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Barbara L. Thomas

Barbara Louise Thomas was the president and CEO of the Chicago based National Black Master of Business Administration Association (NBMBAA). Thomas was born on December 5, 1947, in Dublin, Georgia, one of Jerrie Lee Tart and Horace Sanders’s thirteen children. Thomas was raised by foster parents Georgia and George Monroe in Dublin, where she attended segregated public schools and graduated from Oconee High School. In 1965, Thomas moved to New York City with her birth mother and took a job at Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited - Associated Community Teams (HARYOU-ACT) where she met her husband. Thomas went on to receive her B.A. degree from New York's Bernard Baruch College in 1970 and her M.B.A. degree from Columbia University in 1973.

While a university student, Thomas clerked at CBS’s Radio Division. After completing her education, Thomas moved into the CBS television division and managed network cut-ins, a position she credits with opening the door to her twenty-five year career at CBS. Eventually Thomas was the first African American woman to attend CBS’s School of Management. Thomas later became director of finance and administration for CBS, and left the network in 1989 after serving as the first African American woman to act as a senior vice-president.

Moving on from CBS to function as chief financial officer for various health care organizations and other non-profit groups, Thomas moved to Chicago in 2001 and spent two years as the chief financial officer for the NBMBAA. The board of directors of the NBMBAA appointed Thomas as president in 2003.

Citing her faith as a major sustaining force in her life, Thomas remained active in her church. Thomas raised two daughters and had five grandchildren.

Accession Number

A2005.169

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/21/2005

Last Name

Thomas

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Schools

Oconee High School

City University of New York

Baruch College

Columbia University

Susie Dasher Elementary School

CBS School of Management

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Dublin

HM ID

THO09

Favorite Season

All Seasons

Sponsor

The Jay Pritzker Foundation

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

I'm Blessed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/5/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Donuts (Krispy Kreme)

Short Description

Association executive and broadcast executive Barbara L. Thomas (1947 - ) was appointed president of the National Black Master of Business Administration Association in 2003.

Employment

National Black MBA Association

Harlem United Activists for Community

CBS Radio

CBS Television Division

CBS Television Finance Division

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1144,11:2728,30:3080,35:9504,161:13376,225:13816,230:14168,236:15312,253:16104,264:24130,319:25850,343:26796,359:27398,368:33645,429:34375,440:35251,458:35616,464:37076,496:40221,524:41094,534:44370,564:47450,614:47978,621:52202,719:53698,744:54578,755:55458,769:56338,780:57482,797:63210,841:67185,929:67560,935:78164,1101:81042,1117:81862,1128:83092,1150:83830,1161:91935,1284:93660,1306:93960,1311:95985,1358:100767,1417:105240,1526:109704,1585:110644,1598:111490,1609:111960,1615:112806,1632:115234,1653:120994,1792:127618,1959:128122,1968:133700,2031:137832,2084:138180,2089:138963,2101:146097,2230:151737,2273:152664,2285:153282,2292:156475,2370:157093,2378:161218,2394:165310,2428$0,0:736,13:8224,214:9004,226:10174,243:10486,248:14542,319:14854,324:15166,329:16180,350:17740,380:18520,395:24134,422:26420,442:27122,452:28136,463:29306,484:31022,511:31568,520:32894,549:33518,559:38888,593:39455,604:39707,609:40085,616:40526,627:40778,632:42542,668:43172,680:44558,704:45629,731:46385,748:50417,844:50669,849:51236,861:51488,866:52433,892:52874,901:62054,983:62678,992:62990,997:67124,1076:82140,1159:83850,1180:84420,1187:90595,1279:95373,1301:95870,1311:96722,1325:97006,1330:98142,1353:98710,1362:99278,1372:113246,1498:114311,1517:121624,1657:122121,1665:122831,1680:123967,1708:124393,1715:125600,1734:126097,1743:126807,1756:127091,1761:127801,1776:128440,1788:129079,1798:130073,1815:134590,1828:134998,1835:135406,1842:136086,1858:137514,1883:140266,1919:140994,1929:142268,1961:146523,1975:147020,1984:147446,1991:151990,2048:153130,2073:153662,2082:153966,2087:158222,2192:158526,2197:160046,2232:160578,2240:161414,2263:161794,2276:168163,2317:168678,2323:182633,2494:183712,2591:184376,2601:188674,2614:189514,2628:196250,2705:199860,2740
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara L. Thomas' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara L. Thomas lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her father and how she resembles him

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara L. Thomas describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls Susie Dasher Elementary School and Oconee High School, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls Susie Dasher Elementary School and Oconee High School, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls her experiences at Oconee High School

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara L. Thomas recounts her civil rights activity in Dublin, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls her favorite television shows growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara L. Thomas talks about attending college and moving to New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls working for HARYOU-ACT

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls meeting her husband and their marriage in 1967

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls studying finance and obtaining her M.B.A. degree from Columbia University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara L. Thomas recalls her various promotions at CBS

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara L. Thomas recounts her experiences at the CBS School of Management

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her retirement from CBS and subsequent roles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara L. Thomas recounts the history of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara L. Thomas describes the activities of the National Black MBA Association

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara L. Thomas describes the current climate for young black people with M.B.A.s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara L. Thomas details the National Black MBA Association's future plans

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her involvement with her church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara L. Thomas describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Barbara L. Thomas reflects upon her life

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Barbara L. Thomas reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Barbara L. Thomas reflects upon her family

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Barbara L. Thomas describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara L. Thomas describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Barbara L. Thomas recounts her civil rights activity in Dublin, Georgia
Barbara L. Thomas recounts her experiences at the CBS School of Management
Transcript
Okay. And when you, well, in that part of Georgia was there any civil rights activity going on there?$$Oh, yeah, I was a naughty little girl (laughter). I did have one experience and it was really an accident. And Georgia gets very, very hot and you walk every place. I mean, you know, teenagers didn't drive their parents' cars, you, you walked. And we were not allowed to go into any of the white restaurants. And in the department stores there is a water fountain and it would say what, white and colored. But our water was always hot and it would never come up to high but the white fountains water was always high and icy cold.$$In the cooler--$$And, yeah.$$--or water cooler.$$Oh, yeah. And so one day we were cutting through the department store, Belk's Department Store on our way home and it was hot and I wanted a drink of water and I just figured no one was watching so I thought I'd steal some water from the white fountain and next thing I know the sheriff had me by the shoulders (laughter).$$The, the sheriff himself?$$The sheriff, right. He just happened to be in the, in the store. Like, I really got quite a lashing. But because he knew my father [Horace Sanders] I didn't get thrown in jail but I probably would have. So I thought since I got away with that I could get away with something else. So then there was, we used to have a drugstore and it had a soda fountain but we weren't allowed, I mean, we could go in and order if we wanted to but you had to stand over in the back, you weren't allowed to sit. And I decided one day to sit down. Well, that was the time I got taken down to the jail house. I didn't get locked up but it frightened me enough to know that I dare not do those things again. But there was a lot of picketing, you know, a lot of protesting and it started back in the '60s [1960s].$$Now did you keep up--$$In Dublin [Georgia].$$--with civil rights activity?$$Yeah, you know, as far as reading and what was going on. And I was, of course, very anxious to, you know, to participate in it but, you know. You didn't have as much going on in Dublin as you did in Atlanta [Georgia] or Macon [Georgia], the larger cities that surrounded us, you know. But our voices were, their voices were heard, you know. But my parents and foster parents [George Monroe and Georgia Monroe], you know, at that time I was back with my parents, didn't allow us to participate, you know.$Well tell us about the CBS School of Management [New York, New York]. You know, is CBS the only network to have its own school of management?$$I, I don't know. I don't know if other networks had it. But I, I, I remember us going to the old Ford mansion up in upstate New York, I can't even remember where, but I was just very surprised that I was selected and again it was the same gentleman Donald Bryan [ph.] who had watched me. And he basically said to me that he saw a lot of potential in me and he was going to help me, you know, learn the ropes and make my way up the ladder. And I received a memo saying that I had been selected to go to the CBS School of Management, which was a total shock because first of all I was black, and to me that was a very prestigious place and you didn't, you know, you didn't get to go in there. But what they did is they selected people that they felt had potential and the company wanted to invest in because they saw you as a long term employee that they could truly see the return on their investment. CBS School of Management basically taught you how to dress, how to speak, which pieces of silverware to use when you're out on a client meeting, you know. We did simulations, but with the simulations then back, if you were the president of CBS, you know, how would you run this company. So you had a full day where you were the president. These are things people are doing now that CBS was doing way back, you know, in the '60s [1960s]. It, I guess, in its, one could say that it brainwashed you because I went out and bought more pinstripe, black and blue pinstriped suits than I ever knew in my life because that was what, that was the dress. But it really prepared you to be ready to step out and meet with their key clients and negotiate business for the company. So that's really what it was all about, preparing you for that.$$Okay. So, so an emphasis on style and culture and how to--$$Exactly. Exactly. But very few people were selected to attend this, go through this. So I was very, very privileged to have had that opportunity. And it was a, you know, it was much, much more intense and I'm sort of giving you the, the high level of it but there was a lot of intense time. We were up very early in the morning, you know, to very late at night going through trainings that they had provided for us.$$How long did it last?$$I think it was about two and a half weeks of--$$And--$$--just intense. And you didn't go home to your family.$$And about what, what year was this (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) That's what I'm trying to remember. I believe, if I remember it was in 1973, I have to look at my, my award, my, that I received from them.$$All right.$$My diploma.

Alfred Liggins, III

Alfred Charles Liggins III was born on January 30, 1965, in Omaha, Nebraska. Liggins spent his early childhood in Omaha and at the age of seven moved to Washington, D.C. when his mother, radio mogul Cathy Hughes, took a job at Howard University. When he was sixteen, Liggins’s mother and stepfather purchased AM radio station WOL. At first Liggins hosted a teen talk show on WOL, though he was more interested in the record industry than the radio business. In 1983, Liggins earned his high school diploma from Wilson High School in Washington.

After graduation, Liggins drove cross-country to California where he began working in direct mail advertising before landing a job in the record industry. From 1983 until 1984, Liggins worked in sales and management for Light Records and as a production coordinator for singer Patrick Anderson. After a job with Motown Records fell through, Liggins decided to move back to Washington, D.C. in 1985 to help his mother, who was by then divorced and running the fledging radio station alone. Liggins attended night school at the University of the District of Columbia, and worked at the radio station during the day. From 1986 until 1994, Liggins worked in the sales department at WOL, quickly climbing from representative to sales manager, helping the station rise in ratings and into the black. At Liggins's urging the family business began to grow with the purchase of FM stations in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, thus the beginning of the Radio One empire.

In 1994, Liggins took over the day-to-day operations of the family business, becoming the president and chief executive officer of Radio One, with his mother retaining ownership. In 1995, Liggins earned his MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. In 1999, under Liggins's leadership, Radio One went public and made history as the first female African American owned company on the stock exchange. In 2000, Radio One purchased twenty-one radio stations from Clear Channel, more than doubling the company’s revenue. Radio One eventually became the nation’s largest radio company, targeting African American and urban listeners with fifty-one stations in more than twenty cities.

In 2004, Liggins expanded Radio One’s media sphere when he launched TV One, a cable network for African American adults. Liggins has been the recipient of numerous awards including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Accession Number

A2004.211

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/20/2004

Last Name

Liggins

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Schools

Woodrow Wilson High School

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

University of the District of Columbia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

LIG01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Nebraska

Favorite Quote

At The End Of The Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/30/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive Alfred Liggins, III (1965 - ) is the president and chief executive officer of Radio One. In 2004 he launched TV One, a cable network for African American adults.

Employment

Light Records

Singer Patrick Anderson

WOL Radio

Radio One

Timing Pairs
0,0:10490,139:14360,209:16790,258:26860,411:27665,419:28240,425:38201,604:38549,609:42660,627:44105,654:52260,792:52962,802:61284,906:61932,948:63948,1018:66468,1084:66972,1100:67404,1107:69636,1145:69924,1150:86878,1391:87190,1396:88672,1424:91870,1580:99690,1632$0,0:661,4:969,9:8592,186:9054,197:10671,231:11056,237:12904,273:14059,290:14598,299:15137,307:26255,410:26587,416:26919,421:27251,426:31899,532:38470,572:38870,578:52024,794:53536,829:54124,837:66408,968:74043,1094:77516,1134:82268,1154:83896,1190:84636,1214:90778,1359:91074,1364:91666,1373:92184,1382:102852,1537:103282,1543:108742,1649:111896,1731:112975,1748:115133,1760:115465,1769:116046,1777:117540,1813:125280,1888:124760,1909
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Liggins, III's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his mother, HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his maternal and paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his earliest memories of growing up in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his childhood holidays

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his childhood home and community in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III describes a typical day in his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska and recalls his schooling there

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III remembers moving to Washington, D.C. as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his elementary schools in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his childhood personality, career aspirations and activities in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his time at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his Catholic upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls a neighbor who acted as a second father for him

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his activities while attending Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his mother and stepfather's takeover of radio station WOL-AM in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls hosting a radio show on his mother and stepfather's station, WOL-AM in Washington, D.C, as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls living with his father in Kansas City, Kansas and his maternal uncle and aunt in Houston, Texas as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his high school friends and their activities in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about the status of his mother and stepfather's radio station, WOL-AM, upon his return to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls deciding to move to California after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. in 1983

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls celebrities he met through HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' work in radio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his stepfather's move to Los Angeles, California and taking a road trip to go live with him after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls his initial record industry jobs while living in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls tough times that HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes went through with WOL-AM radio station in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about his aspirations for a career in the recording industry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his return to Washington, D.C. at twenty-one years old

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon returning to Washington, D.C. and working in the radio business as a twenty-one year old

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III describes building up WOL-AM's advertising sales

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' acquisition of their first FM station in the late 1980s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' acquisition of their first FM station in the late 1980s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls making a profit after revising the format of his newly acquired radio station to play urban adult contemporary music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland while working out differences in management style with his mother

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III describes buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. after deregulation in the early 1990s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about earning his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls buying a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Liggins, III explains how he gained his own financial stake in Radio One separate from his mother, HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Liggins, III recalls three events that grew Radio One financially

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Liggins, III explains the rationale for making Radio One a publicly-traded company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects on Radio One's timing in going public and the company's radio station buying habits

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon having attended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Liggins, III offers his thoughts on the importance of college for young African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alfred Liggins, III talks about HistoryMaker Johnathan Rodgers, CEO of TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alfred Liggins, III describes his expectations for TV One

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects on his deferred dream of going into the record business

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Alfred Liggins, III reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Alfred Liggins, III considers his potential legacy

DASession

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DAStory

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DATitle
Alfred Liggins, III talks about the status of his mother and stepfather's radio station, WOL-AM, upon his return to Washington, D.C.
Alfred Liggins, III describes buying radio stations in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. after deregulation in the early 1990s
Transcript
What was happening at the radio station [WOL-AM, Washington, D.C.] when you came back in 1983 (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Same stuff I mean, you know, I mean, I was, you know, I'm trying to think did I go back to doing sports or was I doing sports in my senior year [at Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington, D.C.] I don't remember. You know, just struggling I mean, you know, they bought WOL in 1980, AM station first time they'd be in, in business for themselves. Economy was horrible, interest rate is sky high, and they were attempting, you know, a new format: black talk. And, you know, I'm sure that they and the community thought it was a noble and much-needed format but advertisers didn't necessarily see value the, the value of it at the time. And, and listeners were also migrating from the FM--from the AM dial to the FM dial. So, you know, things were tough. And that, you know, my mother [HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes] and my stepfather [Dewey Hughes] were always probably pretty good at sort of keeping from me and maybe I just wasn't all that interested. You know, how tough things were I think so when I get back I was more interested, you know, in, in being a good son. So I didn't have to go back to Kansas (laughter). But, you know, what I mean, I was turning eighteen I didn't know what the hell I was gonna do. I hadn't gotten into any colleges I just knew that everybody else was going to college and doing something. I needed to do something, and my stepfather was moving out to California. And so sounded good to me, so I was ready to go to California too; that's what I did after high school.$And then deregulation happened, and it's called the "duopoly rule" so now you can own an AM and an FM, two AMs and two FMs in a market. And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did you see that as an opportunity or?$$I've always did, every time there was an opportunity, I've always wanted to make the company bigger. And, and always, you know, looked for opportunities to, you know, times to do it. And so, you know, when that happened start looking around Baltimore [Maryland] to see if we could buy. We had two competitors at the time and, and one was the leading black radio station owned by Summit Communications call the BXYV or V103. It sold, and we didn't buy it but we end up buying our other competitor was owned by United Broadcasting they own WERQ [Baltimore, Maryland], 92Q is the station, and we bought that for $9 million dollars. And, and there was a big home run, and we actually squeezed the other guy out of the format and that was that was huge. Because when we once we squeezed, once we got ERQ, and really put the pressure on we started doing really start doing well in Baltimore [Maryland], making a bunch of money. And then we focused on buying our competitor in Washington [D.C.]. The station WKYS [WKYS-FM, Washington, D.C.], which was owned by Burt Lee and Skip Finley in those guys' 'cause NBC, had sold it to a minority group when they had some big merger, and they had it divest. And we knew Skip, Skip was a good friend of the family's and they, you know, needed to sell at the time, and they did the right thing decided they were going to sell it to somebody black. And so they called us we're the competitor. Washington our first station WMMJ [Majic 102.3, Washington, D.C.] was still doing great, and so we bought WKYS four $34 million dollars, which at that time was the biggest deal ever done between two black people.$$And what year was this?$$Ninety, 1995.$$Um-hm.

Maureen Forte

Teacher and radio personality Maureen Forte was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1950. Her parents, Georgia Ann Jones and Willis Jones, grew up in West Virginia and later relocated to Chicago. After graduating from Englewood High School in Chicago, Forte attended Chicago State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in education in 1974.

Forte began her teaching career at St. Thaddeus in Chicago, where she taught for ten years following her graduation from Chicago State University. During this time, Forte began her involvement in a number of organizations, and served as a delegate for the Chicago Teachers Union for ten years. In 1989, she began teaching at the Sawyer Elementary School in Chicago. She has also become highly active in the NAACP and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. She founded the South Suburban chapter of Rainbow/PUSH in 1990 and has continued to raise the bar for social commitment in the area. Since founding the branch, Forte served as president until stepping down in 2004.

Forte served as the vice-president of the South Suburban NAACP and hosted her own radio talk show, N’ the Know with Moe, which is broadcast on WCFJ-AM on Sunday afternoons. She is also a member of the Legislative and Women’s Rights Committees of the Chicago Teachers Union. On May 9, 2007, Forte became the first Black female village trustee of East Hazel Crest, Illinois, and on May 18, 2007, she became a delegate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Forte was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.150

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/27/2004

Last Name

Forte

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Englewood High School

Chicago State University

McCosh Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Maureen

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FOR06

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/1/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mustard and Turnip Greens, Sweet Potatoes

Short Description

Elementary school teacher and radio host Maureen Forte (1950 - ) was a teacher at the Sawyer Elementary School in Chicago, and former delegate of the Chicago Teachers Union. She was also the host of N’ the Know with Moe on WCFJ Radio in Chicago.

Employment

St. Thaddeus School

Chicago Teachers Union

Sawyer Elementary School

Rainbow/PUSH

WCFJ Radio

NAACP South Suburban Branch

Favorite Color

Purple

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maureen Forte's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte describes her maternal family history in Elbert, West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte talks about her familial relation to HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and her family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her first Chicago neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte reminisces about her community in the Park Manor neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois and childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maureen Forte describes two influential teachers from grade school, Mrs. Knight and Mr. Stiegel

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maureen Forte describes activities she enjoyed as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maureen Forte remembers her time at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois and her first prom

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte talks about her experience at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte talks about racial discrimination in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about her political engagement as a youth in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte recalls influential teachers at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte recalls her first jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte remembers her start in community theater

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte talks about her studies at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte talks about joining the USO (United Service Organization) and life after graduating from college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maureen Forte talks about performing with the United Service Organization (USO) in Seoul, Korea

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maureen Forte describes joining Operation PUSH and founding a Chicago chapter of Rainbow PUSH

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Maureen Forte describes her early involvement with the Decatur Seven

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte talks about the impact of the "Decatur Seven" on zero-tolerance policies in schools

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte describes how zero-tolerance policies target minorities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about educating voters and producing HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's radio show

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte talks about her involvement with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the "Death Row Ten"

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte describes her radio talk show, "'N the Know with Moe"

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte details the importance of voting in one's residential district and gentrification in south suburban Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maureen Forte explains the importance of voting

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maureen Forte describes her campaigns for Illinois State Representative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maureen Forte reflects on her relationship with Rainbow/PUSH after her seven-year presidency

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maureen Forte describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maureen Forte talks about her divorce and her daughters

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maureen Forte reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maureen Forte talks about how she wants to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maureen Forte narrates her photographs

Ronald Davenport

Businessman and lawyer Ronald Davenport, Sr., was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 21, 1936. After earning his B.S. degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1958, Davenport went to law school; earning his LL.B. degree from Temple University in 1962, he went to Yale Law School for his LL.M. degree in 1963.

Davenport started his career as a professor of law at Duquesne University in 1963, where he remained for twenty years. When he took over as dean of the law school in 1970, Davenport became the first black man to be dean of a predominantly white school. In 1982, Davenport became a partner at Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation, and a fellow of the U.S. State Department, reviewing legal systems in South and East Asia. Davenport also served as a consultant to the Constitutional Convention Preparatory Committee of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. Not content with simply the practice of law, in 1972, Davenport became chairman of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, a group he and his wife formed from the purchase of four radio stations. By 1976, Sheridan Broadcasting owned half of the Mutual Black Network, later completing the buyout. Sheridan Broadcasting was heard through more than three hundred radio affiliates across the country; he also served as the co-chairman of the American Urban Radio Networks.

Beyond his endeavors in the practice of law and broadcasting, Davenport gave his time to a wide variety of other organizations. Davenport served on the board of Colgate University; was chairman of the Visiting Committee of African American Studies at Harvard; and served on the board of Aramark. Davenport was awarded numerous honorary degrees; the Man of the Year Award from the Masons; and participated in several conferences with U.S. presidents.

Davenport and his wife, Judith Marylyn, raised three children.

Accession Number

A2003.182

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/12/2003

Last Name

Davenport

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Spring Garden Elementary School

Stoddart-Fleisher Middle School

West Philadelphia High School

Pennsylvania State University

Temple University Beasley School of Law

Spring Garden School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ronald

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

DAV07

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Pennsylvania

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/21/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pittsburgh

Country

USA

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Academic administrator and radio station owner Ronald Davenport (1936 - ) is the Chair of Sheridan Broadcasting, heard on over three hundred nationwide stations. Davenport had a career teaching law and has served as the dean for the Duquesne University School of Law.

Employment

Duquesne University School of Law

Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation

Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ronald Davenport interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ronald Davenport's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ronald Davenport talks about his parents' and his grandmother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ronald Davenport discusses the experience of living with his grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ronald Davenport describes his childhood personality and his neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ronald Davenport details his education in Philadephia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ronald Davenport talks about avoiding the negative influences in his neighborhood as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ronald Davenport recalls his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ronald Davenport talks about the neighborhood survival skills he developed as a young boy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ronald Davenport recounts his grandparents' influence and leadership in his community

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ronald Davenport details his experiences living with his mother and stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ronald Davenport talks about his high school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ronald Davenport discusses briefly his plans to go to college

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport discusses his decision to attend Penn State University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport describes the small black population at Penn State in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport recalls adjusting to the small black populace in State College, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport explains his decision to major in economics at Penn State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport details his participation in student government at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport discusses his participation in the economics department at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport talks about the things that influenced him at Penn State

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport talks about his decision to go to law school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport explains his decision to attend Temple University's law school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport recalls his experiences at Temple Law School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport compares his undergraduate and graduate attitudes towards education

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ron Davenport talks about his first jobs while in law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport describes his experience as a law clerk in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport talks about his career focus and his drive to become a leader

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport describes his courtship and marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport discusses his mentor and his acceptance to Yale Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport details his coursework at Yale Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about his experiences at Norris, Green, Harris and Higginbotham law firm

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport recalls one of the law firm's biggest clients, Father Divine

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport discusses his mentor, Austin Norris

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport discusses civil rights in the Philadelphia area

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport describes becoming a professor at Duquesne University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport recalls his teaching experiences at Duquesne University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ron Davenport describes his civic involvement in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport explains his adjustment to the community in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport describes his civic activities in Pittsburgh while teaching at Duquesne University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport talks about his work for the mayor's office in Pittsburgh

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport describes his leadership roles with the Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport recalls other aspects of his civil rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about becoming Dean of Duquesne University's law school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport explains his career transition from law to radio broadcasting

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport details the origins of his broadcasting company

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport talks about other radio broadcasters and his other business ventures

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport details his expanding radio business

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport recalls his feelings toward becoming a black business owner

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ron Davenport details the development of the Sheridan Broadcasting Network

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ron Davenport discusses Sheridan Broadcasting and its affiliates

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ron Davenport talks about his success at Sheridan Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ron Davenport discusses his hopes for the future of Sheridan Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ron Davenport discusses his successes and mistakes in the radio business

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ron Davenport talks about his children's participation in the broadcasting business

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ron Davenport considers decision-making opportunities for African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ron Davenport considers the future successes of the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ron Davenport shares his concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ron Davenport considers his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Ron Davenport considers how he would like to be remembered

Reverend T. L. Barrett, Jr.

Pastor, musician, and motivational speaker the Reverend Thomas Lee (T. L.) Barrett was born January 13, 1944, in Jamaica, Long Island, New York. His father, from the Mississippi Delta, was a part-time gospel performer with the Southern Wonders. At the age of nine, Barrett's family moved to Chicago, Illinois, and Barrett continued to struggle in school. After his father passed away, Barrett returned to New York and found work in a hospital removing brains from cadavers at the age of sixteen.

By that year, Barrett's musical talents were being noticed, especially his ability on the piano. He began performing at the Waldorf Astoria and the New York City Village Gate, as well as in several church choirs. He gave up his job in the hospital, and in addition to his music, worked as an executive shoeshine man. Feeling the call to the ministry, Barrett attended Bethel Bible College and passed the New York State Board of Regents ministerial exam. After marrying a young woman from New York, Barrett returned to Chicago in 1967. The following year, he was named the pastor of Life Center Church of God in Christ, and in 1968 he began purchasing airtime on local radio stations to spread his ministry. By 1973, he was a regular on WBMX, and he remained on-air there until switching to WJPC in 1980.

Barrett has been active in a number of causes, including the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., in 1995. During that event, he brought busloads of men from Chicago to the nation's capital. He was also one of the regional coordinators for the Million Family March in 2000. He has worked with other Chicago-area pastors and gangs to explore ways in which gangs could prevent crime in troubled urban areas. A strong believer in family values, Barrett was a supporter of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who took a wife and was ostracized by the Catholic Church. Barrett has also recorded five albums and several sessions of taped sermons.

Accession Number

A2003.054

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/25/2003

Last Name

Barrett

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Joseph Medill Elementary School

Gregory Math & Sci Elem Academy

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

T.L.

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BAR05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

I Am Alive In This Season For A Divine Reason.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/13/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken, Dumplings

Short Description

Radio host and pastor Reverend T. L. Barrett, Jr. (1944 - ) was co-convener of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, and an outspoken advocate of family values. He was also a regional coordinator for the Million Family March on Washington, D.C. in 2000. Barrett was pastor of the Life Church of God in Christ in Chicago, and had a radio presence since the late 60s.

Employment

Life Center Church of God in Christ

WBMX Radio

WJPC Radio

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend T.L. Barrett's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the value of keeping a record of his daily life for future generations

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' move from Itta Bena, Mississippi to New York, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' move from Itta Bena, Mississippi to New York, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his family's musical involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his parents' values

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his family's move from New York City to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in New York City, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes living in the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes living in the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes having to move out of Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience in grade schools in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience in grade schools in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes returning to Chicago, Illinois after getting his GED in New York City, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience as a morgue attendant in Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience as a morgue attendant in Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes an experience he had as a morgue attendant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes an experience he had as a morgue attendant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes malpractice at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the permanent back injury caused by lifting a body as a morgue assistant at Flushing Hospital in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his experience working at Flushing Hospital and Mcclean's Cleaning Service in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his belief system

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his musical performance and how his cousin recruited him into the shoe shine business in New York City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his studying under Irwin Stahl and choosing faith over music

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his decision to stop his music lessons and become a preacher

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his belief system

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about sharing his vision of God's presence in all of us

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about recovering from an incurable blood disease

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the beginning of his career as a pastor in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes establishing his church in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the beginning of his career on the radio at WBMX

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett shares his beliefs concerning self-improvement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the difference between his theology and that of mainline Christianity, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the difference between his theology and that of mainline Christianity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his conception of God

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the role of positive thinking in changing the course of slave thinking, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the role of positive thinking in changing the course of slave thinking, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes what his church teaches to children

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about why God allows bad things to happen to people, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about how positive thinking can end suffering

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend T.L. Barrett talks about whether God should be feared

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes some sections of the Old Testament

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes the relationship between black ministers and their teachings and the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his wife's leaving him, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and the return of his wife

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his studying under Irwin Stahl and choosing faith over music
Reverend T.L. Barrett describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon
Transcript
I met a couple, a Jewish couple, who just took a real liking to me. And they invited me to one of their house parties. They wanted me to mix the drinks at their house parties. And I told them I could do it. Any time anybody had asked me if I can do anything I say, yes, even though I didn't know anything about it--I didn't know jack about it, but I said yes because I just knew that the power of God in me would enable me to do it. All I would have to--they would have to show me and I would pretend like I needed some refresher. I went to their party and they had a piano there. And instead of me, you know, while there was a lull in the serving of the liquor, I started playing the piano. And the people were just, wowed, and they were wowed by my ability to play. And they said, well, where did you study? I said, I haven't--I've never studied music, I just wanted to play it. I started playing. So they wanted to make me their investment project. They said that we will--we see so much potential in you and we have connections with "The Tonight Show" and all of the things in Hollywood. We want to make you a star. I said--but we want to send you--you have to have some formal training 'cause with your raw talent, if you just get some formal training, you know, you'll be a mega star. So they sent me to Julliard School of Music. And I went right into Julliard saying that, you know, I've got, you know, my tuition paid and everything. And George Rhodes was there, and George was Sammy Davis Jr.'s music director, and he's the one who talked to me 'cause he was on staff there. And he talked to me and said that you cannot attend Julliard unless you are a graduate from another school. You know, Julliard is a graduate school. I didn't know that. And so he said, you would have to go and get training somewhere else. But he gave me his numbers and, you know, let me keep in touch with him and all. So they found one of the greatest piano teachers that money could buy. At that time Irwin Stahl charged $30 per half an hour and he took me on for an hour each, twice a week. And these people paid him for me. I don't know whether you remember the blackout in New York [1965].$$Yup.$$Well I was at Irwin Stahl's studio when it blacked out. I was late because I was still working my concession and he was very particular, very meticulous about being on time and doing your lessons because he was expensive. So I needed gas. I had a--I was driving a '58' [1958] Cadillac then that drank gas. But I was on "E", but I said, well I'll--rather than get gas now, I'll wait until after my lessons, then I'll get gas. The blackout hit while he was teaching me. And there were no gas stations open because they all run by electricity. I was way up in the Bronx and I lived in Queens. But I was studying the science of mind and the power of the mind and I said all right God, I gotta put you to the test. I'm gonna make it home on prayer and air 'cause my car was laying on "E." I got in my car, I drove on the expressway and to really show my faith, I let the windows down, put my arm out the window and just relaxed, instead of driving, you know, all--'cause I was really testing my own consciousness. And I made it all the way to my house. And when I pulled into my parking space, I'll never forget this, as long as I breathe, when I went to turn the gas--the engine off, the car died by itself. That, I swear to God, that happened. And I realized then that this is what I want to do, teach people about this.$I started on the radio. I became the hottest thing in the city [Chicago, Illinois] and one morning while I was on the air, getting back to [HM Reverend Dr.] Johnnie Colemon now, the spirit of God spoke to me and said, "You wanna meet Johnnie Colemon?" He said, "Johnnie's going through something right now, just open the mike and bless Johnnie Colemon and have a bless Johnnie Colemon week." So I opened the mike. I said, I'm blessing the Reverend Doctor Johnnie Colemon, pastor of the Christ Universal Temple Church. And I got the address and said, "Now what I want you all to do this week, I want you all to send Johnnie Colemon some cards and letters and just say God Bless you Johnnie Colemon." Johnnie Colemon told me that that morning she was going through a crisis in her life, in her ministry, said, "Lord, I just need some encouragement." She said she turned on her radio and while she was flicking, you know, turning the dial, she heard this preacher saying "This week is Bless Johnnie Colemon Week." She said my mouth flew open. She said, who is this? And what does he know about Johnnie Colemon and what does he know about what I'm going through right now to say "Bless Johnnie Colemon Week." And she said she kept listening and said she couldn't recognize the voice, she didn't know--and after a while I called my name, this is Pastor T. L. Barrett, blessing Johnnie Colemon. She said, well, Jesus, who is this man? I gotta find out who this man is, for him to pick up this. She said she got so many cards, so many letters, and that's how Johnnie and I met. That's how we became friends 'cause I sent her a card and sent her, you know, a letter or something. But we've been friends ever since and that's been, I guess, over twenty-five years ago.$$That's quite a story.$$Oh, God, yes it is. And that's why Johnnie and I know that God put us together. I mean, especially when she heard of what I was teaching, you know, so similar to what she was teaching. She said, because--and then I invited her to preach at my church and ministers, back twenty-five years ago, a woman preacher, invited to your church, that was unheard of 'cause men--the male preachers were putting her down and hindering her so and here was a man preacher on the radio saying, "Bless Johnnie Colemon", just when she really needed to hear it.$$Now, it's been said, by some ministers, that Johnnie Colemon is really not a Christian, as such, as they were defining Christians.$$Well, she's not--$$--as Christians--$$--neither am I--$$Okay.$$--as to what they define a Christian. Now, because we say we're not Christians, we are Christ. I mean, Jesus--I mean the scripture tells you, "Let this mind being you which was also in Christ." Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be one with God, and that's exactly what we teach people. You and your father, mother, God, are absolutely one.