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The Honorable Audrey Collins

Federal District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins was born on June 12, 1945 in Chester, Pennsylvania to Dr. Furman L. Brodie Jr. and Audrey Moseley Brodie. She attended Yeadon High School in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. Collins attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, earning her B.A. degree in political science in 1967. That year, she received Howard University’s Woman of the Year Award and married her husband, Dr. Tim Collins. In 1969, she earned her M.A. degree in public administration from American University’s School of Government and Public Administration. In 1974, Collins returned to school to earn her law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. She was a member of the UCLA Law Review, and earned her J.D. degree in 1977, graduating with the Order of the Coif.

In 1977, Collins served as an assistant attorney of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and in 1978, she was hired as a deputy district attorney of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. In 1987, Collins was promoted to head deputy at the Torrance Branch office. She was then appointed as the assistant director of the Bureaus of Central and Special Operations the following year. In 1992, she was named the assistant district attorney and a deputy general counsel in the Office of the Special Advisor, where she served as counsel to the Los Angeles Police Department Board of Commissioners. Two years later, President Bill Clinton nominated Collins for a seat on the District Court for the Central District of California. She served as chief judge for the court from 2009 through September, 2012.

In 1988, Collins received the Loren Miller Lawyer of the Year Award by the John M. Langston Bar Association. In 1994, she was awarded the National Black Prosecutors Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and, in 2006, she was presented with the Bernard Jefferson Judge of the Year Award by the John M. Langston Bar Association. In 2012, Collins was awarded both the Outstanding Jurist Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Joan Dempsey Klein Distinguished Jurist Award. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles County, the John M. Langston Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, and the National Association of Women Judges.

Collins and her husband have two adult children, one whom is an actor and the other an attorney.

Judge Audrey B. Collins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.344

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/18/2013 |and| 11/14/2014

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Schools

Yeadon High School

American University

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law

William B. Evans Elementary School

Howard University

First Name

Audrey

Birth City, State, Country

Chester

HM ID

COL25

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Santa Barbara, New York City

Favorite Quote

Let's Just Get It Done.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/12/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie

Short Description

Federal district court judge The Honorable Audrey Collins (1945 - ) served in the Central District of California from 1994 to 2013. She was the court's chief judge from 2009 to 2012.

Employment

United States District Court

L.A. County District Attorney's Office

University of Southern California

Los Angeles Unified School District

Model Cities

District of Columbia Public Schools

Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP

California Court of Appeal, District 2

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Audrey Collins' interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her mother's intelligence

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers ice deliveries at her maternal grandparents' home

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her paternal relatives' migration to the North

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her family's roots in the Presbyterian church

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her parents' reasons for leaving Chester, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the discrimination against her family in Yeadon, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her friendship with Donald Bogle

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her mother's students

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the grade levels at Yeadon Junior Senior High School in Yeadon, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the music and television of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her father's political affiliation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her summer employment

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers visiting the campus of Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her professors at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the civil rights activism at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers President Lyndon Baines Johnson's speech at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the start of her interest in law

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers joining the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls teaching at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her husband's dental career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her early jobs in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the School of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her experiences of discrimination she faced at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her transition from private practice to the district attorney's office

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her work at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her work at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the civil unrest in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the case of the State of California v. Soon Ja Du

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the Rodney King trials

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her role on the Committee of Bar Examiners

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her work as a federal district judge

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her staff

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the need for new judicial positions

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her ruling on Humanitarian Law Project v. Reno

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls upholding the removal of nativity scenes from public property

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers a child custody case involving the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Audrey Collins' interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her work with Johnnie Cochran

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as the legal advisor to the grand jury

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her career at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as a head deputy of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her position in the Association of Deputy District Attorneys

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls her role as an assistant bureau director of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her role in the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about police brutality in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the changes in criminal justice in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers applying for a federal judgeship

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers her judicial confirmation hearing

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the history of African American judges in California

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the duties of a federal district judge

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes the outcome of her challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her brother's legal work

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her notable cases

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the Myspace anti-spam ruling

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers the challenges to the City of Los Angeles' billboard ordinance

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her position as chief district judge

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about her programs to lower recidivism

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Audrey Collins remembers enforcing the rights of disabled prison inmates in Orange County, California

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls serving as chief justice of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her decision to remain an active judge

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her appointment to the California Second District Court of Appeal

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Audrey Collins talks about the duties of an appellate judge

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her judicial philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Audrey Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her children

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - The Honorable Audrey Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

12$5

DATitle
The Honorable Audrey Collins recalls the start of her interest in law
The Honorable Audrey Collins describes her work as a federal district judge
Transcript
Well in terms of p- political science, I know that Howard's political science department had to be a lot different from the civics classes you had in, in Yeadon [Pennsylvania], so what--what did you learn?$$ (Pause) I'm sorry?$$So what did you learn at Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] that was different from what was at, taught at Yeadon High School [Yeadon Junior Senior High School, Yeadon, Pennsylvania], you know.$$ Well Yeadon, I mean you know that was high school. I'm sure I had civics of some kind because that's what they did then; they don't do it anymore, they don't have civics, which is a great loss. And I know Justice Sandra Day O'Connor you know, one of her goals in life now is to try to restore civics to the curriculum. So I'm sure we had it. But I mean Howard of course was just more in depth, examination of both our political system and then, and then others and some comparisons with other, other countries, essentially, parliamentary system, et cetera. So I mean it was, it was a very good program, and I can't say that there was any one thing that made me think I wanted to study law. But just being in that environment at that time, even from high school on, although high school was very different. You began to realize I mean people like Thurgood Marshall are in this environment. You know we have the [U.S.] Supreme Court downtown and all of these changes taking place. And this is an area in which you could do some good. To tell you the truth, I initially was interested in criminal defense because that seemed--I mean very logical at the time. You wanna defend people. It wasn't until later events took place that I switched over and became a prosecutor, both because that was where the opportunity was at the time, and I came to realize that you--there's really a lot of power in the prosecution. They are the people who decide whether to bring the charges in the first place. They have a lot of discretion in how a case is disposed of, which has to do with sentencing, and most of the victims are black or people of color across the country, and certainly here in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. But the goal, at the time you know, you thought well I'm going--I wanna obviously gonna defend, you know. So certainly being in that atmosphere at Howard. I mean there were so many things going on. Even the fine arts, you know, was amazing. I didn't know Debbie Allen at the time, I think she was behind me. But just that--here you are and you know, you can do anything. Which was something my mother had already instilled in us of course that there's no limit because you're African American or a woman or whatever. And in fact I remember when I went through that phase, Future Nurses of America, I'm gonna be a nurse. My mother said, "Well why don't you wanna be a doctor?" And I thought okay. But I, I, I didn't at the time. I mean to me it was a nurse. And she's like, "No, why don't you wanna be a doctor?" So our--I think our, our parents [Audrey Moseley Collins and Furman Brodie, Jr.] raised us to obviously you're gonna get educated, you're--and you can do whatever you want. You decide what to do.$How'd you like the job? I mean you're still do- doing it, so you must like it (unclear).$$ Yes. No it's, it's a wonderful job. Both being a trial, trial judge and then the time I was chief judge. The variety is one of the best things. I mean there's some negative things about the system that aren't working right now; we're not getting new judgeships. We haven't had any new judgeships since 1990 and look how our population in the Central District [Central District of California] has boomed since then. So our caseload has just sort of gone up exponentially. But the variety is fun because you get to do everything, unlike many courts that are divided into departments, which makes a lot of sense. You know you either do criminal or you do civil, you do probate, you do family law, you know you do long cause trials, you do juvenile. We do everything. I mean I get civil and criminal cases, all at the same time. I get motions in criminal and civil all at the same time. You might be doing a criminal trial, you might be doing a civil trial. And the variety of cases within the civil arena is breathtaking. From constitutional law to things that are removed from state courts. You get your Fair Labor Standards Act [Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938], as well as your state labor code violations. You can get many employment law discrimination cases under both federal and state law. Discrimination based on sex, age, gender, race. Your Americans with Disabilities Act [Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990]. And again a lot of these also have state law counterparts. You get a lot of Americans Disabilities Act. And then you just get cases that are removed from state court because the defendant is not a California corporation. So again, a lot of California labor code, wage and hour violations, you know I didn't get my overtime, I didn't get my rest period, breach of contract. Just regular old breach of contract. I have a huge one involving Boeing [The Boeing Company] and some international corporations over some big deal they tried to do, Sea Launch [Sea Launch Company, LLC; Energia Overseas, Ltd.]. They were gonna launch satellites into space and it failed and everybody's suing everybody else. It's breach of contract. But they're from all different places, so there's diversity. So I've got, I've got breach of contract. It, it's just amazing--like copyright and intellectual property. Copyright, trademark, patent, just a little bit of admiralty law, not much but you know, if, if it's admiralty law, it has to come here [U.S. District Court for the Central District of California]. A little bit of--occasionally like a railroad case under the railroad act has to come here. So you truly never know what you're gonna get. I mean after nineteen years, I still see new stuff where I look at--I go, "What is this? I've never seen this before."

Lois Wright

Broadcast executive and lawyer Lois E. Wright was born on June 25, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, to parents Robert Wright and Elise Onion. Wright earned her B.A. degree in American Studies from Douglas College at Rutgers University in 1970. After attending the Bout Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Wright transferred to the Rutgers School of Law and graduated with her J.D. degree from there in 1973.

Upon graduation, Wright was hired by the City of Newark as an attorney in the corporate counsel’s office. She became a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1977, and served there for three years in the Broadcast Bureau as well as the Office of Plans and Policy. In 1980, Wright became the general counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies. She was later appointed as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for ICBC.

In 1996, Wright became a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of The Links, Inc. She later served as the counsel to the board of directors for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and as a member of the board of directors for the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). Wright is also a member of the National Bar Association (NBA),

In 2010, Wright received the distinct honor of being named as one of “The 50 Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine.

Lois E. Wright was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.280

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/14/2013

Last Name

Wright

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Rutgers School of Law

Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California

Rutgers University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

WRI07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sole (Dover)

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur and lawyer Lois Wright (1949 - ) served as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies.

Employment

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

City of Newark, New Jersey

Favorite Color

Black

The Honorable Arnette Hubbard

Circuit court judge and attorney Arnette R. Hubbard was born in Stephens, Arkansas. Hubbard graduated with her B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She went on to receive her J.D. degree in 1969 from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1969, Hubbard was hired as a staff attorney for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Then, in 1972, she went into private practice. Hubbard was named the first woman president of the National Bar Association in 1981. From 1985 to 1989, Hubbard served as commissioner of the Chicago Cable Commission. She then served on the three-member Chicago Board of Election Commissioners beginning in 1989, and, in 1992, she became the first African American commissioner elected president of the Association of Election Commissioners of Illinois. She was also the first woman president of the Cook County Bar Association, the nation’s oldest African American bar association.

Hubbard was an official U.S. observer to the 1994 historic elections in South Africa in which Nelson Mandela won the presidency. The following year, President Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Presidential Observer Delegation for the parliamentary and local elections in Haiti. In 1997, Hubbard began a six-year term as a circuit court judge. She began her term in the First Municipal District, but in 2001, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans assigned her to the Law Jury Section of the Law Division. In 2004, Hubbard retained her seat, and that same year, she helped create and served as vice-chair of the Illinois Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

Hubbard has served on the Election Authority Advisory Committee of the State Board of Elections of the State of Illinois, as well as the executive committee of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials, and Treasurers. She has received the Clarence Darrow Award in recognition of her contributions to social justice. In 2000, Hubbard received the Obelisk Award for education and community service. In 2001, she became the first woman inducted into the Scroll of Distinguished Women Lawyers by the National Bar Association in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of her presidency of that organization. Hubbard also received the Margaret Brent Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Bar Association in 2009.

Arnette Hubbard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 30, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.310

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/30/2003

Last Name

Hubbard

Maker Category
Middle Name

Rhinehart

Occupation
Schools

Southern Illinois University

John Marshall Law School

Washington Middle School

First Name

Arnette

Birth City, State, Country

Stephens

HM ID

HUB02

Favorite Season

Whenever It's Sunny

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/11/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Circuit court judge The Honorable Arnette Hubbard (1935 - ) was a practicing attorney for twenty-eight years before becoming a circuit court judge in Chicago. She was the first woman president of the National Bar Association, as well as the first woman president of the Cook County Bar Association.

Employment

Illinois Cook Judicial Circuit Court

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

Chicago Cable Commission

Delete

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arnette Hubbard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arnette Hubbard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arnette Hubbard talks about her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arnette Hubbard talks about her father, who passed away when she was a toddler

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arnette Hubbard describes her mother, Madeline Edwards

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arnette Hubbard describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arnette Hubbard talks about her elementary school years at Washington High School in El Dorado, Arkansas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arnette Hubbard talks about her grade school teachers and early love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Arnette Hubbard narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arnette Hubbard narrates her photographs, pt. 2

The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr.

County Superior Court Judge Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was born on March 19, 1947 in Atlanta, Georgia to his parents Alford J. Dempsey, Sr. and Maenelle Dempsey. His father served in the U.S. Army and was assigned to General Eisenhower's honor guard in Europe after World War II. While growing up, Dempsey wanted to join the military to emulate his father. His mother was an educator who worked for the State of Georgia’s Department of Education, developing schools in African American communities throughout Georgia. In 1965, Dempsey graduated from New Hampton School, a boarding school in New Hampshire where he played football, basketball, and baseball. Dempsey entered Columbia University that same year as a pre-med student. While at Columbia, Dempsey participated in the 1968 student protests. He later transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta where he graduated with honors with his B.A. degree in economics in 1972 and in 1976, Dempsey earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

Dempsey began his legal career working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. He later became assistant city attorney for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Law. In 1992, Dempsey was named judge of the Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court in Atlanta. He was appointed by Fulton County State Court Chief Clarence Coopers. In 1995, Dempsey was then appointed to the Fulton County Superior Court by Governor Zell Miller where he presided over civil and felony criminal cases. Dempsey was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court. Dempsey has presided over many high profile cases throughout his career including the case involving the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and allegations of misspending by its leadership.

Dempsey has served as a member of a number of professional legal organizations, including the American Judges Association, the American Judicature Society, the Atlanta Bar Association (Past Chair Judicial Section), the Bleckley Inn of Court, the Gate City Bar Association (Immediate Past Chair Judicial Section), and the National Bar Association.

Dempsey has also been active in numerous community organizations including serving as the District Chair of the South Atlanta District of the Boy Scouts of America, a Board member and past president of the Board of Carrie Steele-Pitts Home and a Board member of Sisters By Choice, Inc.

Alford J. Dempsey, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 20, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.019

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/20/2011

Last Name

Dempsey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

J.

Schools

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Washington High School

New Hampton Community School

Columbia University

Morehouse College

Harvard Law School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Alford

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

DEM01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

If washing don't get you, the rinsing sure will.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/19/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Snapper (Twice-Baked)

Short Description

County superior court judge The Honorable Alford Dempsey, Jr. (1947 - ) has been the presiding judge of the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Fulton County Family Court.

Employment

City of Atlanta Deparment of Law

Magistrate Court of Fulton County/State Court Presiding Judge

Superior Court of Fulton County

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alford Dempsey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey relates stories from his father

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his father's education and career in the U.S. Military

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his father's experience with segregation in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his mother's career, educational background and mother's side of the family in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes his maternal family in Noonan, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his parents' marriage and his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his birthplace, his adopted sibling, and the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the neighborhood where he spent his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Scott family, owners of the Atlanta Daily World, as well as his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his family's church, First Congregational Church in Atlanta, and his activities as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey talks about his participation in sports and his experience attending Washington High School and New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the New Hampton Boarding School in New Hampshire

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about his student activities and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience at the New Hampton Boarding School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey discusses how he chose Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his difficulties as a student at Columbia University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his academic performance and student activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes the 1968 Columbia University student protest

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes the differences between the two 1968 Columbia student protests

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his band, the Soul Syndicate, and the famous musicians he met in New York and Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey recalls his time working at the Bird Cage Restaurant and Lounge in Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey discusses meeting his wife, Colleen

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving Columbia University to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his time between graduating from Morehouse College, and attending Harvard Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about his twin daughters, Audrey and Angela, and his grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey discusses attending Harvard University Law School and his job search

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the Atlanta City Attorney's Office

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey discusses the Minority and Female Business Enterprise Program and Maynard Jackson's impact as Mayor of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Atlanta Child Murders in 1979 and his son Alford James Dempsey, III

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey describes his work for the City of Atlanta, teaching at Atlanta University and his private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey discusses his appointment to the magistrate court of Fulton County, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey talks about leaving the City Attorney's Office and his relationship with Hamilton E. Holmes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey describes his experience as a judge in the Fulton County Superior Court

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about the Olympic bombing in Atlanta and the events of September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his wife's battle with breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alford Dempsey describes his work with the organization, Sisters by Choice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alford Dempsey describes his life and projects after the death of his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alford Dempsey describes the Brian Nichols courthouse shooting incident in Atlanta

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alford Dempsey continues his discussion of Atlanta's Brian Nichols

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alford Dempsey talks about his board affiliations, public service and charitable organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alford Dempsey discusses his legacy, goals and objectives

U. Lawrence Boze

Houston attorney U. Lawrence Bozé, was born November 1, 1949, in Houston, Texas; his mother Iva Stewart Bozé's family operated Stewart’s Grocery, and his father, U.L. Bozé, founded Riverside Bank, Houston’s first African American controlled bank. Bozé graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1967. From there, Bozé went on to attend the University of Houston on a football scholarship, where he earned his B.S. degree in 1973. In 1978, Bozé became the first student to receive a master’s in finance degree and a J.D. degree from Texas Southern University in their joint degree program; he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was valedictorian of both programs.

Bozé served as the bankruptcy counsel for Chevron U.S.A./Gulf Oil Corporation from 1978 to 1987. As vice president/bankruptcy counsel for Allied Bankshares, Inc., Bozé formulated the bankruptcy section of Allied Banks of Texas, which consisted of fifty-two banks and handled a docket of over 700 pre-bankruptcy cases. Later, Bozé founded U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates, which specialized in environmental law, real estate, and commerce litigation. In addition, Bozé served as a closing attorney and tort litigator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is an AMI certified mediator. In 1994, Bozé became the first black fee attorney for Fidelity National Title.

Active in the National Bar Association (NBA) since 1987, Bozé served as the president of the affiliate, Houston Lawyers Association, in 1987. In 1991, Bozé founded and became the first president of the Texas Association of African American Lawyers. Bozé was elected the NBA’s 54th president in 1996; he served as a State Bar Examiner for the Texas Board of Law Examiners from 1997 on. Bozé is a recipient of the NAACP Distinguished Service to the Houston Community Award.

U. Lawrence Boze was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November, 3, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/3/2004

Last Name

Boze

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lawrence

Occupation
Schools

Phillis Wheatley High School

University of Houston

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

U.

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

BOZ01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean; Jamaica

Favorite Quote

The Good Life.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

11/1/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Lawyer U. Lawrence Boze (1949 - ) founded U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates, a firm which specializes in environmental law, real estate, and commerce litigation. In addition, Bozé served as a closing attorney and tort litigator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is an AMI certified mediator.

Employment

Chevron U.S.A./Gulf Oil Corporation

Allied Bankshares, Inc.

U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Fidelity National Title

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:7128,154:7920,167:8536,175:11616,231:18953,310:23930,425:26142,468:36119,656:38225,710:40088,759:40736,769:45353,872:51509,982:51914,988:52643,998:57503,1101:58070,1109:58637,1117:69662,1303:79202,1442:98221,1736:107854,1821:108249,1827:112436,2094:135556,2338:136336,2475:136804,2497:147548,2684:149030,2719:155114,2867:156362,2883:156752,2889:175662,3247:178450,3297:199738,3625:211150,3848:223820,4040:224180,4045:233478,4181:233958,4187:240730,4305$0,0:8337,162:20834,449:37804,642:39960,686:58813,965:66618,1095:66978,1101:73089,1162:76827,1244:77717,1269:80387,1309:83057,1357:95530,1563:108552,1766:108868,1771:115432,1869:116450,1878
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for U. Lawrence Boze's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - U. Lawrence Boze lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - U. Lawrence Boze describes his maternal family lineage

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about his maternal ancestors' migration from Haiti to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - U. Lawrence Boze describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about his paternal family and his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - U. Lawrence Boze describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - U. Lawrence Boze recalls his mother's inspirational success

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers the sights, sounds and smells of family trips growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - U. Lawrence Boze describes himself as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his parent's divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - U. Lawrence Boze speaks about his family's support for him and their religious affiliations while he was growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - U. Lawrence Boze reminisces about his commitment to music as a young man

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his experience at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his mother's death when he was sixteen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - U. Lawrence Boze recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers touring the Chitlin' Circuit as a performer in college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about his experience on the football team at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - U. Lawrence Boze shares memories of playing high school and college football in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about the exploitation of college athletes and the football culture in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers how his football demotion led to his focus on academics at the University of Texas in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - U. Lawrence Boze explains how he decided to enter a joint law and business program at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - U. Patrick Boze remembers renting out the Astrodome for a black college All-Star game in the early 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - U. Lawrence Boze recalls his time at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - U. Lawrence Boze explains how big oil companies have stolen land from African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers the racism he faced as a young lawyer working for Gulf Oil

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - U. Lawrence Boze speaks about meeting Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers filing a discrimination case against Gulf Oil and Chevron Corporation in 1987

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - U. Lawrence Boze recalls starting his own private practice

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about his most interesting case in private law practice

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about the controversial decision to allow Clarence Thomas to address the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his law school and professional mentors

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his work with the Jamaican banana boycott

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - U. Lawrence Boze recalls his trip to Brazil with the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - U. Lawrence Boze describes the history and objectives of the National Bar Association, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - U. Lawrence Boze describes the history and objectives of the National Bar Association, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about his work on environmental cases

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - U. Lawrence Boze describes his family's accomplishments

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers the legal cases he is most proud of representing

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - U. Lawrence Boze explains his legal philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - U. Lawrence Boze describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about the importance of historically black colleges and universities

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - U. Lawrence Boze talks about honoring the commitment of earlier generations with his efforts

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - U. Lawrence Boze reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - U. Lawrence Boze reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers being profiled for "flying while black" and his lawsuit against U.S. Air

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - U. Lawrence Boze remembers his parents

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - U. Lawrence Boze describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - U. Lawrence Boze sings

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 4

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 5

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
U. Lawrence Boze explains how big oil companies have stolen land from African Americans
U. Lawrence Boze talks about his most interesting case in private law practice
Transcript
So I start sending out the resumes and sent a resume out to Gulf Oil, and they initially sent me a letter saying, you know, declining. So they gave me a second look, because they saw my grade, my GPA, and the fact that I finished first in my class, and they had me fulfill all their requirements. And so the general counsel at the time was a man by the name of Jesse Luden [ph.]. They brought me in, and they took me on a world wind interviews. I had to interview here in Houston [Texas], in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], interviewed me--I got interviewed about--I took about fifteen interviews before they finally offered me a job. Said, we got to make sure, you know, that you're okay. So I said, fine, I went through them all. And so I then became the first and only African American oil and gas lawyer they had.$$Now, Gulf [Oil], I remember at the time--$$Yeah--$$Early '70s [1970s], because they were--well, mid-'70s [1970s], they were taking a beating in the--amongst the black political people they were following what's going on in Angola--$$Absolutely.$$--and there were ads in--American Friends Service Committee had an ad of a Portuguese soldier holding up a brother's head--$$Well, Gulf.$$--in a jet?$$Let me tell you in, in, in my--as an oil and gas attorney, what they call--they call that upstream. I was able to see a lot of things a lot of blacks normally don't see. How they took a lot of black people's property from them. And I am convinced that adverse possession statutes were passed in order to help assist to taking of black people's land. You have to understand, most of the oil and gas--oil and gas riches, and I am talking about millions of dollars, almost billions of dollars, have come off land who were originally black folks' land in east Texas, in Louisiana--$$Now, these are--are these lands that were originally occupied by black folks because they weren't as valuable as some of the other black--$$Well, because they thought they weren't valuable--$$They were swampy-like (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) They gave them swampland-$$--or something like that--$$--thinking it was nothing. When actually, you know, they were and they would come back and they wouldn't run them off. They would do it either through a gun, they would use the courts, they would use sheriffs. They had actually used some family members sometimes, because they would put X's down. And as an oil and gas attorney, believe me, I was able to see all these things, and the thing that they would say about black people, and the racism, derogatory things, and how they would take land from people. You know, and I've spoken to Kweisi Mfume about this, really, in the last month about--because I've had people, I, I, you know, I still try to represent people sometimes in oil and gas matters because it really is a crying shame how they took all this black land from black folks and set up adverse possession statutes where if you don't stay on your land for a certain period of time than, you know, someone else can claim it. And in this state, they have prescriptive periods of ten years. If you stay away, you know, it belongs to someone else, and then you sell it to someone else where they have a good faith purchase and it goes on and on. And so, I mean, really tell you, literally millions and millions of dollars that could have gone to black folks who was taken from by these these pillar tops. Exxon [Mobil Corporation], that land was black land, okay. It really is, it is a shame. I've spoken to many people about it, and, unfortunately, I've not been able to help, you know, a lot of people because these statutes you can't retroactively try to take land back from people who--the way it was stolen, but you can see the history around black people had land back as far as the turn of the beginning of the State of Texas and had land grants, because a lot of Hispanics had land grants and still own--and still have their property. To this day. Down on Laredo [Texas], I know a lawyer who has eight thousand acre ranch that his family got as a land grant from the State of Texas, okay. And he still--his family still has it. You can't tell me one black person who, you know, who still has that from a land grant, and I've seen it. I saw when I was an oil and gas lawyer.$I had a case that--with Willie [E.] Gary out of Stuart, Florida. We represented Pleasantville [Civic League, Houston, Texas]. Because what happened there was a warehouse that blew up next to the Pleasantville and spewed all this toxic hazardous waste throughout this African American community, and that's one of the, probably, one of the interesting cases [Pleasantville Civic, et al v. Logistics Partners, et al] I ever did. No one knew at the time that the material that blew up came--was owned by a company--it was owned by the governor of Italy. And so we end up--I end up going to Italy for a month, living in Milan [Italy], taking depositions. There was about fifty lawyers that went. We represented, because Willie and I made a presentation for the Pleasantville Civic Committee, who recommended to the community at large to hire us, and so we ended representing nearly three thousand people, okay. We represented the largest plaintiffs group; three thousand adults and minors, okay. So I went to Italy and we stayed a month, and so we would three days on taking depositions and three days off, and, you know, of course on the days off, we would travel around Europe and that was the time where the world soccer, so I end up in France, seeing the world soccer. I went to Switzerland, I mean, Sweden. I mean, I just was all through Europe, Europe on the train. And I, you know, just did traveling. We would, during the day, we would take depositions, and I would speak in English, and they would translate it into Italian, but I had a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people we were translating, they already knew English, but they were just making you do it. And so that was a--you know, that case went on. It was a very big case, and we had a very successful, I believe, in for the people. We got millions of dollars for them, sure did.$$Okay.$$Sure did.

The Honorable Robert Mack Bell

Judge Robert Mack Bell was born on July 6, 1943 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to Thomas and Rosa Lee Bell. His father was a construction worker while his mother worked as a domestic and care giver. His parents separated when he was a young, and Bell was raised by his mother who moved to Baltimore, Maryland, in search of better jobs. He attended Baltimore public schools and graduated from Dunbar High School in 1961. While finishing his senior year at Dunbar in 1960, he, along with eleven other students, were recruited by Morgan State College students to participate in a sit-in at Hooper’s Restaurant, a segregated business. The students were subsequently arrested and convicted for trespassing. Bell was the lead defendant for an appeal of the verdict in the landmark civil rights case, Bell v. Maryland, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and eventually ended racial segregation in Maryland.

After high school, Bell enrolled at Morgan State College in 1961 but was forced to take a year off from school after being hospitalized with tuberculosis. In 1963, he returned to Morgan where he was active in student government, and a member of the honor society and of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity. After he graduated second in his class with his A.B. degree in history and political science in 1966, he enrolled at Harvard Law School. The first student from Morgan to attend Harvard’s prestigious law school, Bell received his J.D. degree from there in 1969.

After passing the Maryland State Bar Examination in 1969, Bell was hired by Piper & Marbury, where he became the Baltimore law firm’s first black associate. In 1975, he became a judge on the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City in his first judgeship. In 1980, Bell served as a judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore, remaining until 1984. He was then appointed to the bench of the Court of Special Appeals in Maryland, serving in that post until 1991 when he was elected Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. In 1996, Bell was appointed by Maryland Governor Parris Glendening as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. With that appointment he became the only active judge in Maryland to have served at least four years on all four levels of Maryland’s judiciary and the first African American to be named the state’s chief jurist.

Bell is a member of several legal organizations including the National, American and Maryland State Bar Associations. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in the legal field and lectures often at schools and at community functions.

Appellate Court Judge Robert Mack Bell was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on August 17, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.129

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/17/2004

Last Name

Bell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Mack

Schools

P.S. 101A Elementary School

P.S. 139 Elementary School

Dunbar High School

Morgan State University

Harvard Law School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Rocky Mount

HM ID

BEL02

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No preference

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: No preference

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

7/6/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork

Short Description

Judge The Honorable Robert Mack Bell (1943 - ) was the lead defendant in the 1964 civil rights case, Bell v. Maryland, which was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and helped end racial segregation in Maryland. Since 1996, Bell has been Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Employment

Piper & Marbury

District Court of Maryland

Circuit Court for Baltimore City

Maryland Court of Special Appeals

Court of Appeals of Maryland

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1264,41:1580,46:9243,180:9559,185:10428,198:16730,231:17170,237:19764,250:20132,255:20868,268:22892,305:23628,314:25284,340:36844,480:37876,498:42176,527:42778,536:43466,547:44154,556:46734,606:62485,850:62777,855:63580,900:75769,1163:82551,1265:83586,1280:85311,1309:85794,1317:87381,1346:87657,1351:88623,1376:93890,1396:98426,1438:103594,1521:121650,1789:123344,1816:132400,1910:136080,1934:136400,1939:137280,1950:138000,1962:138320,1967:138800,1975:139120,1980:139920,1991:141120,2014:141600,2022:142080,2035:149213,2105:149710,2114:149994,2119:150278,2129:150562,2134:157449,2276:171788,2486:172424,2493:173166,2502:176876,2543:180215,2559:180555,2565:180895,2570:181320,2576:203160,2902:208476,2943:209496,2975:210210,2984:210720,2990:218310,3097:219054,3106:220077,3127:221565,3151:230134,3197:229804,3207:232700,3285:236512,3348:237844,3396:240878,3610:241248,3617:246110,3663$0,0:4108,44:10854,111:19445,252:19865,271:28290,325:28610,341:28930,346:29410,354:29890,361:30850,370:38556,435:39934,457:40718,466:44966,514:46436,563:49474,651:64110,859
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Robert Mack Bell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his father's childhood and explains how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his parents moving to Baltimore, Maryland and their eventual separation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon his knowledge of his family's history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his parents' jobs

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell remembers his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell remembers his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell remembers childhood holiday traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell remembers childhood activities and early lessons from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his childhood neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his elementary school experiences at P.S. 101-A in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains why he completed elementary school at P.S. 139 in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his favorite subject from elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls attending Faith Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his experiences at Paul Laurence Dunbar Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his teachers and principal at Paul Laurence Dunbar Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his interests while attending Paul Laurence Dunbar Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls meeting Reginald F. Lewis at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his first sit-in experience at Hooper's Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland in 1960

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell speculates about the reasons high school students were recruited for civil rights sit-ins

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his trespassing conviction during a sit-in at Hooper's Restaurant which led to Bell v. Maryland (1964)

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Bell v. Maryland (1964)

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about the careers of the lawyers and judges involved in the circuit court trial of Bell v. Maryland (1964)

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls the impact of the Bell v. Maryland (1964) trial on his senior year of high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains his decision to attend Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls keeping up with his studies at Morgan State College after he was hospitalized for a year

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his experience at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains his decision to attend Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his experience at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls the founding of BLSA, the Black American Law Students Association

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains how his academic success at Harvard Law School opened doors for other African American students

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his classes and professors at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his first job after law school with Piper & Marbury in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about being one of five African Americans to pass the Maryland State bar exam in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his experience at the law firm Piper & Marbury in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about Piper & Marbury's plan to provide community legal services

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his appointment to the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City in 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains his decision to become a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains the difference between the duties of a district court judge versus a circuit court judge

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains why he chose to move from the District Court of Maryland to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon the value of his judgeship

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls memorable cases from his years as a judge for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about the challenges of serving as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes changes he has observed in criminal cases throughout his career as a judge

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his experience on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell talks about his interest in the legal process as a judge on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell explains the difference between the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes the pace of work on the Court of Appeals of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell describes his responsibilities as chief judge on the Court of Appeals of Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon his achievements in light of his family background

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell defines his judicial philosophy and approach

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Robert Mack Bell narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

10$17

DATitle
The Honorable Robert Mack Bell recalls his first sit-in experience at Hooper's Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland in 1960
The Honorable Robert Mack Bell reflects upon his life
Transcript
Were you starting to become a little bit more socially aware?$$Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I--you know, as you grow older--I mean, as I say, we were beginning to notice the, the women, we were beginning to notice a lot of things. But you gotta remember, we were still rather segregated in those days. I mean, I remember going to some conferences outside of the ghetto area [in Baltimore, Maryland], but that was an eye-opening experience. But I did have--in 1960, I did have a, a very interesting and I think important occurrence. That was when I got involved with sit-ins myself.$$And let's talk a little bit about your sit-in (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, see--$$--experience.$$Yeah, see we, we were--we [Bell and Reginald F. Lewis] ran for student government president in my junior--at the end of our junior year, so it would've been for the next year. So at the time that--at the spring of that year, I was student government president elect and this Morgan [State College; Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland] student came to [Paul Laurence] Dunbar [High School; Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for Health Professionals, Baltimore, Maryland] seeking some assistance.$$Morgan college students.$$Morgan State College. In, in those days it was a college, yeah, seeking some assistance in a planned demonstration that was gonna take place on the last day of school in June, and they needed someone to be point person in recruiting students. As student government president, you know, we--I was the one that they checked with and we got some--took some responsibility for trying to get the people together. And in fact when the day came, we did have some people. We got on the bus and we went downtown and participated in some picketing and ultimately, the group I was with ended up going in and sitting in at Hooper's Restaurant [Baltimore, Maryland].$$Hooper's?$$Hooper's, H-O-O-P-E-R-S, with the result that we were arrested. That didn't mean that we were physically arrested on the spot. What it does mean is that we were permitted to go home, that was a Friday, permitted to go home and come back that next Monday and then be fingerprinted and processed.$$So you weren't taken to jail.$$Not right then. No, we weren't taken to jail at all, did not spend a day in jail, but we were prosecuted. I was sixteen (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Were you scared?$$--at that time. Well, you're always scared when you don't know what's happening or you don't know what's going to happen. Yeah, I was scared in two ways, scared of what, what, what might happen, but also scared not to do it in a sense because it was something that I, I decided was important to do. And, and there was a third way, I guess, I was also a little bit concerned about what my mother [Rosa Lee Jordan Bell] would say and do because--$$What did your--what was your mother's reaction?$$She--once it was done, she was very supportive. If I had told her in advance, I'm not so sure she would have permitted me to do it. For that reason, I didn't tell her (laughter).$$And this was in 1960, right?$$Nineteen sixty [1960], yeah. This was--this would've been June 16th or 17th of 1960. Now, this is after the southern thing [Atlanta Student Movement]--$$Right.$$--because they--that all started in--that all started before.$$Right, I think it was in March--$$That's right, see, and--$$(Unclear) in March at southern--$$--and then before March, you had A & T [Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina]--$$Um-hm. Right, exactly.$$--and so it moved up the coast, so--$Any regrets?$$Oh, no. Absolutely not. Why would I have any?$$None?$$That's right, I don't. I really don't.$$What haven't you done yet that you'd still like to do?$$Retire.$$(Laughter) And--$$I'm tired, that's all (laughter).$$When do you anticipate that happening?$$I have no idea. I--you know, I could retire tomorrow. I've been--I've been able to retire from the standpoint of the vesting of a pension since I was sixteen--see, sixteen years--almost fourteen years ago, but I don't know. I, I'm--I have no idea yet. I'll have to see. But I'm just tired right now, that's why I said that (laughter).$$And quickly, what, what are you gonna do when you retire?$$Again, I'll refer to Thurgood [Marshall]. Thurgood said, "I'm gonna sit on my butt, and that's right," (laughter).$$Thank you very much, [HistoryMaker] Judge [Robert Mack] Bell.$$Thank you.

The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson

Federal district court judge Thelton Eugene Henderson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on November 28, 1933 to Wanzie and Eugene Marion Henderson. Henderson grew-up in the South central area of Los Angeles, California in an all-black neighborhood. He graduated from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles and was the recipient of a football scholarship to attend the University of California at Berkeley. In 1956, Henderson graduated with his B.A. degree in political science. Later, in 1962, Henderson earned his J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and was admitted to the California Bar in January of 1963.

Both his high school counselor and football coach was alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley and encouraged him to attend their alma mater. While there, he became interested in African American history and helped to form an organization that catered to African American students. After graduating from college, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a clinical psychology technician. Thereafter, he earned his law degree and was hired as an attorney with the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice, where he served from 1962 to 1963. During his tenure with the Justice Department, Henderson investigated patterns of discriminatory practices in the South. Returning to Northern California, he practiced general law in private practice and was the directing attorney of the East Bayshore Neighborhood Legal Center in Palo Alto. From 1968 to 1976, Henderson was the assistant dean of the Stanford University School of Law. There, he helped increase minority enrollment to twenty percent of the student body and taught law classes.

In 1977, Henderson became a founding partner of Rosen, Remcho and Henderson in San Francisco, where he remained until 1980. He also taught administrative law and civil procedure at Golden State University of Law in San Francisco. In 1980, Henderson was appointed to the United States Federal Court and became the Chief Judge of the United States District of Northern California in 1990, thus becoming the first African American to reach that position. In 1998, he became Senior U.S. District Judge. Henderson was the recipient of the 2003 American Inns of Court Circuit Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit in recognition of a senior practicing lawyer or judge whose life and practice serves as an example for others.

He is divorced and has one son. He resides in Berkeley, California and enjoys fly-fishing.

Thelton Henderson was interviewed by The HistoryMaker on April 7, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.044

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/7/2004

Last Name

Henderson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Eugene

Schools

Thomas Jefferson High School

University of California, Berkeley

Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California

First Name

Thelton

Birth City, State, Country

Shreveport

HM ID

HEN01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fishing

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/28/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Federal district court judge The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson (1933 - ) was the first African American Chief Judge of the United States District of Northern California, and has served as the Assistant Dean of the Stanford University School of Law.

Employment

United States Department of Justice

East Bayshore Neighborhood Legal Center

Stanford Law School

Rosen, Remcho & Henderson

Golden Gate University School of Law

United States District Court, Northern District of California

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his earliest memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about growing up in South Central Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his and his family's relationship to church

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his experiences at Trinity Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his childhood dreams and aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his junior high and high school experiences in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes how he applied to the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about playing baseball and football while attending Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson recalls his academic experience at Jefferson High School and in his pre-college courses at University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his friends at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his academic plans for attending the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his experiences at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his courses at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about playing football at the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his timeline following his 1956 graduation from the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his experiences at Boalt Hall, the University of California, Berkley School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes the racial demographics of Boalt Hall, the University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about passing the State of California bar examination

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his employment expectations following Boalt Hall, the University of California Berkeley School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes how he came to work for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about working for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his field experiences working for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his field experiences working for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson explains how the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department built a case for voting discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on his outlook on race, segregation and discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his experiences interacting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his resignation from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on his outlook on his life and law career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his relationship with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson remembers the 16th Street Baptist church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson remembers the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson reflects upon leaving the U.S. Justice Department in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his career path following his work for the U.S. Justice Department, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes his relationship with Medgar Evers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson remembers driving James Baldwin from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his career path following his work for the U.S. Justice Department, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his experiences working as a lawyer in Oakland, California in the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about working as assistant dean at Stanford Law School in Stanford, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about working in a law practice with Joe Remcho and Sandy Rosen in the late 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson explains how he was appointed as a federal judge for the Northern District of California in 1980

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his work on the appeal for United States v. Banks and Means (Wounded Knee)

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson describes the Krause v. Rhodes appeal in 1977 and the values of his law firm, Rosen, Remcho and Henderson

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about applying to be a federal judge for the Northern District of California, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about applying to be a federal judge for the Northern District of California, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson talks about his academic plans for attending the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson remembers driving James Baldwin from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama
Transcript
All right. So, you've graduated from high school [Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, California] and you've gone to summer school. You're going to enter college. Did you have any i- what were you going to study? What were you plans when you went to college?$$When I went to college, as I said, I think, by then I knew I was gonna be a lawyer and not a doctor. And, I think those were the two choices I saw. And, I was willfully prepared to go to college. My mother--nobody in my family had ever gone to college, and I think, most of them had not graduated from high school. So, I was going in cold, not knowing what it was other than it sounded good. So, that the first day at Cal in registration, they had it outside, and you'd go to tables and they'd have letters of E to H or something. And, you'd get your cards and you'd fill them out. And, finally I got to a table and one of the cards said--one of the students that they'd hired to help with his process said, "What's you major?" She was filling it out. And, I said, "Law." And, I still remember this sort of condescending look, "Law is a graduate major. You're an undergraduate." And, I tell you, I didn't know the difference at that point, between graduate and undergraduate. I--and, I didn't know what my major was. So, she said, "Well, come back when you figure out your major." And, I walked off totally bewildered. And, at this time, if you're--University of California [University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California], one of the biggest schools in the nation at the time, had about less than twenty blacks going. So, I wandered around, I found one, and another one of lucky strokes of mine, I ran into Julius Devereaux. And, I said, "Well, what's your major?" And, he said, "Poli sci." And, I said, "What's poli sci?" He said, "Political science." And, he told me a little about it. And, I went back, and my major was political science. And, I've always thought over these years, he had a brother named Joe Devereaux who was an engineering major (laughter). And, I've often wondered if I'd bumped into Joe, would I had been an engineering major. I mean, I was that naive. I was, in fact, I'll tell you another story. Cal was so big, when I went to summer school, the football team registered me and did all of that for me and I lived in a boarding house there near campus. And, the first day, our class was at 101 Dwinelle. And, I went around looking for Dwinelle Street. I thought that was an address. I was--it's a miracle that I'm sitting here and you're interviewing me, and I survived all of that ignorance I brought to college. But, anyway, that's the way I started off.$There's another story, and tell me if these war stories are getting boring but, there's another story related to an [U.S.] Air Force base. James Baldwin was in Selma [Alabama], and I had met him in Birmingham when he was at the A.G. Gaston [Motel, Birmingham, Alabama]. And then things, the action moved to Selma and he was there. And, I was in the [U.S.] Post Office building where the federal presence was. And, I heard on the radio there, and I was the only one in there then, a two way radio conversation in which they were talking about Baldwin. And, I heard them say, "Yeah, we're gonna get that black nigger. He thinks he's," you know, "down here to tell us what to do." So, and, I don't know who it was, but I went out and I told him. I said, "Hey, I just heard this, and I think you better be careful." And, he says (makes noise). And, he says, "I better get out of here." The story is, I tell you it's absolutely true, but (laughter). So, he had driven there with a SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] worker who had this red convertible and, you know, I said, "No. I don't think you ought to be going in a red convertible." We talked, and we talked, and then finally, I said, "Well, look," it was getting late, "I'm going back to Birmingham, ride with me." And, so, we went and got in my car, and his brother, David [Baldwin], got in and this SNCC worker. And, I--he left his car there, as I recall. We got in the car and I was telling them all the things I had learned. "If--be careful, it's getting dark. If you see a car that seems to be following us, let me know. And, if a car comes up and it looks like it's gonna pass, watch out." Because sometimes they do the drive by. And, I was doing all of this and he was just scared, you know, thinking. And, then I was staying at the Air Force base [Craig Air Force Base], and that's what started this story. So, I hadn't checked out. So, I went to the air force base, went in, checked out, paid my--it's great I stayed in the officer's quarter. It cost one dollar a night to stay there. And, I don't know, I think my per diem then was twenty-five dollars. I came back to Washington always with a lot of money. It was a good deal. So, anyway, checked out of the air force base, got in the car, and drove to Birmingham. And, then he thanked me. And, two stories that grow from that. One, a while later he came to, this is after I lost my job and I was in Washington [D.C.], right. He came to Washington. He was a big attraction then. He was at the height of his fame and I went to this thing that was full of people and he said, "I want to introduce my friend, [HM] Thelton [E.] Henderson who saved my life," you know, and told the story. And, said, you know, and he told the story much like I told it, and then said, "But, you know, when I started feeling safe?" Talking to the audience, and answered his own quest--he said, "When he stopped at the military base and got a gun" (laughter). And, over all the years, I'd never had the nerve to tell him, I didn't get a gun (laughter).$$(Laughter).$$He thought, I had gone and got a gun and I was ready to (laughter). And, I never told him that I just got my suitcase (laughter). But, the other story that derives from that, he always said as we were driving and we got where we knew we safe, we weren't being followed, he said, he was gonna write about this incident and he had a title for it. It was gonna be called 'Flight to Birmingham.' And, the title was the irony, he said, "Last week I was in Birmingham [Alabama] and I thought that was the most dangerous place I'd ever been. And, now I'm fleeing to Birmingham." And, then he was gonna write about that, and he never did. I always looked forward to seeing him write about that incident.

The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr.

Distinguished lawyer and judge Theodore R. Newman, Jr. was born on July 5, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. His family later moved to Mount Hermon, Massachusetts, where Newman graduated from high school.

After earning a philosophy degree from Brown University in 1955, Newman studied constitutional law and jurisprudence at Harvard Law School. He earned his law degree in 1958 and then began a three-year tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate stationed in France. Upon his return to civilian life, Newman took a job with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. He entered private practice in 1962 in Washington, D.C.

In November 1970, Newman became an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the court of general trial jurisdiction for the district. He served in that capacity until his appointment in October 1976 as chief judge of the Court of Appeals. Newman joined the Board of Trustees at Brown University in 1979, and the following year, Brown University conferred an honorary doctorate of laws upon him. In 1984, he became an associate judge of the Court of Appeals, and held that position until 1991, when he retired and received status as a senior judge.

Newman has been very active over the years in several legal organizations. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation of the American Bar Association, a past president of the National Center for State Courts, and former chairman of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association. The National Bar Association bestowed Newman with its highest honor, the C. Francis Stradford Award, for his outstanding service in the struggle for equal justice. In 1988, the board's Judicial Council gave him its highest honor, the William H. Hastie Award.

Newman has also lectured at Harvard Law School and held adjunct professorships at Howard University Law School and the Georgetown Law Center. He has traveled extensively in Africa.

Accession Number

A2003.239

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/24/2003

Last Name

Newman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Brown University

Harvard Law School

First Name

Theodore

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

NEW01

Favorite Season

Winter

Speaker Bureau Notes

Has a second home in the U.S. Virgin Islands:

6345 Smith Bay
St. Thomas
USVI 00802
340-779-1909
340-776-3995 (fax)

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Lord Be Willing And The Creek Don't Rise.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/5/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Appellate court judge The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. (1934 - ) The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. has worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and in private practice. He later became an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and was appointed Chief Justice of the District's Court of Appeals.

Employment

United States Air Force

Department of Justice

Houston, Bryant and Gardner

Pratt, Bowers and Newman

District of Columbia

D.C. Court of Appeals

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his parents' names and birthplaces

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes the origin of his mother's family name: McAlpine

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his father's occupation as an A.M.E. preacher in Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about the history of Washington Chapel A.M.E. Church

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his mother's education and career, and her affiliation to Selma University in Selma, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his parents' relationship and how they first met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama and the value of education within the community

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his parents' influence and growing up as a preacher's son

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. details his experiences with mischief as a child and young adult

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes civil rights activity in Tuskegee, Alabama including his father's activism

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes playing football as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his childhood personality and grade school years in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. lists memorable personalities of the Tuskegee, Alabama community

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his childhood neighbor, photographer P.H. Pope

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his father's work for the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes Charles G. Gomillion, a professor at Tuskegee Institute and an active civil rights participant in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about extra-curricular activities at Tuskegee Institute High School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his attempt to create a student government at Tuskegee Institute High School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his experience of applying to Mount Hermon School for Boys in Gill, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his time at Mount Hermon School for Boys in Gill, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes notable teachers at Mount Hermon School for Boys in Gill, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks his decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his university application process

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his experience at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and how it compares to other Ivy League schools

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. speaks about his teachers and mentors at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. speaks about choosing to major in philosophy at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his social life during his time at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his application process for law school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his time at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts including influential professors and classmates

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. recalls his experience in the U.S. Air Force at the Laon-Couvron Air Base in France

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. recalls his experience as judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force at the Laon-Couvron Air Base in France

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. recalls his experiences in Paris, France during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes traveling in Europe during World War II as a judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes working for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. speaks about his opinions of key figureheads in the U.S. Department of Justice during the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes joining the law firm of Houston, Bryant, and Gardner after he left the U.S. Department of Justice

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about his Republican affiliation and involvement in Republican politics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his activities on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. recalls his trying of the United States v. James Arnold

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his appointment by President Gerald R. Ford to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1976

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his meeting with David Brody of the Anti-Defamation League

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the black community, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the black community, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes what he would do differently, looking back on his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks about how he would like to be remembered

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DATitle
The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. describes his experience of applying to Mount Hermon School for Boys in Gill, Massachusetts
The Honorable Theodore Newman, Jr. talks his decision to become a lawyer
Transcript
My high school experience was not a good one. For example, when I took the entrance exam for admission to prep school to Mount Hermon School [for Boys, later Northfield Mount Hermon, Gill, Massachusetts]. For the first time in my life, I had difficulty finishing an exam in the allotted time. Part of the application process to Mount Hermon, and Mount Hermon had been recruiting African Americans in Tuskegee [Alabama] for ten or fifteen years before me. You had to send a recommendation from your principal. They wanted him to send a recommendation and you could select a teacher to do a recommendation. I selected T. C. Williams, of course. When I got to prep school, the dean of admission, Dean Burdick, all six foot four or five, called me down to the office to talk to me without telling me why. He sent somebody to tell me to come down he wanted to talk to me. I said oh my God what have I done now, I'm getting put out, can't go home, ain't no way in the world I can go back to Alabama and tell my parents I've been put out of Mount Hermon and I said, "I haven't done anything." Dean Burdick said, "No"--as soon as I got there I said, "what, have I done something wrong?" He said, "No, no nothing wrong." He said, "But we do want to ask you about Tuskegee Institute High School [Tuskegee, Alabama] because there something that is unusual about your application." He said, "We have two recommendations, your principal and T. C. Williams," and he said, "They are diametrically opposed to each other." He said, "Your test score was very good. Your high school record was good compared to other people from that same high school who'd been here, so we were confident that you could do the work, but we couldn't understand why you got this negative recommendation from your principal," at which time I told him of the family background and the bad blood between my family and the principal. He said, "Well how did you find the exam?" I said, "I didn't find it particularly difficult." I said, "I thought it was a bit long to finish in two and a half hours." He said, "Two and a half hours?" I said, "Yeah, two and half hours." I said, "I had to rush a bit to get through with it, and it's the first time I've ever had to rush to finish a test in the allotted time." He said, "Theodore," he said, "Ted, you were supposed to have four hours." They had deliberately cut my time by an hour and a half. They tried to ensure that I wouldn't get in. That was done at the high school. At my 50th reunion in 19, I mean 2001, as part of the tradition at Mount Hermon you are allowed to see your student file, and I had an opportunity to read the letter that K. B. Young had written and the letter that T. C. Williams had written. You can imagine my reaction at Christmas break, my year, my senior year at prep school when I got back to Tuskegee and went by the high school and K. B. Young, Mount Hermon sent your grades back, your first quarter grades back to the high school from which you had come if you had come from a high school, and they sent them to the principal. I was at the high school and saw K. B. Young, and he told me that he had seen my grades at Mount Hermon and how proud he was of how well I was doing. The bad Ted responded to him appropriately and vulgarly, in the process telling him I knew what he had done, but I was gonna make it in spite of him.$$That's something. That certainly says something about the anger of most people-yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) True story, true story.$So, well, when you were at, on the verge of graduating, now you graduated from Mount Hermon [School for Boys, later Northfield Mount Hermon, Gill, Massachusetts] in what year?$$Nineteen fifty-one [1951].$$Okay, 1951. So when you were coming out did you have an idea of what career you were gonna pursue now?$$Oh no question. I'm told that I said I was gonna be a lawyer when I was about five years old. I know by the time I was in the seventh or eighth grade, really about the time I was in fifth or sixth grade I was saying when I refused to salute the flag I knew I was gonna be a lawyer, and I knew I was going to Harvard Law School [Cambridge, Massachusetts]. I was just arrogant enough and cocky enough, a poor little country boy from Southeast Alabama who didn't wear shoes until I was twelve and didn't know meat wasn't a side dish until I was twenty, a poor little country boy, but I knew. I was, I knew I was going to Harvard Law School. I knew I was gonna be a lawyer, never had a second thought about that, never.