls qualifying for the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. shares his memories from the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about African Americans in athletics during the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about looking for work after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1949

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about some of the celebrities he met through working at Pabst Brewing Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his experiences working as a salesman for Pabst Brewing Company in the southeastern United States

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. reflects on the difficulties that African Americans face in the film and television business

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his work for Schieffelin and Somerset Co.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about the struggle of black athletes to obtain equal pay and renown throughout the 20th century

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about the increasing commercialization of professional sports

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. recalls how he marketed particular brands of alcohol to the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about community backlash against alcohol advertisements

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about the bid of New York, New York for the 2012 Summer Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about how his networking skills led to his success in the liquor industry

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. reflects upon the historical factors that influence purchasing preferences in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about the history of the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his philanthropic work, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his philanthropic work, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his idols in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. shares his memories from the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England
Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr. talks about his experiences working as a salesman for Pabst Brewing Company in the southeastern United States
Transcript
Tell me about going to London [England] for the [1948 Summer] Olympics, now this is, this is--was this your first trip out of the United States (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yep, yep that was--for me it was. It wasn't for many of the athletes, like Harrison Dillard and [Mal] Whitfield, who were very renowned, prominent athletes on their team, they'd been in the Second World War [World War II, WWII], I wasn't primarily because of my dad [Herbert Douglas, Sr.] being sightless and I had to work for his business. But, that was my desire, to make the boat and go to Europe. That was a part of the reward, just to make it to Europe. And that I did and I remember seeing Ireland, first country I saw as we got to--as we saw land going over, and the land was just as green, I'd never seen anything green like that before, but that's because it's an island sitting out there in the middle of the water. And it was very beautiful, that was an experience, it was a dual experience for me.$$Okay, were there many black Londoners around in those days?$$Yeah, McDonald Bailey was a hundred [meter dash] man, yeah, but he was--they were very limited, I think he was the only one on that team. I don't recall any others. The name was McDonald Bailey--yeah, now I'm thinking the guy from--but anyhow, they had one sprinter and he placed fifth [sic. sixth] in the hundred.$$Okay, now can you tell us what you were thinking, I mean did you--do you think in retrospect, you know, now you won a bronze medal which is pretty good in an Olympics (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) For the world.$$--'cause a lot of people don't win anything, you know--$$Oh, listen, that was the icing, as I was saying before, the most important thing was to make the Olympic team, because that was an experience within itself. The icing came when you won a medal, and if you ever won a medal, then you'll always have pictures standing up on the podium. You'll always be listed. So no, that was the epitome and--no I wasn't satisfied then, but as I look back on it now I'm satisfied--$$Had you jumped further in the past (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah--$$--than you did that day?$$--yeah, yeah, I jumped as far as he jumped at the time, but, you know, that's just like (laughter) you know, some are ready and some aren't. And--but I never thought that any three people could beat me in the world. You, you have to be that positive, you have to be focused and you have to vision. Anything you do you have to vision and focus, and if you can vision, well it usually comes through. I've found it true in the corporate community and the humanitarian community, to give back and what have you, vision. And I think I got that from my family, my mother [Ilessa France Douglas] and father they were positive then, because my dad went blind they didn't quit.$$Okay, so are there any outstanding interactions or any good stories from the Olympics in London in--from 1948?$$Well, well we all, as I said, rooted for one another and we all won medals. All but one, and he pulled a muscle, he placed fourth and that was Dave Bolden [sic. Lorenzo Wright]. But that's the gratifying thing, you know, we represented our country and we did our, our share.$$Okay.$$And proportionally, disproportionally we won more than we should have had won, you know how that goes--$You got your chance, you got a break too, and what (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's how it started.$$--how did they [Pabst Brewing Company]--what position did they hire you for?$$Well, they hired me to (clears throat) basically go out and make contact with the retailers in--that sold the beer. And then I worked all the southeastern states, and that's because I went to Xavier [University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana] and I knew I had contacts through that area. And the interesting thing, I remember going into Jackson, Mississippi and the distributor there said, "Herb [HistoryMaker Herbert Paul Douglas, Jr.], I have a striker." Now a striker was a guy who carried the beer into the store, and the salesperson he didn't do anything but write up the order. And this gentleman said, "You know Herb," I remember his name was Franklin [ph.], he says, "Herb, Willie is a good young fella and I'm gonna hire him to be a salesperson--a driver salesman." And he did, this is in Jackson, Mississippi, back in the '50s [1950s]. This young guy went out there, and you know who helped me take him through the African American community was Edgar--Medgar Evers. He took him to every--see that's when--before desegregation and blacks owned their own stores, their own hotels, their own restaurants all through the South. And I put on African American salespeople all through the South before I could do it in Wasing- in Baltimore [Maryland] and places like that, even Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] where I worked, where I was born.$$So this is--when Medgar Evers helped was that in--$$He took me to the owners and they would say, you know, he'd say, "Look, put this Pabst in here." And it's a wonder we didn't run into repercussions because Falstaff [Brewing Corporation] other--you know, they had white salesman, they could have, you know, pressured them, but they fell in line, and put our product in, like West Palm Beach [Florida], I remember going there with four white sales reps and myself and as I got around to being introduced and he had met the white reps, this bottler and this distributor of ours, he wouldn't shake my hand. Now, during those days it didn't bother me, 'cause I knew I was as good as any white (laughter), you didn't have to tell me, so he didn't wanna shake my hand, I didn't wanna shake his. And I would report--and then every day that I'd go out and I'd work the black community, I'd come in with the most sales. And then I'd prove to him that he should put on an African American salesperson and he did. The only one that he requested back was me, of the five of us who went down there. Now that was 1950.$$Well, that seems to speak to the importance of making money and (laughter)--$$Bottom line, that's right, yep. You do something where you can make money you're there.$$That's the deal I guess.$$Yeah, that's it, and more so today.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$I've often heard people that worked in the Civil Rights Movement in the South say that in the big cities especially and along the Gulf Coast a lot of the merchants really didn't care--I mean, they--segregation was a custom but it interfered with their business, and they could see beyond what their business could be if they could only get segregation out of the way, so a lot of them really didn't want it but they seemed compelled to do it.$$Oh yeah, because of the law, there was a law you couldn't just go into those places. Now as I go to Atlanta [Georgia] I was there, I worked there from '50 [1950] to '60 [1960], as I go to Atlanta now, this is unbelievable that's one of the best places for young people like yourself to start a business.

William Maurice Bennett

Distinguished athlete and coach William Maurice Bennett was born on October 15, 1915 in Richmond, Virginia. His mother worked in a tobacco factory and his father was a barber. His parents separated when he was a small child and his mother moved to Hampton and remarried. Bennett received his early education in Richmond at the Moore Street school until he moved to Hampton to live with his mother. He earned his high school diploma from I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was a stellar a track and football athlete. While in high school he set a state record for the 440 that stood for twenty years.

Following his high school graduation, Bennett attended Virginia State University on a football scholarship. While at VSU, Bennett won two CIAA track championships, honors in the Penn Relays, three varsity letters in football and was selected to play in the College All-Star game against the Chicago Bears in 1941. Bennett received his bachelor’s of science degree in physical education in 1941. That same year he was also drafted into the army and stationed at Ft. Lee, Virginia. He served in the military until 1945, and while a soldier he developed an interest in boxing and was named the lightweight boxing champion. Following his honorable discharge from the army, Bennett earned his masters degree in education from Columbia University in 1946.

Shortly after marrying in 1946, Bennett received a job as a biology teacher and football coach at Phenix High School in Hampton, Virginia. He left Phenix in 1953 when he was offered the head football and track coach position at his alma matter Virginia State.

Bennett coached football and track at Virginia State for over thirty years, a duration in which he coached nearly 50 All-Americans including Wilber “Pony” Wilson. In 1954, under Bennett’s leadership, Wilson broke the long jump record and qualified for the Olympic Trials. Bennett also led the VSU Trojans to victory in ten conference championships and two CIAA championships. Bennett was named Coach of the Year in 1962, 1972, 1977, 1979 and 1983. In 1982, Bennett was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame.

Bennett passed away on June 6, 2007 at age 91.

Accession Number

A2004.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2004 |and| 10/13/2004

Last Name

Bennett

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Schools

I.C. Norcom High School

Virginia State University

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

BEN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hampton, Virginia

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/15/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Death Date

6/7/2007

Short Description

College track coach and college football coach William Maurice Bennett (1915 - 2007 ) was recognized by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association hall of fame for his work as head football and track and field coach at Virginia State University. In his thirty-year career, Bennett coached nearly fifty All-Americans, won ten conference championships and two CIAA championships.

Employment

United States Army

Phenix High School

Virginia State University

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Maurice Bennett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett describes his stepfather, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett describes his stepfather, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett describes his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes his earliest memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Maurice Bennett describes special memories and holidays from his early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Maurice Bennett describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Maurice Bennett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experiences at Moore Street School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experience attending Moore Street Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett describes his childhood interest in sports and living in Portsmouth, Virginia as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett talks about playing sports at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett describes his experiences at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about playing sports at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett talks about his football and track coaches and balancing sports with academics

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett recalls graduating Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia in 1941 with plans to be a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes being drafted into the U.S. Army and boxing while in the Army

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett talks about meeting his wife, Katherine Bennett

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett talks about being a coach and teacher at George P. Phenix School in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett talks about being hired as a coach by Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about coaching Wilbur "Pony" Wilson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett describes changes at Virginia State University during his decades of coaching

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett talks about preparing for big games against Virginia State University's rival Hampton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett describes influences on his coaching style

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Maurice Bennett describes his typical routine as a coach

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon his successes as a coach

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Maurice Bennett describes what he looks for in a potential athlete

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon the quality of athletes at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon the quality of the athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Maurice Bennett talks about the benefits and shortfalls of attending a historically black college or university

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Maurice Bennett reflects upon how to measure a coach's success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Maurice Bennett describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Maurice Bennett offers advice for those who want to pursue coaching

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley

Olympian and marketing executive Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, a native of Dale City, Virginia, graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1984 with her degree in industrial engineering; she won a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles in the Olympic Games the same year. Mosley was an athlete on the United States Olympic Teams of 1980 and 1984, and an alternate for the 1988 team; during her athletic career, she was the second American, and the only African American woman at that time to have won an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles. Mosley went on to become a fifteen-time All-American; an eight-time national champion; and a gold medalist in the 1983 Pan American Games.

In 1985, Mosley began an engineering career as a computer software and hardware systems developer for defense contractors. After six years in this field, Mosley switched her career to sports marketing and administration, becoming a regional director for Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C. From 1993 to 1995, Mosley served as program director for the marketing division of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. In 1995, Mosley began working for the United States Olympic Committee as the director of the ARCO Olympic Training Center in San Diego; from 1997 until 2000, she served as the USOC's director of Olympic training centers. In March 2001, Mosley was appointed president of Women in Cable and Telecommunications, and Cablefax ranked her fiftieth on its annual list of the 100 most influential executives in the industry.

Mosley was inducted into both the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame; she was named Sportswoman of the Century by The Potomac News and ranked twelfth on a list of the Top 50 Sports Figures of the Century from Virginia by Sports Illustrated. Track and Field News named Mosley Hurdler of the Decade for the 1980s, and in 1996 the United States Sports Academy named her its Distinguished Service Award winner. Additionally, in 1996, Mosley was one of the eight U.S. Olympians chosen to carry the Olympic Flag into the stadium during the Atlanta Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Mosely married Ron Mosley, with whom she had a son, Isaiah.

Accession Number

A2003.012

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/22/2003

Last Name

Mosley

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Fitzgerald

Organizations
Schools

University of Tennesee

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Benita

Birth City, State, Country

Dale City

HM ID

MOS02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

7/6/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cobbler (Apple)

Short Description

Foundation chief executive, track and field athlete, and nonprofit executive Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (1961 - ) was an award-winning hurdler in the 1980s, winning two Olympic gold metals, in addition to a number of other prestigious awards. After the end of her career in hurdling, Mosley went on to have a successful career in sports marketing and administration.

Employment

Special Olympics International

Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games

United States Olympic Committee

Women in Cable and Telecommunications

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:4200,74:9750,249:12750,368:15075,423:15900,439:38240,722:44750,886:48530,958:49440,985:59640,1097:60810,1117:66140,1230:66400,1235:70820,1333:74330,1416:80490,1488:80815,1494:99208,1803:104584,1910:105088,1916:119060,2095:119515,2103:121855,2156:123935,2205:128355,2335:129135,2348:137040,2447:139160,2456$0,0:3723,60:4088,66:4672,74:13213,239:13797,244:15330,273:33060,585:49655,885:58459,964:66656,1056:77090,1267:81678,1382:82196,1390:95194,1577:96346,1606:106704,1737:115310,1837:118600,1905:125320,2056:151134,2372:154330,2471:157620,2534:158556,2552:162588,2650:163740,2679:164316,2693:173748,2923:181487,2989:196974,3203:198492,3242:201760,3288:202008,3294:206348,3385:206782,3394:207030,3399:207278,3404:208518,3424:211618,3508:212052,3517:212920,3541:213788,3557:226792,3705:231975,3876:238830,3926:250722,4141:267774,4364:282816,4604:287110,4642:287490,4647:287870,4652:298230,4809:298750,4820:299335,4830:299920,4842:304730,4933:310152,4949:310472,4955:310728,4960:311048,4966:313080,4990
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Benita Mosley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Benita Mosley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Benita Mosley describes her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Benita Mosley describes her father, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Benita Mosley describes her father, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Benita Mosley describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Benita Mosley talks about her mother's career as a teacher in the 1960s

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Benita Mosley describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Dale City, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Benita Mosley talks about her family

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Benita Mosley remembers being teased by other children as a girl

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Benita Mosley recalls her family's discipline

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Benita Mosley describes her childhood personality and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Benita Mosley talks about becoming interested in track

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Benita Mosley remembers her activities at Mills E. Godwin Middle School in Manassas, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Benita Mosley describes attending Gar-Field High School in Dale City, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Benita Mosley recalls her high school track competitions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Benita Mosley talks about not playing basketball in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Benita Mosley talks about Olympian Paula Girven

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Benita Mosley recalls winning the Track Junior National Championship in 1978

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Benita Mosley describes competing in Russia in 1978

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Benita Mosley talks about becoming an Olympic contender during her senior year of high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Benita Mosley explains how she chose to attend the University of Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Benita Mosley talks about women's athletics at the University of Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Benita Mosley describes academics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Benita Mosley talks about the importance of having a well-rounded life

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Benita Mosley talks about pressure and overtraining in women's athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Benita Mosley talks about making the Olympic team in 1980

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Benita Mosley talks about her experience on the 1980 Olympic team

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Benita Mosley talks about the race of female Olympic track athletes

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Benita Mosley comments on the impact of international politics on track teams

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Benita Mosley describes her athletic development from 1980 to 1983

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Benita Mosley describes the context of the 1984 Olympic games

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Benita Mosley describes winning the 1984 Olympic gold medal

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Benita Mosley talks about how athletics has built her self-confidence

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Benita Mosley talks about her career as an engineer

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Benita Mosley describes her injuries in the mid-1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Benita Mosley describes the 1988 Olympic Trials

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Benita Mosley talks about her post-Olympics career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Benita Mosley talks about becoming the President of Woman in Cable and Telecommunications

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Benita Mosley describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Benita Mosley talks about her future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Benita Mosley reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Benita Mosley gives advice to young female athletes

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Benita Mosley talks about her parents' pride in her career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Benita Mosley describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$6

DATitle
Benita Mosley talks about making the Olympic team in 1980
Benita Mosley describes winning the 1984 Olympic gold medal
Transcript
Tell me about the Olympic, making the Olympic team in 1980, when you were still in University of Tennessee [Knoxville, Tennessee]--(simultaneous)$$Um-hum.$$You're selected for the Olympic team, how you feel about that and how did you find out about that?$$Well, I was at Tennessee and by then, like I said, I was kind of in that whole mode of, you know, looking at my rankings and I was counted top five in the country, at that time. And looking, you know, to try to make the Olympic team, I knew I was a top contender and throughout that spring and all the invitational meets and other competitions, I was doing really, really well, and we get to the Olympic trials, they were in Eugene, Oregon. And we walked into the trials, unfortunately knowing that, you know, President Carter had determined that the U.S. team wasn't going to be able to compete in Moscow [Russia], but, it was still an Olympic trials, nonetheless, the Olympic team berth was on the line and it was an Olympic team in all shape and formed, except we didn't actually compete in the Olympics. And so the pressure was on, I never felt pressure like that before to know it was kind of a do or die race. It's always another race when you're competing and to know that forever and ever, if I didn't do well there, I wouldn't make the Olympic team, if I did, all these other opportunities would present themselves. So, feeling that pressure was something new for me. It's always pressure in a race, but that kind of extra pressure was new and I ran the race, and I got second place. I think one of my other top competitors hit a hurdle really badly and ended up not making the Olympic team. But Stephanie Hightower was first and I was second and Candy Young was third and we were the, you know, hurdlers on the Olympic team that year. And it was very celebratory, we came to [Washington] DC and had this wonderful tour and meal at the White House and beautiful concert at the Kennedy Center and parade and Congressional Medals and all kinds of great honors. But nothing could take the place of being in Moscow at those opening ceremonies and competing at eighteen years old in my first Olympic games. It would've been great. I wasn't a contender for a medal, but it would've been a great experience, I think, for me to have gone and competed. And I really still regret that decision that the President [Jimmy Carter] made to use sport as leverage in what was then the Cold War.$And so in winning my Gold Medal and, you know, becoming the first African American to do that and following in Babe Didrikson's footsteps in the same stadium at the Olympics. She won in '32 [1932], the 80-yard hurdles, I think it was, at that time. Or 80 meters, I'm not sure. In '52 [1952] in Los Angeles at the Olympics and I won in '84 [1984], Los Angeles, and it was a lot of history, how I just walking into the stadium, and we had our Olympic trials there so I was used to the stadium. But nowhere close to that many people were there at the Olympic trials, maybe 25, 30,000 people and here you had 85, 90,000 people in the Coliseum. And for each race, I mean, from the quarter finals, early in the morning to the finals, two days--a day later, you know, in the evening. There they were, screaming, yelling USA, USA and it was the most gratifying feeling. You know, to be there on your home soil with your U.S. uniform on, you know, representing your country and yourself and all the kind of the dreams that you've had all those years kind of coming into fruition, all at one time. I remember walking through the tunnel--the quarter finals in the he--heats in the quarter finals were in one day and then the semi-finals and the finals were another there like an hour, two hours apart, each of those. And so, I had won all my heats and fastest time going into this and fastest time going into that. So I'm feeling like I'm building this momentum and go into--walk through the tunnel under the stadium out to the track and you get to this light and you get to the crowd and the noise and it's just an amazing feeling to be in that kind of arena and that kind of situation. So I win my semi-final race and everybody is just screaming and yelling and I thought, wow, this feels great, I wanna win the race, I wanna feel this again. And be able to take my victory lap and everything. So I go back through the tunnel, and get ready and get psyched up for my race. And really feeling confident and really feeling, you know, almost like I;d had that premonition, you know. Because I felt what it felt like to win already. And so going back to the stadium and getting in the blocs and just really focus on--it's a guy named Ralph Boston, he's a Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist it's in the long jump, back in the '60s [1960] and had always told me, he said when you get in the blocs, just make them disappear, you know. Cause I used to have horrible starts. So he just say think about making them disappear. So that's really all that I was thinking about, make them disappear. Came out of the blocs and just go, and I did that first hurdle, second hurdle, third hurdle, fourth hurdle, fifth hurdle. All the way through the race until about the sixth, seventh or eighth hurdle, I realize there's still another competitor that I hadn't made disappear yet (laughing) and named Shirley Strong, and from Great Britain. And she was, I think, probably touching down just before I was, and I found the gear somewhere, about the eighth hurdle and passed her and beat her by 400th of a second. So it's a slim margin, but enough to know I won, but it was really nice to have that kind of control over your body. To be running that fast to kind of see midstream, that, you know, something else happening being to find the gear and run and win the race. It's a powerful feeling, it's very empowering and then first to cross the finish line. I wasn't quite sure it's close enough but you just hope and pray, you don't--aren't celebrating too soon. And they say, you know you won, you won and I started my victory lap and someone thrust a flag into my hand. I go embrace my parents and my sister, my aunt and uncle and kept on running around the track. It was just really a blur, you know, at that point. You just hear all this, people screaming and yelling your name, and your name's on the marquee and you just, you know. It's a really great feeling.$$I can imagine from watching, I guess but to be there, you know, in Los Angeles (unclear)$$Right.$$Powerful experience.$$It was very powerful. And one that you realize what you as one individual can do. I still get fan mail from people, you know, just having watched that race, and wanting my autograph, and you know, keep it in their record books. And it's something that no one can ever take away from you and it gives you the feeling that, you know what, there was a day when I didn't know how to hurdle and, you know, ten years later, I'm winning an Olympic Gold Medal. I can do anything I that I set my mind to, when I get passionate enough about it, you know, work hard enough at and just apply, apply yourself to. And I feel that confidence in myself throughout. And I've been able to take risks in my career as a result, I think. Do different things, and take on different challenges, with a lot of encouragement from my family and friends. But that confidence comes from being successful on the track.

Willye B. White

Willye B. White was born to run. Born on December 31, 1939, in Money, Mississippi, and raised by her grandparents, White discovered her talent for running and jumping at age ten. At sixteen, she competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and became the first American woman to ever medal in the long jump, earning a silver medal. She participated in the next four Olympiads as well and is the first American to compete on five Olympic track and field teams. She won another silver medal in the 1964 Tokyo Games in the 4-by-100-meter relay. White competed in more than 150 nations as a member of thirty-nine different international track and field teams.

In 1959, White graduated from Broad Street High School in Greenwood, Mississippi, the same year she set an American record for the long jump, which stood for sixteen years. She moved to Chicago in 1960 and began working as a nurse in 1963, first at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, then at the Greenwood Medical Center. In 1965, White became a public health administrator at the Chicago Health Department. She graduated with a B.A. degree in public health administration from Chicago State University in 1976. White remained active in the field of sports. She represented track and field on the U.S. Olympic Committee, coached athletes in the National Sports Festival in 1979 and 1981, coached and managed at the 1981 World Cup Track and Field Championship Games in Brussels and Rome, and served as head coach for the 1994 Olympic Sports Festival.

In 1990, White founded WBW Hang on Productions, a sports and fitness consultancy. A year later, she founded the Willye White Foundation, helping children to develop self-esteem and become productive citizens through such initiatives as the Robert Taylor Girls Athletic Program. This program taught sports and teamwork to children living in the nation’s largest housing project (which has been demolished), a summer day camp and healthcare in the form of immunizations and dental and medical checkups.

White was the first American to win the world’s highest sportsmanship award, the UNESCO Pierre de Coubetin International Fair Play Trophy. She is a member of eleven sports halls of fame, including those of the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, Black Sports, Women Sports Foundation, and National Track and Field. She was chosen by Sports Illustrated for Women in 1999 as one of the 100 greatest athletes of the century and by Ebony in 2002 as one of the ten greatest black female athletes.

White passed away from pancreatic cancer on Tuesday, February 6, 2007.

Accession Number

A2002.112

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/2/2002

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Broad Street High School

McLaurin Elementary School

Stone Street School

Tennessee State University

Chicago State University

Board of Education

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Willye

Birth City, State, Country

Money

HM ID

WHI03

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

A dream without a plan is just a wish.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/31/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern Food

Death Date

2/6/2007

Short Description

Long jumper Willye B. White (1939 - 2007 ) has competed in five Olympic games and is the founder of the Willye White Foundation, helping children to develop self-esteem and become productive citizens. At sixteen, she earned a silver medal in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, becoming the first American woman to ever medal in the long jump.

Employment

Cook County Hospital

Greenwood Medical Center

Chicago Department of Health

Chicago Park District

WBW Hang On Productions

Favorite Color

Bright Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willye White interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willye White lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willye White details her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willye White describes her grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willye White recalls her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willye White discusses color caste within the black community

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willye White illustrates Southern manners

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willye White describes herself as a little girl

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willye White explains why she was raised by her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willye White recounts her school years and early athletics

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Willye White reflects on her self-image

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willye White remembers how she got into athletics

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willye White recalls qualifying for the 1956 Olympic trials

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willye White describes Ed Temple

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willye White recounts traveling to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. for the Olympic trials

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willye White remembers traveling to Los Angeles and Australia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willye White reflects on Australia and her realization that segregation was unnatural

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willye White details her training regimen

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willye White discusses self-motivation in professional sports

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willye White shares her experience at the 1956 Olympics

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willye White denounces the obsession with winning Olympic gold medals

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Willye White describes winning an Olympic silver medal

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Willye White discusses hermaphrodites and performance-enhancing drugs in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Willye White compares competing to escape Communism to competing to escape segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Willye White recalls how she learned to long-jump with no coach

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willye White illustrates coaching different types of jumps

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willye White recalls her first newspaper clipping

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willye White reflects on using her talent to escape segregation

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willye White recounts her trip to communist Russia to compete

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willye White remembers her wild teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willye White explains why she was kicked off the Tennessee State University track team

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willye White shares her experiences at the 1960 Olympics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willye White describes confronting discrimination in nursing programs

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willye White details the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willye White recalls traveling the world to compete

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willye White discusses her role in the changes made by the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willye White shares her disappointments at the 1968 Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willye White criticizes Harry Edwards and his role in the 1968 Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willye White denounces Avery Brundage

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willye White recounts the athletes' demonstrations at the 1968 Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willye White remembers the kidnapping and massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willye White recalls her last Olympic Games

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willye White discusses the rewards of her accomplishment for herself and her family

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willye White details her work with the Willye White Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willye White ponders her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willye White describes her visits to Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willye White discusses feeling rootless

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Portrait of Willye White, December 31, 1990

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Willye White in a long jump event in the National Championships, ca. 1967

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Willye White in a long jump event at the Olympic Trials in Frederick, Maryland, 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Willye White in her track uniform at the XVI Olympiad in Melbourne, Australia, 1956

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Willye White, Chicago, Illinois, 1974

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Newspaper article showing billboard dedicated to Willye White, Greenwood, Mississippi, July 8, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Willye White in a long jump event in Warsaw, Poland, 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Willye White making a long jump landing at the National Championships in Perth, Australia, 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Willye White with her U.S. Olympic teammates at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, 1956

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Willye White winning the 60 yard dash at the Indoor National Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York, February 24, 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Willye White winning her event at the Indoor National Championships, Los Angeles, California, 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Willye White at the Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1961

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Willye White in a broad jump event in Warsaw, Poland, August, 1965

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Willye White in a relay event at the Martin Luther King Games at Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Willye White with the Robert Taylor Girls' Athletic Program on a brochure for the American Red Cross, Chicago, Illinois, 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Willye White in a cotton field in Greenwood, Mississippi for a 'Sports Illustrated' article, December 1975

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

2$10

DATitle
Willye White recalls qualifying for the 1956 Olympic trials
Willye White denounces the obsession with winning Olympic gold medals
Transcript
Now, in the summers, I don't know when this started, but in the summers, I know you went to Tennessee State [University, Nashville, Tennessee].$$Okay, when I was sixteen, at that time there were two universities in America that gave work aid to girls in track and field and that was, there were two ebony-based universities. And that was Tennessee State and Tuskegee [University, Tuskegee, Alabama]. And so it was like a farm program. They would bring all of the Southern girls from all over the South. Tuskegee would take those, and then Tennessee State and you would run for the summer. And if you, you know, they would work with you until you graduated from high school. And then you would come into their program. And so I went to Tennessee State. I chose Tennessee State because it was farthest away from home [Greenwood, Mississippi]. So I went to Tennessee State, and that was in 1956, Wilma Rudolph [who won three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics], we were all in high school. And that was, that was the year of the Olympic Games. And when I got there, the only thing that I knew was I got there May 28th and I was missing all of the cotton. I didn't have to go to the cotton fields. That's what I was so happy about. So when I got there, they were telling us about the Olympic Games, which were gonna be held in November in Melbourne, Australia. And I said, "Wow, if I make the Olympic team, that means I don't have to go home, all the cotton will be gone when I go home now"--not even knowing what the Olympic Games was all about, had no idea, no clue. The only thing I knew was that if I made the Olympic team, then I wouldn't have to go to the cotton fields because I would not get home until after Thanksgiving. And all the cotton is gone. That was, that, that--those were my thoughts. And the trials were held in August, which meant that I would miss the cotton the entire summer. So they had said, "Oh, Willye, you can't make the Olympic team," and--but, see, they didn't know that I had a mission. And my mission was that I didn't want to go back to the cotton fields (laughs). And so I trained and I made the Olympic team. I made--in fact, I jumped Junior Day, I qualified for the Olympic team. And I had six jumps, and all my jumps surpassed the Olympic qualifying standards Junior Day; came back Senior Day, I did the same thing. So the coach was not taking me to the Olympic trials. But after I surpassed the Olympic trials standards, two days in a row, he took me to the Olympic trials, which were held in Washington, D.C. at that time.$$Who was the coach?$$Ed Temple.$Were you disappointed at not winning?$$No, well, when you get to the Olympic Games--let me share something with you about the Olympic Games. The hardest thing in the world to do is to make an Olympic team. That's the hardest thing to do. The second hardest thing to do is to get in the top twelve. And the third hardest thing to do is to get a medal. Now, when you make--the hardest thing, when you make the Olympic team--you've made the Olympic team. And then everything else is a bonus. And then, when you get there, you just said, "Oh, God, please, let me make into competition." So then, and you say, "Oh, God, please, just let me get a medal." You don't care what color it is. It's the lay person, it's corporate America who pushes gold, gold, gold, gold. And the sadness of it is to be, to compete against--you know, you got seven thousand people there. And in your competition, you may have eight hundred people from all over the world. And you're competing with these people. And just to be able to represent your country out of--what? Twenty million people or whatever, to represent your country. And then you--because you don't win, then, you know, it, it, it--you're nothing or you won a Silver Medal. I mean the Silver Medal don't count. You must win Gold, but the sadness of it, and this is why you have so many athletes that are destroying their lives using drugs because of the, the pressure that lay society put on our athletes to be the, to be winners. You know, what about doing your best? What about giving 100 percent? There's always someone that's better, but the question you ask yourself--and this is what I tell children that I work with--did you give your best? Did you give 100 percent? If they said, yes, then you are a winner. But no, the American way is to win at all costs and it is costing the lives of our young people.

Robert Beamon

Olympic gold medalist and record-breaking track and field star Bob Beamon was born on August 29, 1946, in Jamaica, New York. When he was eight months old, his mother, Naomi Brown Beamon, died of tuberculosis. On account of his stepfather's incarceration, Beamon’s maternal grandmother, Bessie, became his primary caregiver.

Beamon’s childhood was set against a background of violence, gangs and drugs. During a fight at school, Beamon struck a teacher and was expelled. He was sent to a juvenile detention center and then an alternative school for delinquents in New York. At this school, he learned discipline and began to look away from street culture. Beamon used sports as a means to focus his attention and energy toward positive goals. He regularly broke track records at the local and state levels. After graduating from high school, Beamon attended North Carolina A&T to be close to his ill grandmother. When she died, he transferred to the University of Texas-El Paso, a school with a prominent track and field team.

In 1968, Beamon qualified for the Olympics in Mexico City. Four months before, he had been suspended from the University of Texas-El Paso track team for refusing to compete against Brigham Young University, a Mormon college with racist policies. This left Beamon without a coach. However, Olympian Ralph Boston began to coach him unofficially. On October 18, 1968, Beamon made Olympic history when he broke the world record for the long jump. Beamon jumped 29 feet, 4 ½ inches, beating the previous record by nearly two feet, setting a record that stood for twenty-three years, and becoming the first man to jump more than 28 feet.

Beamon graduated from Adelphi University in 1972 with a degree in sociology. In 1999, Beamon and his wife, Milana Walter Beamon, co-wrote a book about his life, The Man Who Could Fly. He has been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Olympic Hall of Fame.

Accession Number

A2002.049

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/16/2002

Last Name

Beamon

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BEA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe, Africa, Asia

Favorite Quote

You have to keep going until you've got it right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/29/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Long jumper Robert Beamon (1946 - ) is the Olympic gold medalist who set the world record for the long jump in the 1968 Olympics; he has been inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Olympic Hall of Fame.

Employment

United States Olympic Team

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bob Beamon interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bob Beamon discusses his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bob Beamon discusses his mother, father, grandmother and stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bob Beamon discusses his earliest memories, including an overview of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bob Beamon discusses his early role models

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bob Beamon talks about his education and his expulsion from school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bob Beamon details his troubled past and how sports became a constructive outlet for his energy

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bob Beamon discusses those who inspired and influenced him as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bob Beamon discusses his friendship with Brother Patterson and how music entered his life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bob Beamon discusses his time at Jamaica High School and how he found his athletic talent

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bob Beamon talks about his popularity in school and about his public image

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bob Beamon talks about the famous olympians who visited his school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bob Beamon discusses his Olympic achievements

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bob Beamon recalls his experiences at the University of Texas, El Paso

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bob Beamon talks fondly about his athletic coach Wayne Vandenberg

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bob Beamon recalls his experiences in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bob Beamon talks more about his Olympic experience and his belief in creative visualization

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bob Beamon discusses his Olympic success

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Bob Beamon talks about the famous olympians who visited his school
Bob Beamon recalls his experiences in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico
Transcript
Now, talk about also, the day that the olympians came to school [Jamaica High School, Jamaica, New York], you know, the--Ralph Boston and Donna--.$$Yeah, during the summer, I believe it was my sixteenth--fifteenth or sixteenth year, and during summer program--they had this program called 'Operation Champ,' and they would--these celebrities would move around and talk about their experiences, and we had three. One was Donna de Varona, Ralph Boston, and Wilma Rudolph. And I wasn't really that impressed with Ralph Boston or Donna de Varona. I was more impressed, I was more impressed with Donna de Varona than Wilma Rudolph and Ralph Boston because I couldn't swim, and she was a swimming gold medalist, and I was like--and stayed on the track and getting track stuff. I ran in and got some information from Donna de Varona about swimming, and I still didn't learn how to swim, and I came back out, and they were talking about the Olympic experience, you know. They had these USA uniforms on. I said, "Me, I'm gonna get me one of those." This was probably around 1964, the summer of sixty--well, it was right after the Olympic games, probably September, getting close to school. And they were very exciting to me, and I said, "One of these days, I'm going to get one of those uniforms." And I did.$But it was there. That's from that--from University of [Texas at] El Paso, Texas that you competed. That was at the time that you only competed for the Olympics, right?$$Right. I--.$$Right, right. So how does that work? How--you were training there, but that doesn't mean that you automatically can make the Olympic set. Can you talk about that process that got you to, to Mexico?$$Well, there are some preliminary competitions that will qualify you to participate at the Olympic trials, and every one of the preliminary activities I won. Competitions, I made the distance, which was twenty-five, twenty-five [feet] six [inches], I believe. And from that point on, I was winning every major competition, and then I came back and won the Olympic trials. And prior to going to the Mexico games, about a month before, we had another trials that I won, also, and I jumped twenty-seven [feet] six [inches]. And from that point on, I felt very, very confident that I was going to be the winner. I had no doubt. I had believed that those that have doubt about their ability have a lot of problems in the games. And so I felt that I was well-prepared. I was willing to jump in rain, snow, sleet. Whatever it would take, I was going to win. And so that day, October 18, 1968, I stood up at the runway, and I said that, "I'm not going to be denied being a champion on this day," and on my first jump, I jumped twenty-nine feet two-and-a-half inches. And I think the moment that that happened and I found out that--you know, I said, you know, "Well, then what's the next thing that I'm going to do in life that's going to give me this kind of peak experience?" And I've been searching ever since.