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Lloyd G. Trotter

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter was born on April 9, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio to Lillian Trotter and Reverend Lee Trotter, Sr. He graduated from John Adams High School in 1963, and entered an apprenticeship program with Cleveland Twist Drill. He studied at Cleveland State University while working at Cleveland Twist Drill, graduating in 1972 with his B.A. degree in business administration.

Trotter was promoted to a full-time product design and application engineer at Cleveland Twist Drill in 1967. He began working for General Electric (GE) as a field service engineer in 1970, where he was named vice president and general manager of manufacturing for the Electric, Distribution and Control division (ED&C) in 1990. That same year, he helped found the GE African American Forum, a mentor group for African American GE employees. While working in management at GE, he invented the Trotter Matrix, a tool for evaluating standards across various plants which was quickly adopted throughout the company. In 1991, Trotter became the president and CEO of the Electric, Distribution and Control division, and then to president and CEO of GE Industrial Solutions in 1998. In 2003, Trotter became senior vice president of GE Industrial, followed by executive vice president of operations at in 2005. In 2008, after almost forty years, Trotter left GE to become a managing partner at the private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners, which he founded with Ronald Blaylock, Arthur Harper and James Shepard.

Starting in 2008, Trotter served on the board of directors of PepsiCo as well as Textron, Inc., Meritor, Inc. and Daimler AG. Trotter also served on the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He received the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, and the GE Chairman’s Award for three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005. Trotter received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Cleveland State University, North Carolina A&T School of Business and Saint Augustine University. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) honored Trotter with a schoarlship established in his name, and the Harlem YMCA presented him the Black Achievers in Industry Award.

Trotter and his wife, Teri, have three children.

Lloyd G. Trotter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 25, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2016

Last Name

Trotter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

George

Schools

Cleveland State University

Bolton Elementary School

Andrew J. Rickoff Elementary School

John Adams High School

First Name

Lloyd

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

TRO02

Favorite Season

Fall in US

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard - Sandy Lane

Favorite Quote

God Grant Me Patience, And I Want It Right Now.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/9/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern cuisine

Short Description

Corporate executive Lloyd G. Trotter (1945- ) worked for GE for nearly forty years, where he served as a president and vice chairman of GE Industrial. In 2008, he became the full-time managing partner of the private equity firm, GenNx360 Capital Partners.

Employment

GenNx360 Capital Partners

General Electric

General Electric Industrial

Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lloyd G. Trotter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his parents' move to Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls experiencing racial discrimination as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his immediate family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls the racial demographics of the neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the election of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about race relations at John Adams High School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls accepting an apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his apprenticeship at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his promotion at Cleveland Twist Drill Company

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles as field service engineer and project lead

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working in Brazil

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the scope of his work at General Electric

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls interviewing at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his brief career at Honeywell International, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls his first executive job at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about African American managers at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers Jack Welch's leadership style

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as a general manager at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his experiences as General Electric's first African American executive

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the Trotter Matrix

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his relationship with Jack Welch

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls pushing for greater diversity at General Electric

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the founding of the African American Forum

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his relationship with NBC executives

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the African American Forum

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the changes at General Electric during the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter explains General Electric's business strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers his challenges at General Electric

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his interactions with government officials

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his involvement on non-profit boards

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the leadership of Jack Welch and Jeffrey R. Immelt

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lloyd G. Trotter remembers the founding members of GenNX 360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lloyd G. Trotter recalls working as director of Genpact Limited at General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his roles at GenNX360 Capital Partners and General Electric

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about the success of GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes the effect of government on GenNX360 Capital Partners

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his relationship with General Electric after retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his involvement in the National Association of Guardsmen, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his philosophy on mentorships

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lloyd G. Trotter shares his advice to young professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lloyd G. Trotter reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lloyd G. Trotter talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lloyd G. Trotter describes his plans for the future

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Lloyd G. Trotter remembers being hired at General Electric
Lloyd G. Trotter describes his sources of support at General Electric
Transcript
You start selling these tools that you have previously made and then designed and come across GE [General Electric]. Tell us about that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right. Well, what happened there was and I say selling but we were the technical support behind the distributors who had sales guys and one of our distributors had sold some tools to GE that made specialty equipment for making light bulbs. We call them lamps because you can get more money in margin by changing the name of it. But they sold light bulbs and they built this piece of equipment that was going to cut aluminum and it wasn't working and they were blaming it all on the tool. I got a call from our distributor; I need some technical help here. I went out and looked at it and I said, "Yeah the tools are not right for your application and I'll fix that for you but this is got to be your first chip cutting application that you've ever done." They guy on the other end of the conversation was a GE employee and he said, "How would you know that?" And I said, "Well the tools aren't right that's for sure but your speeds and feeds the way you're holding the part, the coolant that you're using to cool down the part they are all wrong too," (laughter) you know, kind of thing. And he looked at me and he says, "You sound like you know what you're doing," and I said, "Well let me tell you about my background," and he said, "Well would you be willing to help us?" I said, "I live down the street why don't every Monday we do a debrief and I'd tell you what I would do if in fact I was doing this application." They probably accepted 90 percent of my ideas.$$And you volunteered to do this?$$Well it's part of the job, you know. I want to sell more tools, I want my distributor to sell more tools and that was a part of the technical support for what you do. So they then had a run off date, we had the new tools there and so on and it went really, really well and what I noticed is it was over a six month period at a time, you know. So I noticed that there were a lot of more white suits and ties around for this run off than there was for the first one that failed. The guy that I worked with for that six month period at a time, he says, "I want you to meet my bosses' boss," and I said, "I'm glad to meet you and I hope we didn't let you down, we really want more of your business. The distributor here who ultimately is supporting you, he says they have a really great relationship so help us." He says, "Well let me talk to you one on one." He said, "Would you feel offended if I offered you a job?" I said, "Yeah I would, I have a job. If you're talking about a career I'd be willing to listen but I'm not out looking at all." He said, "I meant a career," and I said, "Well, let me make sure you understand. I don't have a resume I can put something together and I don't have a college degree at this point and I'm not starting over." He said, "Are you committed to getting a college degree?" I said, "I am not for you or not for anybody else because that's what I know I need to do." He said, "Well we want to talk to you about a career," and it was like I don't know three months later I got an offer and I was a GE employee as a field service engineer for their lighting division at Nela Park in Cleveland [Ohio] and that started my career.$As you are growing in your position [at General Electric], because you--it's at a pretty fast clip.$$Yeah.$$I mean you are being promoted almost every year it looks like. Who are your mentors?$$Well a lot; once you become a senior executive ban really Fairfield [Connecticut] takes over on placement and what you're going to do next. So a lot of the mentors that would maybe make a difference are in Fairfield the Jack Welch's of the world, the Ben Heinemans [Benjamin W. Heineman] of the world, you know people like that. But then on the sideline there are individuals who are your peers that you're also taking coaching from and having to get advice. But more importantly by then--by the time I got to leading a bigger business there were other officers of the company--twelve of them in fact that were in similar positions where we could mentor each other. Just because I was maybe a step ahead or whatever doesn't mean that they can't give you great advice and you can capitalize on what they're seeing and mold it into what you ought to be thinking about. So it comes from people below you, from people who are peers and people above you. Some of the best help I ever got in my manufacturing career was from hourly employees who gave me advice about you better watch your back (laughter). Now I remember early on in my career where I was an industrial engineer at a manufacturing plant and literally I had this brilliant idea that now in retrospect it wasn't that brilliant, it was really pretty bad and the plant they were threatening a strike, they were doing this and all of a sudden magically it started working and I'm standing there at a machine where I had done this it was like reduce the workforce by a third. They didn't get laid off, they went to other areas of the plant but we were going to do three times as much work with a third of the people and I thought it was great. I thought I had really thought it through and this young lady, Sadie [ph.] I remember her. She was a twenty-five year employee, African American female and I'm standing there watching it work, smiling and she said, "You're pretty proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah it's finally beginning to gel and it's working." And she said, "You are really proud of yourself aren't you?" I said, "Yeah, I am." She says, "Well the reason it's working has nothing to do about you." I said, "Yeah? Tell me about it." She said, "Look they were getting ready to go out on strike, I've been here for twenty-five years and we had a meeting in the ladies' room." 60, 70 percent of the employees in the lighting plant are female. I said, "What went on in the ladies' room?" She said, "I told them we have dumb ideas for white folks, we're going to do dumb ideas for this black kid so get out there, we ain't going on strike, go to work." And she was the turning point. She was the turning point. I said, "Why would you do that for me?" She said, "I have a grandson about your age and he's out there doing dumb ideas too and I hope somebody saves his butt" (laughter). But all my life I've had secretaries and people like that who I had gotten to know who from different ways helped me, saved me, if you will, in some cases. If you are so arrogant you're not listening, you won't see that you know, kind of thing. But I've had people again below that were huge supporters and they did it in their own way. People who were peers who have been huge, huge supporters and they did it in their own way and then people from the top pulling me up. So it was that triangulation that really was the difference I think.

Anthony Samad

Author, columnist and professor Anthony Asadullah Samad was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from California State University in Los Angeles with his B.A. degree in communications in 1980. Samad went on to receive his M.P.A degree in public finance from the University of Southern California in 1983.

From 1980 until 1984, Samad worked as a branch manager of Beneficial Finance. In 1984, he was hired as the vice president of Founders Savings, and, from 1985 to 1990, he served as president of Liberty Finance Management. Then, in 1991, Samad founded Samad and Associates, a strategic planning and urban affairs firm specializing in the assessment and management of public policy, economic development, urban, social and race issues. In 1996, he was hired by the Los Angeles Community College District, where he currently serves as a professor of political science and African American studies. From 1997 to 2007, he attended Claremont Graduate University, where he received his second M.A. degree in political economy, and then his Ph.D. degree in political science.

Samad has authored five books: Souls for Sale: The Diary of an Ex-Colored Man (2002); 50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality in America (2005); Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom (2007); REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics In 21st Century Popular Culture (2012); and March On, March On Ye Mighty Host: The Comprehensive History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (1914-2013) (2013). From 2007 until 2011, he served as the publisher of Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles. Samad has also been a syndicated columnist, and an opinion leader, publishing articles in newspapers and websites nationwide.

Samad has membership in the Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities, and has served as a past master of Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation. He has also been involved with the American Political Science Association and the National Association of Black Journalists. Samad was the Los Angeles NAACP branch president from 1988 to 1989, and, since 1999, he has served as the managing director and host of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles, a monthly public affairs forum that discusses critical issues impacting urban communities. He also served as the president and chairman of the board of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Inc. from 2007 to 2009.

Samad has received over 200 awards and citations for his community advocacy work, including elevation to the 33rd and last degree in 1994, the prestigious 2007 Drum Major Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, and 2008’s Member of the Year from the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles.

Anthony Asadullah Samad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.294

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2013

Last Name

Samad

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Asadullah

Schools

Claremont Graduate University

California State University, Los Angeles

University of Southern California

Los Angeles High School

24th Street Elementary School

P.S. 124 Silas B. Dutcher School

John Adams Middle School

First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SAM05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

God Doesn’t Put Any More On You Than You Can Bear

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Journalist and political science professor Anthony Samad (1957 - ) authored numerous political columns and scholarly publications, including '50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality in America.' He also founded the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles.

Employment

Los Angeles Community College District

Samad & Associates

Freelance Journalist

Liberty Finance Management

Founders Savings & Loan

Beneficial Financial Company

California State University, Northridge

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad remembers lessons from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad describes his community in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony Samad describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Samad recalls moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Samad remembers his first impressions of California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers the Watts riots in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad describes the impact of the Watts riots

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad talks about his early admiration of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad remembers his family's involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad talks about his love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about his middle school gym teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad talks about his favorite athletes

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad talks about his high school basketball career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad remembers Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad talks about his early awareness of black politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad remembers his college recruitment offers

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad recalls the development of his political consciousness, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad recalls the development of his political consciousness, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad talks about the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad remembers joining the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad recalls his decision to study broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Anthony Samad talks about the changes in black identity during the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Anthony Samad recalls his mentors at California State University, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers earning a master's degree in public administration

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls founding the Liberty Finance Management Group

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad recalls his introduction to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about police violence against African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad recalls his election as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad describes his challenges as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad describes his challenges as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about a personal scandal, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad talks about a personal scandal, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad recalls the start of his career as a newspaper columnist

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls his conversion to Islam and return to Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes the work of Samad and Associates

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad remembers his consulting clients

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad remembers the riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad describes the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad remembers the O.J. Simpson trial, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad remembers the O.J. Simpson trial, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers becoming a political science professor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls founding the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad remembers the speakers at the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about the structure of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad reflects upon the importance of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad remembers earning his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad describes the social regression that followed the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about his book, 'Saving the Race, Daily Affirmations for Young Black Males'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad describes his recent publications

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad talks about the history of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad talks about the history of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes his current book projects

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad reflects upon his legacy

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

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Anthony Samad talks about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anthony Samad talks about police violence against African Americans
Transcript
Let me go back a little bit to the assassinations of Malcolm X and Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.].$$ Okay.$$And I have a note here that both of those assassinations affected you when you were young. So, well tell us about--what did you know about Malcolm X when you were growing up?$$ I had heard of Malcolm X, but I have no recollection of hearing about his assassination at the time that it happened. I remember talking about it and hearing about it maybe a year or two later as the pro black radical movement began to take hold in Los Angeles [California] and the Panther [Black Panther Party] movement became significant in Los Angeles. Then I would hear references to Malcolm X and they killed Malcolm that kind of thing. However, the two most significant generational effects of my life happened November 22nd, 1963, and April 4th, 1968. I remember both of those days like they happened yesterday. It was like the world stopped. I remember them letting out school. I was still in New York [New York] when President Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] was killed. I remember the principal coming over the loud speaker and saying, telling the teachers that school is being dismissed, that the children's parents will pick them up outside [of P.S. 124, Silas B. Dutcher School, Brooklyn, New York]. I remember going outside and seeing our parents lined up on the curb and mothers crying and that kind of thing and then the teachers whispering to one another and then the teachers started crying. And then when I got home, that's when my mother [Margaret Davis] told me that the president had been killed. On the day that Martin Luther King was killed, I remember a very, very loud reaction. It was like the whole community came out on their lawns. Everybody ran out of their house screaming, "They killed him." At that point, we lived on Hobart [Boulevard], and it was like the neighborhood mourned together and it was something that I had never experienced, not even with the Kennedy death. I'd been blessed in my family not to have a lot of death. The first death that I was exposed to was the passing of my grandfather on my father's side [John Essex, Jr.], and he died around 1965, '66 [1966], and it, it was, you know, he seemed old so it seemed like just a natural course of life, but you know to see someone in the prime of their lives cut down as Kennedy and King were that brought a different social reality to me that people who do good assume some risks and those risks include death. And this is where you begin now to have conversations with your peers. Generally anytime death is mentioned in your family, it's usually by an older person trying to sit down and console or explain that grandma went to heaven, grandpa went to heaven, that kind of thing. But, to be indoctrinated to political assassinations, you know, I was twelve years old, thirteen years old when King was killed. So before you have reached pub- puberty, you have this political reality as a child that in America death can come upon you for speaking truth to power or for trying to do the right thing or just for being African American in some parts of the country was a sobering reality. It was one that really kind of shaped my worldview.$How were the first few years of Liberty Finance Management [Liberty Finance Management Group, Los Angeles, California]? How--?$$ It was, it was actually good. It allowed me to sustain myself. I will say that I probably never really gave it my full attention because it was at that time I also took a position, an officer's position, in the Los Angeles NAACP [NAACP Los Angeles Branch, Los Angeles, California] in 1986. So, it allowed me to take care of my family and while I pursued my community activism. That was the beginning of my real community activism.$$Okay, now what was the Los Angeles NAACP like when you joined? Who was in it and what were the issues?$$ I became a part of a new wave of leaders. The branch had pretty much died. I mean they had very, very few members, and there was a gentleman by the name of John McDonald who was responsible for revitalizing the NAACP. And the revitalization of the NAACP was phenomenal 'cause he brought a lot of young people including myself to the branch, and he grew the branch from nearly eight hundred members to almost fifteen thousand members. John McDonald passed away in December of 1986 [sic. 1985] at the age of thirty-five. He died of a heart attack at Christmastime.$$This is in 19--?$$ Eighty-six [1986].$$Eighty-six [1986], okay so this is shortly after he brought you in.$$ Yeah, after he pulled me in. So, all of us basically took an oath to stay engaged and try to, you know, keep John's dream alive. And this was also the period of time in which you began to see a significant shift in Los Angeles [California] in terms of the way police were treating people. Police abuse and misconduct was on the rise. We had a police chief by the name of Daryl Gates who essentially took a paramilitary stand against the black community. You know he created this thing called the battering ram. You began to see the vestiges of the cocaine and the crack movement began to come into the African American community and so, and then you began to see the rise of the black gang movement in the black community.$$Now this is, this is an era when out on the East Coast crack cocaine was coming into Washington, D.C., you know some of the East Coast cities. It hadn't reached Chicago [Illinois] yet, but was it doing the same thing on the West Coast?$$ Yeah, it was just beginning to creep in. It, it probably took five years to take hold, so by the early '90s [1990s] it was here, but you, you could see the vestiges of it in '86 [1986], '87 [1987], '88 [1988] and so you began to see LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] take a more aggressive position. So, as vice president of the NAACP, I took on major issues with respect to economic discrimination and police abuse.$$Okay, LAPD has a long history of antagonism--$$ Oh yeah.$$--with people of color in Los Angeles.$$ Oh going back to the 1920s you know.$$Right.$$ In almost every riot whether it was the black community or Latino community, because remember the zoot suit riots occurred in the 1930s [sic. 1943], and I think that you know even though the Watts riots of '65 [1965] were oftentimes seen as the flashpoint of police misconduct, there had been many, many riots in Los Angeles and when I say many riots you know small conflicts with the police that didn't blow up into full scale riots.$$Yeah, not the, you know--$$ Earlier than 1965, way earlier.$$There's the photo of Malcolm X with a picture of a brother that was shot.$$ Well when the, the, when the police attacked the mosque [Mosque No. 27; Temple No. 27, Los Angeles, California] in 1962 and then of course they attacked the Panthers [Black Panther Party] in 1970 on, on 41st [Street] and Central [Avenue]. They shot out the, the Panther office, you know so, you know they, they have been very aggressive. In the 1980s, they, they had become paramilitary, you know, because Daryl Gates is the police chief responsible for creating SWAT [Special Weapons and Tactics], you know which is, you know the marksmen teams that you know take out snipers and those kinds of things, but that whole set up was perfected on the black community; you know it was perfected on the black community.

Steve Baskerville

Broadcast meteorologist Steve Baskerville was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1950. He attended the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University and graduated from there in 1972 with his B.S. degree in communications. Later, in 2006, Baskerville earned a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. He received his American Meteorological Society (AMS) Seal of Approval in 2007.

In 1972, Baskerville began his broadcasting career and was hired by the Philadelphia School District Office of Curriculum where he hosted a children’s show on public radio. He then joined KYW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, from 1977 to 1984. While there, Baskerville worked as a weatherman, co-hosted a morning talk show with Maurice “Maury” Povich, and hosted a daily children’s program which was honored by Action for Children’s Television. In 1984, Baskerville was hired by CBS as a broadcast meteorologist on their “Morning News” segment, making him the first African American network weatherman. Then, in 1987, he became the weatherman for WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois.

Baskerville’s interest in children’s programming led him to host a two-hour special, “Dealing with Dope.” He also co-hosted a children’s issues program for WCBS-TV titled, “What If.”
In addition, Baskerville has displayed his diverse skills by hosting projects such as “Thanks to Teachers,” a salute to area educators; “Taste of the Taste,” a half-hour live broadcast from the Taste of Chicago; the “All-City Jamboree,” a high school talent competition; and “Beautiful Babies,” a public service campaign.

Baskerville has been honored for excellence throughout his career. In 1999, he won an Emmy Award for the news feature series, “Best of Chicago”; and, in 2001, he was honored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association for “Best Weather Segment.” Baskerville served as host for CBS 2 Chicago’s Emmy-Award winning program, “Sunday! With Steve Baskerville!” He received local Emmy Awards for his work on CBS 2’s 2004 broadcast of the LaSalle Bank of Chicago Marathon, and his coverage of the deadly tornado in Utica, Illinois in 2004. In addition, he received an Emmy Award in 2005 for the news feature, “Steve’s Getaway Guide.” In 2006, Baskerville earned several more local Emmy Awards including the “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence.”

Baskerville and his wife live in Glenview, Illinois. They have two children: Aaron Baskerville and Sheena Baskerville.

Steve Baskerville was interviewed by The HistoryMakers August 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.238

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/24/2013

Last Name

Baskerville

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Stephen

Schools

Temple University

Mississippi State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herman

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

BAS04

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Have And Not Need Than To Need And Not Have.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/12/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Television personality and weatherman Steve Baskerville (1950 - ) was hired by CBS in 1984, making him the first African American network weatherman. In 1987, he joined WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois where he earned several local Emmy Awards.

Employment

CBS News

KYW TV Philadelphia

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Steve Baskerville's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes his mother, Mary Baskerville

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about experiencing racism

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his mother's career as a teacher

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his maternal grandmother and being raised by a widowed mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville describes his paternal family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville shares his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about encountering President Herbert Hoover

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about the talented alumni of Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes his family life as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about growing up in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about celebrating holidays as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville remembers his family vacations as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville shares his memories of elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville remembers entering a smile contest

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about encountering gangs while attending Shoemaker Junior High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about being a good student and his plans for college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes his activities at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes attending church as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his social life at Overbrook High School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about his aspiration to be a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville describes the political climate of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville recalls the tumult of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville describes harassment by the police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about his father's military service in WWII

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his decision to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about attending Temple University during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes his decision to major in Theater and Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about his first job working on a children's educational radio show

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville talks about his work in children's television programming

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about working on "Evening Magazine" and "AM-PM" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about how he became a weatherman

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes his audition for the CBS Morning News

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about African Americans in the Philadelphia broadcasting market in the late 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about meeting celebrities who appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show"

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville describes being recognized in public and working in large broadcasting markets

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about taking a job at a morning newscast in New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville recalls being encouraged to take a broadcasting job in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville contrasts national versus local broadcasts

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville remembers the celebrities who appeared on the CBS Morning Show

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his decision to take a job as weatherman for WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about his wife and children

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about reporting on Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's death

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes working at WBBM-Channel 2 in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes the Chicago broadcasting market

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville talks about the importance of peer acceptance and having an authentic personality in the broadcasting business

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about working with Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville talks about the major weather stories he covered in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville talks about "The Mike Douglas" show

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his strategy for dealing with changing management at WBBM

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville talks about hosting "Sunday with Steve Baskerville"

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville describes the non-weather programming that he hosted

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville describes his ideal television program

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville talks about being a people person

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville talks about meeting interesting people

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville talks about winning nine Emmy Awards

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Steve Baskerville talks about earning a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Steve Baskerville talks about global warming

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Steve Baskerville talks about the controversies faced by HistoryMakers Harry Porterfield and Dorothy Tucker as black journalists in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Steve Baskerville talks about HistoryMaker Jim Tilmon

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Steve Baskerville describes the wage gap between African American female broadcasters and male broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Steve Baskerville talks about his heroes

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Steve Baskerville shares his career advice

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Steve Baskerville talks about his son's career

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Steve Baskerville talks about his future plans

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Steve Baskerville describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Steve Baskerville reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Steve Baskerville narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Steve Baskerville talks about the major weather stories he covered in Chicago, Illinois
Steve Baskerville talks about how he became a weatherman
Transcript
Now, tell me a little bit about, you're doing the weather, what is the technology in terms of weather reporting at this time?$$Well, it's very--(simultaneous)--$$I mean your first year (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$I mean we've got all sorts of real help. You know, when I first started we were putting magnets on the board and clouds of suns and everything was pretty much broad, you know, like a broad area of rain will be here and then broad area moves here. And now things are so localized and the computer has done everything to make it so different, you know. You, you're not--and the speed of--the speed and the accuracy of the projections that you make, those are--I can look at, I can go to work now and look at a 48-hour computer model and what this particular model is saying the next two days are gonna be like. And it'd almost be on the money in terms of the hour that--it'll show me that Tuesday night at 11:00, this area is gonna move right into Northeastern Illinois, and more often than not, the next 24 hours, you can be in the 90's percent for accurate. I mean it's--the guesswork is practically gone. They're so sophisticated now.$$What was your biggest weather story the first year you were in Chicago [Illinois]?$$Well, I, and maybe it wasn't the first year, but I was the first reporter on the scene with the Plainfield [Illinois] tornadoes. I happened to have been in Oak Lawn [Illinois] doing something else, doing a story--it was a very, very hot day. And we were talking about people who have strange jobs on hot days, and these were guys that worked in refrigerators all day with coats on, like meat lockers, trying to protect the meat or whatever, and it was like a hundred degrees outside. And then I got word something happened in, around Joliet. Can you get there? And we got in the car, and we went out to a field, and it was commotion , and I, you know, 10 or 11 people out talking to each other in a frantic way. What happened? Tornado, and it went that way. And the person pointed, and when he pointed, it was almost textbook. Tornadoes tend to move on diagonal lines. And it was from like North--it was moving from like Northwest to--Southwest to Northeast, Southwest to Northeast. And we just followed the destruction. It started getting worse and worse. We saw some trees down, and we followed the line and then saw some rooftops gone, saw buildings just leveled. So it was those Plainfield tornadoes and the toughest part of it was what the National Guard had to do that night, and they were, not afraid, but they were troubled. One of 'em said to me, you know, I gotta go out there now in that field and look around, and I don't know what I'm gonna find there. But it was the aftermath of that tornado that was probably the biggest--I've gone to two tornado scenes, not during the midst of the tornado, but here and in Utica [Illinois], there was some big tornadoes, more recent than Plainfield. But those were the big--and I've had a couple all night, gotta stay, be in the station, blizzard episodes. I'd much rather have a blizzard than the severe weather. Severe is quicker, happens and ends quicker, but much more frightening because of the possibility.$$You know, that Plainfield tornado, do you remember what year that was?$$Nineteen ninety [1990], I believe.$$There were a lot of casualties--(simultaneous)--$$Yes.$$Over a hundred people?$$Yes, 'cause it wasn't just Plainfield. It was Crest Hill [Illinois] and maybe parts of Joliet [Illinois]. But I'm, but it was, it was pretty devastating.$Eventually, the boss running, the GM [General Manager] running that station comes down to me and he says, you know, I wish there was a way to get you involved in more of the day. This is working so well. Weather. And I said, what? The weather. Why didn't I think of it earlier? You'd make a great weatherman. I said--$$What was your initial thought when he said that?$$You've got to be kidding. I mean I had never thought of it. Maury [Povich] was an anchor of the 5:00 o'clock newscast, and he liked the relationship we had. And he thought that I could blend into a newscast easily from what he saw earlier. The Dean of Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] was an old-time weather broadcaster, now Dean of Science at Drexel. He says, you know, I like that guy. Why don't you pay me to teach him. I'll teach him the weather. So the station sends me off to Francis Davis, Dr. Francis Davis, and several times a week, one-on-one, special course, special arrangement, I learned the weather like sitting there with notes and pad, pen, teaching me personally, meteorology. Now--$$What did this education involve? I mean how do you teach a weatherman (laughter)?$$Well, I mean it wasn't, it was an informal arrangement for sure. But the goal was, see, there's a--we can't as TV meteorologists ever do as much as the weather service is doing. I mean there are people on staff 24 hours a day, breaking up the day. I mean there's broadcast meteorology and then there's meteorology. I eventually went on and took courses, coursework at Mississippi State [University] where you get credentialed to have a seal 'cause are tests that you have to take and, but in those days, it was very loose. I mean the entry into the world of weather was pretty loose, and there were--I got, one of the most popular weathermen in Philadelphia at the time was a D.J. who made the transition from being a D.J., straight into doing television weather, enormously popular. I mean untouchable, popular for most of the years that I was in Philadelphia. So, so the, the thing about, half of--even to this day, I mean now we can go on the air with credentials and study from the day, from whatever the weather of the day is, but the map isn't the star of that segment. You are. So it's as much personality driven as it is information, especially in this day and age because people have so--we are fighting all sorts of sources for--by the time I'm seen on the air, people have, if they wanted, gotten the information, six ways from Sunday, from their phone, from their iPad, from all sorts of alerts and descriptions of the weather. And, you know, and, but the same for news as well. I think news is changing that way too, but we're really getting off on a tangent, so much so that I'm not sure where--but that was my entrance into steady television work.$$Now, you didn't have like radar weather or did you?$$Yeah, well, the thing that was most special about this arrangement with the Francis Davis who was this instructor of mine, he monitored me every day. I mean I was, it was like riding a bike, you took the training wheels off, and sent me off, and I'm wobbling. And I go on the air with all of the basics. I knew what fronts and highs and lows were and what they did and where they came from. I mean I could put a forecast together. I had to also master the phrasing, and I had to also make sense. And he'd call me after a show. That was great what you just said, that was exactly what's gonna happen or he'd call and say, that was crazy. Where'd you get that? Or that's the most ridiculous thing I ever--and it was wonderful to have someone in your corner like that. So I did, and I thought if I'm lucky, I'll keep this job for the rest of the month.$$What year was this?$$Nineteen seventy, like seven [1977] or so, 1978.

Melvin Miller

Newspaper publisher and editor Melvin B. Miller was born on July 22, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts. Miller grew up in Boston’s middle-class Roxbury neighborhood and graduated from Boston Latin School. He then enrolled at Harvard College and graduated from there in 1956 with his A.B. degree. Following a six month stint as an executive trainee at Aetna Insurance in Hartford, Connecticut, Miller was drafted and served for two years in the U.S. Army. He went on to enroll at Columbia University Law School and earned his J.D. degree from there in 1964. Miller was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and the Federal Bar.

Upon graduation, Miller joined the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner and served as the newspaper’s publisher, editor, and chief executive officer. In 1973, the Massachusetts Banking Commission appointed Miller as the conservator and chief executive officer of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. In 1977, Boston Mayor Kevin W. White named him as one of the three commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Miller became Chairman of the Commission in 1980. Miller then became a founding partner in the corporate law firm of Fitch, Miller, and Tourse where he practiced law from 1981 to 1991. He also served as the vice president and general counsel of WHDH-TV, an affiliate of the Central Broadcasting Station, from 1982 to 1993. Miller was a director of the United States-South Africa Leadership Exchange Program (USSALEP). He has written editorials for The Boston Globe, The Pilot, and Boston Magazine, and is the author of How to Get Rich When You Ain’t Got Nothing.

Miller is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Harvard Club of Boston, and the St. Botolph Club. Miller is a director of OneUnited Bank and MassINC. He is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a trustee emeritus of Boston University.

Miller received the Award of Excellence from the Art Director’s Club of Boston in 1970. The New England Press Association awarded Miller the First Prize in General Excellence and the Second Prize in Make-up & Typography in 1970. Miller is a recipient of the Annual Achievement Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people. Miller received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Suffolk University in 1984 and an Honorary Doctor Humane Letters degree from Emerson College in 2010.

Melvin B. Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.162

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/24/2013 |and| 4/27/2013

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Boston Latin School

Harvard University

Columbia Law School

David A. Ellis Elementary School

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Melvin

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

MIL09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

God Dwells Within You As You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/22/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Newspaper editor Melvin Miller (1934 - ) was the founder, publisher and editor of the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community.

Employment

The Bay State Banner

Unity Bank and Trust Company

Fitch, Miller & Touse

WHDH TV, Channel 7

United States Department of Justice

Aetna Life & Casualty

NYC insurance company

Public Schools

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin Miller's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal grandfather's musical background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his maternal grandmother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the African American community in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his Uncle Charlie

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes his family connection to the black loyalist colony in Nova Scotia, Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his father's career at the U.S. Post Office Department

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller lists his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at Henry L. Higginson Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers the Washington Park neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers his high school classmate, Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the academic rigor of the Boston Latin School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls the prevalence of bullying at the Boston Latin School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller recalls his experiences at the St. Mark Congregational Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller remembers his extracurricular activities at the Boston Latin School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers his SAT scores

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with the NAACP in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller recalls his classmates at Harvard University, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls his classmates at Harvard University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the H-Block Gang

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his experiences at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his academic difficulties at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the African American faculty at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's political career, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's political career, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes the African American community at Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers his graduation from Harvard University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes how he came to work at the Aetna Life and Casualty Company in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller talks about his U.S. military service

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about his maternal family's German ancestry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller recalls his decision to attend Columbia Law School in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers investigating insurance claims in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers Adolf A. Berle, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers Adolf A. Berle, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls becoming an assistant U.S. attorney general

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller talks about the founding of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Melvin Miller's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller describes the start of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller remembers Charles Stewart

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about William Monroe Trotter

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the early years of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls the first editor of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller describes the political climate of the 1960s

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller talks about the Moynihan Report of 1965, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller talks about the Moynihan Report of 1965, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the urban renewal program in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about Edward Brooke's early election losses

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls the start of Operation Exodus in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller remembers Louise Day Hicks

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers the busing crisis in Boston, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller remembers the violence during the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller recalls the opening of the William Monroe Trotter School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's audience

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller describes the Bay State Banner's financial challenges

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller remembers the demonstration at the Grove Hall welfare center in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his efforts to increase black representation in the media

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller recalls his involvement with the Unity Bank and Trust Company, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller recalls his involvement with the Unity Bank and Trust Company, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his role in the standardization of the welfare system

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the construction of the State Street Bank Building in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller recalls running for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts in 1972

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller recalls founding the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's competitors

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller remembers partnering with Jobs Clearing House, Inc.

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller describes his support for minority hiring at the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller recalls serving as general counsel to WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Melvin Miller talks about the Bay State Banner's website

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes the staff of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller talks about the National Newspaper Publishers Association

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes his involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about the impact of the internet on the newspaper industry

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller describes his plans for the future of the Bay State Banner

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Melvin Miller recalls his mentorship of young men in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Melvin Miller talks about the problems in the education system

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Melvin Miller remembers his mentorship of Tony Rose

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Melvin Miller describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Melvin Miller describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Melvin Miller reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Melvin Miller describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Melvin Miller talks about his family

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Melvin Miller reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$2

DATape

6$10

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Melvin Miller recalls a confrontation with the New York City Police Department, pt. 2
Melvin Miller describes his support for minority hiring at the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company
Transcript
So they formed a circle around me and pulled out their clubs and decided they were gonna beat me down. I said, "Wait a minute, before you do anything, I want you to know that I submit peacefully to arrest. And if you have a--if I violated a criminal law and you wanna arrest me, I submit peacefully to arrest. You have that? It's a clear statement right now. I'm not resisting arrest. Do you wanna arrest me?" They didn't even answer that. Then they started swinging their clubs, and then I--that's when my karate went into effect. It would--I'll never forget this. Is a--it was a--it was probably the most extensive use--one of the most extensive uses I've ever--I ever had to make of it, and--but I had a strategy. And I said first of all, I'm, I'm not gonna hurt these guys because some fool will pull a gun, and once the gun comes out everything goes wild. So what I did is I just took a stand. And I know how to move and prevent them from striking me, and I might just use my hand to push them off or something. There had to be four to six cops. No, there were more than four. There must have been the six 'cause there, there, there were lots of 'em, and it was amazing. If, if you watch them, it was almost like the keystone ca- police 'cause they were falling all over themselves 'cause I would--I mean, I--you know, to tell you the truth, I was pretty good, you know. And so I started--you know, I moved and they fell all over the place. Now I told them that I was waiting for a friend, and then while this fight was going on she came out. She said, "Oh my god! What's going on here?" And I said to her, "They didn't believe, didn't believe you were coming" (laughter). And so it was funny. These--half of the policemen were on the ground because they took a swing at me inbalance- you know, when you take a swing sometimes at a person you think you're gonna hit, you put too much weight on it and you don't hit; you keep going. Well that--a lot of that happened. And so there were two still standing, and the other policeman--I said--I walked by him and I said, "Why'd you allow something--," I said, "somebody could have really been hurt here." And they looked at me, didn't say anything, and I left. But isn't that awful? But guess what? I had in my breast pocket the federal department of justice [U.S. Department of Justice] identification with my photo and everything. What do you think would have happened if I'd have shown that to the first policeman? He'd have backed up, said, "Sorry, Mr. Miller [HistoryMaker Melvin Miller]." I said--but I identified with my brother too much. I said the man in the street doesn't have these things, and you don't have to show all this identification to be able to walk the streets (unclear). I had a three piece suit on. What did I look like, a thug? Come on. And I, I--you know, I just simply wasn't gonna tolerate it. And so--and if, if necessary I would have hurt them rather than let them hurt me.$$Well, some of the stories out of New--New York [New York] are--you know.$$Yeah.$$You, you might have been lucky that you didn't get shot, you know, but.$$Well, they were lucky because I don't think they could have beaten me. I mean, you, you had to remember, I was a younger man, you know. I was not the old man you're looking at, at that time (laughter). But that just shows the kind of world we live in and, and I was gonna--I was gonna--I was, I was sort of hoping in a sense that I would get arrested all the way down. And then--what, what--if--once I got arrested, I would--they would have had to come up with a charge. Then I'd laid it on 'em. I said, "Okay." I'd call the press. All of a sudden we got a lawsuit.$Another aspect that was really important at that time is a telephone company, New England Telephone [New England Telephone and Telegraph Company], which is now Verizon [Verizon New England, Inc.], didn't have any blacks at all in any serious position in the company. There was one guy I know who might have been some kind of engineer in the office, but it was a totally all white organization. But what had happened is that the, the chairman was about to retire, and he was terrified because somebody had filed an antidiscrimination lawsuit against Southern Bell [Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company; AT&T Inc.]. Now, telephone companies have to--telephone companies have to get approval and get licenses from the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], which imposes certain nondiscrimination rules and regulations against them. So he thought that sin- the situation was bad up here that it was just inevitable that somebody would come and bring a campaign. So I took adva- took advantage of this and met with them, and we started running a campaign to, to begin to hire blacks. And the most amazing thing is that when I first did it, I had a delegation of blacks come to my office and tell me that, that it was an abomination that I would run ads [in the Bay State Banner] from the New England telephone company when I should have known they don't hire blacks. And I, I said, "Yeah, but," I said, "we're going to now." He said, "No, what they're doing now is they're just--they're just trying to cover their butts and, and you guys are gonna make some money and make us look foolish. We go down there, they'll turn us out." And I said, "No, they won't, so we'll go down together and, and we'll set up employment offices." So I went down and said, "Look, you gotta set up employment offices in the black community; you guys have created a situation which is very bad," talking to the telephone company. And they understood it and they did it. The only--the only sad thing about it is that the campaign was so effective that it wasn't long before they found it unnecessary to run those big ads (laughter). I guess they found it unnecessary to run those big ads anymore and so we lost that revenue. But to show you how severe the resistance is, the whites' unions who are running the company at the levels that we are trying to get people employed, those white unions went on--they took a strike, rather than agree to the terms of--see, what they had done is they set up an employment ladder where you had to start at this level and then move up to A to B, C, D, and then you move up. We, we, we rejected that and I insisted that the company reject that, because I said you have to take in people who are qualified who had collater- had collateral experience at some other place. They don't have to be at the telephone company. Let's say they came from another telephone company doing the same thing. According to your system, they'd still have to start at this low level. That's crazy. And so that's, that's how we had to break the union to do this, and, and the union took a strike. The interesting thing is that when the Boston [Massachusetts] papers wrote about it, they never understood the nature of the strike. They never got it right. Now, I didn't write about it in the right kind of way because it would have been impolitic. You know what I mean? I would have had to--it, it, it would have--it would have held the telephone company up to a line of criticism, which we were--we had already moved beyond. The executives didn't care about it because it didn't affect them. But once it was really pointed out to them, they were willing to take a strike to stop it, and I wasn't--you, you see what I mean?$$Okay.$$So this--so that was--to me, there was a lot of work like that changing the environment in Boston that, that we were able to do.

Marcus McCraven

Electrical engineer Marcus R. McCraven was born on December 27, 1923 in Des Moines, Iowa to parents Marcus and Buena McCraven. After graduating from high school, McCraven enrolled at Howard University but was drafted into the U.S. Army during his first year of college. He was listed as an expert rifleman but went on to serve as a supply clerk with an engineering regiment in Papua, New Guinea and in the Philippines. Returning to the United States, McCraven continued his studies at Howard University and graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering.

Upon graduation, McCraven was hired at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. After six months, he was promoted to electrical engineer and became the project leader of the Nuclear Systems Branch. McCraven soon moved to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California where he worked on the hydrogen bomb. His area of expertise on the project was diagnostics and he was instrumental the early development of nuclear weapons, including nuclear tests on Bikini Island and in Nevada. McCraven then joined the research staff at the California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory; and, in the 1960s, he left California and moved to Connecticut where he began to work for Phelps Dodge. In 1970, he joined United Illuminating Co. as the director of environmental engineering and was later promoted to vice president.
McCraven has also served as trustee at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. In 2011, McCraven received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut.

McCraven lives in Hamden, Connecticut with his wife, Marguerite McCraven, a former social worker in the Hamden Public Schools. They have three children: Paul McCraven, the vice president of community development at New Alliance Bank; Stephen McCraven, a musician living in Paris, Carol McCraven.

Marcus McCraven was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.069

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

McCraven

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

University of Maryland

University of California, Berkeley

Bowman High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marcus

Birth City, State, Country

Des Moines

HM ID

MCC14

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Iowa

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

12/27/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern Food

Short Description

Electrical engineer Marcus McCraven (1923 - ) is an electrical engineer who worked to develop the hydrogen bomb at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Employment

United Illuminating Co.

Phelps Dodge Electronics

University of California, Livermore

Naval Research Laboratory

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:10795,70:11731,79:52100,293:52856,304:55895,316:58812,338:69982,477:70510,483:81578,640:86666,718:89474,747:90878,802:102840,890:103608,903:106782,912:113561,1003:117805,1064:118470,1093:128110,1206$0,0:535,3:3460,58:4955,68:14740,159:20185,210:24516,286:24846,292:25374,302:25902,308:26364,317:27816,344:28080,349:34190,387:39360,410:39640,415:41040,445:44222,507:44768,516:45080,521:45470,527:46250,539:48500,544:48850,550:49760,572:50460,586:50810,592:51090,597:52280,613:53400,643:59123,709:62738,749:66728,790:67184,795:73694,838:73998,843:74378,849:76768,864:77058,870:77406,878:77638,883:77986,890:81372,907:84187,926:84908,934:91842,945:92874,960:99972,1032:100382,1038:103088,1091:111000,1116:111630,1124:114134,1150:114544,1156:114954,1162:115282,1167:116594,1184:120933,1196:121788,1216:123850,1228:124870,1243:125210,1248:126400,1268:126825,1274:128440,1291:128865,1297:129460,1305:129800,1310:130650,1323:133285,1364:134560,1388:134900,1393:135665,1403:142100,1422:142504,1427:143211,1435:143817,1446:146050,1464:146298,1469:146546,1474:147042,1490:150788,1516:151397,1528:151919,1535:156206,1560:157026,1566:159990,1582:160782,1598:162739,1610:163640,1627:163852,1632:164329,1642:164647,1650:166385,1659:167335,1668:167715,1673:168190,1679:168665,1685:169235,1692:174543,1729:175035,1734:176388,1746:184441,1814:188860,1854:189409,1864:189836,1873:190263,1880:192138,1897:206450,2019:207278,2029:214508,2108:215712,2128:230778,2236:236140,2290:243036,2388:247620,2455:254730,2556:255555,2571:255855,2576:260030,2639:260450,2647:260750,2653:260990,2658:263162,2678:264410,2693:264794,2698:265370,2708:265946,2715:268620,2722:273377,2744:274445,2760:276047,2786:277560,2800:278094,2807:278539,2813:281465,2829:281717,2834:281969,2839:282410,2852:284552,2886:284930,2893:285434,2905:285875,2913:286820,2934:293410,2947:295250,2959:297160,2973:299160,3002:299480,3007:304310,3083
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcus McCraven's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about his family during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marcus McCraven describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes how his parent's met

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

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes the beginning of his interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about his activities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marcus McCraven talks about his junior high and high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about living with his aunt while in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven talks about his interests in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven talks about his time at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his time in the Army during World War II pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes his time in the Army during World War II pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes the racial prejudice he faced in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven describes his time at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes meeting his wife Marguerite

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his work at the University of California at Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes his work at the University of California at Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about the hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about the hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes nuclear testing pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes nuclear testing pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes Operation Plowshare

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about the Phelps Dodge Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes being hired by the Phelps Dodge Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about the politics of nuclear weapons

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about being a charter member of the advisory committee for establishing the Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes the licensing of a low-sulfur coal burning plant for United Illuminating Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven talks about his involvement in several organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about the work of painter Rudolph Zallinger

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks about William Strickland and Carlton Highsmith

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes his travels pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes his travels pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Marcus McCraven describes the beginning of his interest in engineering
Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 2
Transcript
Other thing I had influence for going into engineering because in the extended family, my father's sister--my father's sister's husband's sister married Archie Alexander. And Archie Alexander was a noted civil engineer. He had the company Alexander and Repass, and they built, while I was a student at Howard, his company built the big cloverleaf intersection, you know, where you go off the highway in all different directions.$$In D.C.?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$So I--$$So this is a black construction company?$$--Yeah. It's a black construction. The senior partner, they had two partners, Alexander and Repass, Repass was white, Alexander was black, he finished Iowa State [sic, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa]. So that was, you know, being at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.], having that job when I was at Howard, I was certainly in a position where I took classmates down to the construction site. I knew them. So I had a little in--I knew the extended family type person there who was the president of the company. It kind of makes you feel kind of good-$$Yes, yes sir.$$--as a student, but that was one of the reasons I said I was going into engineering, but I decided not to go into civil.$So what you patented was not only just a photodiode but a process?$$Most of these units give only various little current. It exists. A flash of light that's lasting for so many nanoseconds, how much light is that, you know, you can see it. The photodiode can see it, but it's such a small amount of light that the signal that's generated is very small and if you were going to record that, you have to have very sensitive recording material, even if you got an oscilloscope on the end. But when you got ready to test these devices you were miles away. So that little signal that's going back through coaxial cable all the way back can be wiped out. So you needed, you needed something that was going to give you big currents. So this was, so this photodiode that I patent was called high current photodiode. That means it was one that would deliver-- you could look at very bright lights and get a signal and see the coaxial cable, the fifty ohm type cable just one foot had so much attenuation, two feet, and here you are miles back, because your equipment got to be away from the blast. So we had device sitting here monitoring equipment right there with miles of coaxial cable going back to a recording station and this is not an easy thing to do, to get those signals and it's those signals that gave you the reaction history of the device. This is what the physicists who were designing them, they come up with certain design and configuration and said they think this will work. What we did in the testing and system division was to take the first design, take it into the field, fire it and look at actually what happens. Look at what the reaction that takes place during that explosion, and we can then feed that information back to the physicists and they said, "Oh, now we know we should do this and make corrections." That's one advantage that the United States had on in this whole development program, we did--we got a lot of information from testing and though you had to have detectors and recording equipment, and that's how I got involved with the Naval Research Lab, I worked with developing the detector. And the ones I designed we used for one of the detonations. I was--$$Now, did you have to go to California to do that?$$I had-- I built them at Naval Research in Washington, D.C. and now they want them, got them and say we're going to ship them to California. Well, they were hand-carried. I mean when I say hand carried, these were too big to carry all these detectors but I was the person. This was my project, these were the ones that were accepted to be used and kept in a test. So I was to deliver those from Washington, D.C. to California and they hired the Flying Tigers Airline, me and these detectors. And this was so secret at the time that the Flying Tiger pilots couldn't know what they had and where they were going. I changed pilots three times between Washington, D.C. and California. That was my first big job there. After that I went to work directly for the University of California [at Berkley, Berkley, California].

Percy Pierre

Electrical engineer Percy A. Pierre was born on January 1, 1939 in Welcome, Louisiana to Rosa Villavaso and Percy John Pierre. Pierre graduated from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans in 1957. Reverend Matthew O’Rourke, the school’s founding principal and president, served as one of Pierre’s mentors. It was in his senior year of high school that Pierre first decided to enter the field of engineering. Pierre received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1961. He stayed at the University and received his M.S. degree in 1963. Pierre went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from John Hopkins University in 1967. He is the first African American in the country to earn a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering.

After graduation, Pierre began a series of successful posts in government and higher education. In 1969, Pierre was selected to serve as a White House Fellow and Deputy to the Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Howard University as Dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, Pierre was instrumental in the founding of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). In 1977, he left Howard University to serve as Assistant Secretary to the United States Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition, where he managed a $12 billion budget. Pierre started his own consulting business, Percy A. and Associates in 1981. He returned to academia in 1983, serving as President of Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) University, and later as Honeywell Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Pierre came to Michigan State University in 1990 as Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. In 1995, he became a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Pierre has taught courses and participated in research in the areas of signals and systems, random processes, and signal detection and estimation. He believes his greatest achievement in his field to be the exploration of linear functions and their properties. In addition to his research, Pierre has also created numerous programs to increase the financial support and mentoring opportunities available for minority graduate engineering students; most notably creating the Sloan Engineering Program in 1998. Pierre has served on many boards, including the National Security Advisory Board and the Defense Science Board. He was honored with the Founders Award from NACME in 2004 in celebration of the organization’s thirtieth anniversary. He also received the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008. Pierre is married to Olga A. Markham and they have two grown daughters, Kristin Clare and Allison Celeste.

Percy A. Pierre was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.224

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/13/2012

Last Name

Pierre

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

St. Joan Of Arc Elem School

St. Augustine High School

University of Notre Dame

Johns Hopkins University

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Percy

Birth City, State, Country

Welcome

HM ID

PIE02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/3/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

East Lansing

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Electrical engineer Percy Pierre (1939 - ) was known for his work in signal processing, as well as for creating programs to increase opportunities for minority graduate engineering students.

Employment

Michigan State University

Prairie View A&M University

Department of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition

Howard University

Percy A. Pierre & Associates

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

White House

RAND Corporation

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:3376,41:4366,56:5554,70:16690,260:17600,274:18860,294:19490,305:27932,412:28724,423:37768,536:49315,649:55187,742:56764,778:67030,921:73920,1020:77316,1052:77588,1085:78336,1095:79356,1171:79628,1192:88216,1288:91072,1315:97675,1417:98000,1423:106440,1532:109792,1595:112054,1632:118767,1759:122184,1844:125861,1870:127034,1900:128207,1925:132347,1997:132899,2007:133934,2030:135314,2061:135935,2071:137108,2104:137384,2109:155880,2292:156176,2297:160394,2345:162230,2369:165142,2384:165326,2389:180345,2428:198560,2666$0,0:9392,179:10596,194:13110,202:13638,207:16954,227:17451,236:18374,253:19510,269:20149,280:23604,346:24162,356:24472,362:25216,376:26084,392:26766,419:27386,430:27944,441:30730,451:33990,462:34390,467:35890,487:37790,524:40090,600:41190,618:44160,628:48160,667:48760,676:49560,685:51060,729:51960,741:53060,753:57228,771:60542,793:61334,805:62302,819:62742,825:65645,843:66302,854:66667,860:67324,871:69460,880:69816,885:70439,895:71151,904:72308,919:72753,926:75735,945:76255,957:76580,963:76970,971:77880,993:78400,1005:79050,1017:79570,1028:82820,1040:85214,1056:85846,1065:86320,1073:89050,1082:90206,1103:90478,1108:91800,1114:92250,1121:92850,1130:94125,1150:94425,1155:94875,1162:100274,1199:104462,1231:105476,1248:111212,1283:114470,1299:116045,1331:116420,1337:117620,1357:120020,1401:122730,1410:123500,1422:125449,1436:125821,1441:126844,1453:127495,1462:127867,1467:128425,1474:136174,1558:136650,1566:138334,1580:141042,1598:143460,1627:144135,1638:145260,1664:146010,1676:146310,1681:157806,1820:159834,1837:161960,1857
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Percy Pierre's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about his mother and his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre talks about the benevolent societies established by freed slaves in Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre talks about the Reconstruction Era in Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre talks about his father's family in Freetown, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about his father's education and carpentry skills

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his family's life in Gulfport, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about his family

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Percy Pierre describes his childhood neighborhood and house in New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Percy Pierre describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Percy Pierre describes his experience in school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his interests in science, math and basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre tells the story of Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about learning problem-solving skills

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about watching television as a teenager in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre talks about his mother teaching him to read

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his experience and mentors in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about his interest in basketball and music in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about preparing to enroll in college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to attend the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his studies and his mentors at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about religion and science

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his interest in signal processing as a master's student

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre talks about the events in the Civil Rights Movement and politics in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about his Ph.D. advisors and dissertation research at Johns Hopkins University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre talks about being the only African American in his graduate program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre talks about becoming the first engineering postdoctoral trainee at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his decision to join the Rand Corporation in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at Rand Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his experience as a White House fellow in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Percy Pierre describes how he became the dean of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Percy Pierre describes his contributions as the dean of engineering at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Percy Pierre talks about affirmative action and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre describes his impact on minority engineering education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at the Pentagon as the assistant secretary for research and development

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre describes his experience in consulting and as president of Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre describes his experience at Michigan State University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Percy Pierre reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Percy Pierre describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Percy Pierre talks about his wife and daughters

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Percy Pierre talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Percy Pierre describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Percy Pierre talks about becoming the first engineering postdoctoral trainee at the University of Michigan
Percy Pierre describes his impact on minority engineering education
Transcript
All right, so now, you did post doctoral studies at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan], right?$$Yes.$$1967 to '68 [1968]. How did you manage to choose the University of Michigan?$$Well, that's an interesting story. It turns out I'm told I'm the first postdoc student ever at the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Here's how that happened. I was doing my research, loving it, loving it, loving it. My advisor said, "It's time for you to go, write it up and leave." I said, "I want to keep doing my research." And the thought of getting a job and not doing research full time was not what I wanted to do. So I decided well maybe if I get a postdoc, I could keep doing my research. I don't want to be a professor, because then I'd have to teach, I just want to do my research. So my advisor says well, "Let's go to this conference and talk to people and see if we can find--if any university is looking for postdoc, so we went to the Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey] conference and talked to people from [University of California,] Berkeley, from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], from [University of] Michigan, etcetera. There was man at the University of Michigan, his name is Bill Root, who is really the godfather of my field. So we approached him and said, you know--. My advisor approached him and said, "Percy Pierre would love to do a postdoc; do you have a postdoc?" He said, "No, I don't have one, and we don't have postdocs in engineering, but I think we should, and maybe you could be the first one." So he created a postdoc position. He went back to the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and talked to the dean; the dean created a position for me, and I went to Michigan as a postdoc. I was the only postdoc in the college.$$So you were the first and only postdoc in the college?$$Yeah.$$And the first African American postdoc--$$Yeah.$$--To be sure.$$But I loved it, because I spent all day doing my research. There were a couple assistant professors who were hired at the same time, and they had to teach. Now, eventually, I did teach. I taught the second semester. They asked me to teach a course, I thought one course. But my postdoc year was one of the most satisfying years of my life, because I was very productive; I published five papers in that year.$$Okay, and what are the journals that you published in as an electrical engineer?$$Half of them were math journals, probability theory journals, and the other half were engineering, 'Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering' [IEEE].$$You were there until 1968-$Okay, around 1977--$$Can I go back to the--$$Oh, sure.$$--the NACME [National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering; Pierre was instrumental in establishing NACME in 1973] thing, because this is very important to me. I told you that through the academy, we put together a committee of CEOs [Chief Executive Officers] who were going to do something about minorities in engineering and then the [Alfred P.] Sloan Foundation decided to invest in programs. They asked me to run the program, but I said I didn't want to quit my job at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]; I was only dean for two years. I agreed to do it half time. So for two years, I commuted between D.C. [District of Columbia] and New York to the Rockefeller Center to run the program. And one day early in my tenure at the Sloan Foundation, I was walking up Fifth Avenue and thinking that this is a fabulous opportunity to make a difference. I had reached the point where I thought I was putting myself in a position to make a big difference, because all the elements were in place to create organizations that would change minority engineering for the next thirty years. And I realized that that was that opportunity. And what I'm saying is I knew this was it. And it took a lot of work; we had to create organizations, we had to guess what to do, but the results have been fabulous; the increase in minority engineering graduates has been spectacular over the next thirty years, and both at the bachelor's and master's level, so, if I looked at one of the biggest impacts of my life, it's that. That's the fulfillment of my promise to Father Grant when I was a freshman in high school [St. Augustine's High School, New Orleans, Louisiana].$$Okay.$$It's a big part of it.$$And, of course, NACME is still in operation, still doing good work?$$Right.$$Okay.

Dr. Floyd Malveaux

Allergist and Immunologist, physician and academic administrator Dr. Floyd J. Malveaux was born on January 11, 1940 in Opelousas, Louisiana to Inez Lemelle and Delton Malveaux. His mother was a math and science teacher and both parents supported his interest in science and aspirations for higher education. Malveaux did well in school, placing first in a state-wide math competition for minority high school students. He received degrees in biological sciences: his B.S. degree from Creighton University in 1961 and his M.S. degree from Loyola University, New Orleans in 1964. Malveaux went on to Michigan State University where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in microbiology and public health in 1968.

He then served as associate professor of microbiology for Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM), coordinator of the Science Program from District of Columbia Public Schools and coordinator of microbiology for Howard University College of Dentistry. Malveaux received his M.D. degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1974 where he became interested in immunology, specifically allergic reactions and asthma. Malveaux continued specializing in these areas during his postgraduate studies at Washington Hospital Center and Johns Hopkins University. In 1978, he rejoined the faculty of Howard University College of Medicine serving as an associate professor of medicine. At HUCM, Malveaux created a training program for allergists/immunologists based on his work in allergies and immunology. In 1986, Malveaux was invited to join the faculty at Johns Hopkins University and also founded the Urban Asthma and Allergy Center in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1989, he returned to HUCM as Chair of the Microbiology Department. His work led to the Community Outreach for Asthma Care, a new treatment program at HUCM. In 1995, Malveaux became the dean of HUCM, forcing him to give up his clinical practice. In 1996, Malveaux was named interim vice president for health affairs at HUCM and served as the principal investigator for a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for HUCM to establish a major Clinical Research Center. He co-authored a study in 1997 that demonstrated a strong correlation between cockroaches and an increase of asthma in inner city children. Malveaux retired from HUCM in 2005 and joined the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. as its head.

Malveaux is the recipient of several awards including election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies; the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Research Service Award; the Outstanding Faculty Research Award from Howard University and the Legacy of Leadership Award from Howard University Hospital. He has served as a member of many professional organizations including on the board of directors for the American Lung Association; the National Allergy and Infectious Diseases Advisory Council and the American Academy of Allergy. He worked extensively with the National Medical Association holding a number of positions including member of the board of trustees and first chair of the Allergy/Immunology Section. Malveaux is a member of the Alpha Omega Honor Medical Society. He and his wife have four adult children: Suzette, Suzanne, Courtney and Gregory.

Dr. Floyd Malveaux was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.053

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/27/2012

Last Name

Malveaux

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Schools

Creighton University

Loyola University New Orleans

Michigan State University

Howard University College of Medicine

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Floyd

Birth City, State, Country

Opelousas

HM ID

MAL05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

That's cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/11/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (Creole)

Short Description

Allergist and immunologist, physician, and academic administrator Dr. Floyd Malveaux (1940 - ) was dean of the Howard University College of Medicine from 1995 to 2005. He is an expert on immunology, specifically asthma and allergies and became head of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. in 2005.

Employment

Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN)

Howard University

Howard University Hospital

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Howard University College of Dentistry

District of Columbia Public Schools

Michigan State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1152,7:2016,24:2664,36:5040,86:8496,154:9360,169:10008,180:11376,194:11880,202:12600,210:12888,215:13392,226:19323,243:20070,254:21398,274:21813,280:22228,285:22726,290:23473,301:23971,307:25548,333:28038,368:28536,376:30196,400:30611,407:31026,413:31690,423:32603,436:33184,445:37914,461:38616,472:39084,483:39396,488:39864,495:40410,504:41424,521:42204,535:42750,543:43218,550:44700,577:46026,594:47196,610:48834,630:54739,675:55291,685:56878,711:58189,728:58603,736:59155,745:59776,753:61018,768:62536,798:63985,822:64330,828:64744,836:65848,852:80114,1121:100001,1321:100730,1331:101945,1353:102593,1363:103889,1392:109073,1469:110126,1491:111098,1505:111503,1511:123796,1620:124300,1628:125380,1648:125668,1653:126388,1663:127900,1679:129772,1727:130060,1732:138216,1791:143304,1865:143784,1871:149095,1892:149854,1906:150751,1921:151234,1929:152821,1970:153925,2002:155512,2028:156064,2039:156409,2045:158410,2084:158962,2094:164190,2129$0,0:1948,40:2677,49:3001,74:9562,170:10615,188:15421,215:15895,222:16685,234:17791,250:21052,270:21844,279:30358,348:31447,361:37492,385:39208,411:43342,474:44200,487:47630,503:47958,508:48614,518:48942,523:50418,540:51648,559:52140,566:61984,648:62452,656:62764,661:63388,671:64090,678:64402,683:67654,704:68246,713:69134,722:69430,727:70096,741:70392,746:72834,784:73352,793:73722,799:74018,804:74758,815:76164,847:76534,853:76830,858:77422,868:79198,887:82240,892:83040,903:85200,936:86000,947:86320,952:86720,958:87280,966:89440,991:90080,1000:92880,1043:93600,1054:93920,1059:94720,1071:96000,1094:96480,1101:101601,1122:103680,1150:103988,1155:105990,1190:106683,1202:106991,1207:108685,1242:111919,1300:112612,1312:118880,1329:120271,1343:125162,1386:126170,1396:128770,1411:129992,1430:130838,1440:134413,1463:135448,1481:140630,1533:140878,1538:141126,1543:142720,1548:143323,1559:149666,1601:152046,1657:153270,1671:154290,1691:154902,1702:161725,1758:167219,1799:168073,1818:168683,1829:169415,1843:175200,1902:179176,1930:186253,2002:187357,2034:189289,2066:189772,2075:190600,2089:193920,2105:194232,2110:195774,2121:201710,2169:206361,2197:206835,2204:208336,2228:212760,2303:214103,2323:215051,2337:216552,2362:217105,2371:229267,2492:229615,2497:233357,2538:233819,2545:234743,2558:235513,2571:236052,2579:237361,2603:238054,2613:242686,2665:243148,2672:243456,2677:244072,2682:244380,2687:246921,2717:253144,2759:255845,2770:256320,2776:257080,2786:264680,2891:265725,2904:266675,2915:267435,2925:268100,2934:275780,3000:276242,3008:278167,3043:279476,3064:280015,3071:283424,3089:290240,3117:291128,3127:291646,3135:292534,3154:293570,3168:297030,3181:297506,3189:298458,3211:299070,3223:302810,3265:303226,3270:308634,3335:309570,3354:323218,3452:324148,3474:327515,3502:328040,3508:328460,3513:331450,3524:331798,3531:332030,3536:332610,3549:333306,3566:333828,3577:339791,3613:340610,3622:341078,3627:341546,3632:342599,3649:343418,3658:345056,3675:345524,3680:350667,3698:350943,3703:363284,3829:363652,3834:364480,3845:368470,3861:369805,3874:370962,3889:371763,3901:372920,3915:374433,3938:374789,3943:375501,3959:375857,3964:376480,3973:384120,4048:384495,4054:385020,4063:390434,4119:391358,4133:392030,4143:393542,4162:394466,4175:396314,4189:396986,4199:397994,4218:399422,4242:401522,4266:402110,4271:407989,4287:411492,4323:412005,4333:413330,4346:413924,4358:414320,4365:415046,4379:415706,4390:416432,4409:417026,4421:417620,4437:418148,4446:419600,4474:432545,4608:433098,4618:434204,4634:434757,4642:435547,4654:436100,4664:438865,4717:439813,4733:440129,4738:440682,4747:444565,4763:445445,4780:447364,4789:448145,4803:449068,4818:449707,4829:451127,4855:451908,4873:452405,4881:455741,4893:456049,4898:456357,4903:457743,4919:458667,4934:460515,4965:462363,4996:463518,5016:464981,5039:465443,5046:465751,5051:468446,5098:469216,5110:477568,5183:478428,5195:480492,5229:485232,5243:485666,5251:485976,5257:486534,5265:486782,5270:487030,5276:488022,5297:488456,5305:490130,5329:490378,5334:491618,5358:492300,5373:494656,5434:495090,5442:495772,5460:496454,5476:496764,5483:501391,5506:502726,5523:504150,5546:508692,5575:509496,5595:510434,5613:510970,5622:511439,5633:511975,5643:512980,5659:514923,5700:515794,5718:517134,5751:525762,5828:526338,5838:527202,5858:527706,5866:529290,5902:529650,5908:530658,5931:531594,5948:533682,5988:533970,5993:534330,5999:535770,6015:536706,6030:542740,6051:543300,6061:543860,6071:544770,6087:545260,6095:547230,6112
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Floyd Malveaux's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux discusses the history of the Creoles

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux shares stories from his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Floyd Malveaux describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Floyd Malveaux describes the origin of his maternal grandmother's name

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his grandfather's military service

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his grandfather and the state of medical education in the 1800s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his grandfather's use of herbal medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his father's work experience

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Floyd Malveaux describes his early life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Floyd Malveaux describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Floyd Malveaux describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Floyd Malveaux describes the neighborhood where he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Floyd Malveaux describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his asthma and its effects on his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Floyd Malveaux describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his favorite subjects

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux describes his experience at Immaculata Minor Seminary

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his return to Holy Ghost Catholic School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux describes the racial climate of Opelousas, Louisiana in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Floyd Malveaux describes his decision to attend Creighton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Floyd Malveaux describes his first impressions of Creighton and Nebraska

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Floyd Malveaux describes his experience at Creighton, University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his extracurricular activities at Creighton University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux describes his experience at Loyola University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux describes his experience at Michigan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux describes his doctoral research and his move to Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux talks about going to medical school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Floyd Malveaux describes his decision to specialize in allergy and immunology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his return to Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux talks about asthmatic allergic reactions among minorities

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his role as Dean of Howard University's School of Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux talks about the Urban Asthma and Allergy Center

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Floyd Malveaux talks about the African American Health Summit

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Floyd Malveaux talks about commercial products to mask odors

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his work with Merck and Co.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Floyd Malveaux talks about dealing with chronic diseases

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Floyd Malveaux talks about the National Human Genome Center

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his work and his work ethic

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Floyd Malveaux talks about efforts to combat childhood asthma

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Floyd Malveaux reflects on his life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Floyd Malveaux shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Floyd Malveaux talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Floyd Malveaux tells how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Floyd Malveaux talks about his grandfather's use of herbal medicine
Floyd Malveaux describes his doctoral research and his move to Howard University
Transcript
Do you know if he was a part of any association or any--$$I'm not aware that he was a part of any association, and, as you know, for African-Americans at that period of time there were very few medical schools that they could actually go to. Howard was probably one of the first ones that opened its doors after the Civil War. And well, Freedman's Hospital actually here in Washington, D.C. opened after, right after the Civil War in order to treat the freed slaves and people who were coming into the Washington, D.C. area, and the medical school started about a year or so after that. So, actually, there were very, very few opportunities for African-Americans to get a degree in medicine. And none of my family, until my mother, actually went to college, got a college degree. So, it's her generation who were the first ones to actually finish college, and that's true on both sides of the family.$$Okay, okay. So, now, did, oh--then one more question about your grandfather. You know, one of the figures out of Louisiana history, and then celebrated as Dr. John, of whom the musician got the name--but I think that Dr. John, a Creole--Dr. John is maybe just the one name that kind of typifies a kind of hoo-doo doctor, in that sort of, that sense.$$Uh huh, right.$$With the herbs and things--I guess there are different versions of that, but would you describe your grandfather as being, having that kind of reputation on any level?$$Yeah, I think so, but I also think he had the reputation of being very effective in terms of what he did. And again, I've--in his journals, I can see, you know, that he took certain chemicals and mixed them together, things I'm sure that you could get at a pharmacy or so, and put them together, castor oil being a part of it, and so on. So, I think he, it wasn't witchcraft so to speak, it wasn't voo-doo, I mean. I think there was, there was some signs to that. He used certain things that worked, didn't know why they worked and didn't know what the active ingredient was, of course, in those things, but it worked. And I think he built his reputation on that.$$Okay, alright.$Let me ask you this before we move on. What was your focus, what was the focus of your dissertation, and can you explain it in layman's terms?$$Sure. Yeah, I, well, of course, it was in microbiology. And I had a strong interest in biochemistry as well. So, I did my doctoral thesis on the physiology and the biochemistry of a micro-organism, a bacterium of Staphylococcus aureus. When you hear about staph infections and so on, it was this particular organism. And my interest was really learning more about how this organism invades tissues and how it causes inflammation. So I chose to study in great detail, an enzyme, a protein that was made by this organism, called acid phosphatase. So the organism produces this protein, this acid phosphatase, in acidic conditions and tends to break down everything around it. So, I was trying to learn more about the characteristics of this particular molecule and how it behaves, and perhaps at some point someone could maybe find another molecule that would neutralize it, so to speak, and prevent it from causing the local inflammation and damage that it does. So, I studied the biochemistry of acid phosphatase, characterized it, and purified it very well. You have to purify it. And then I did all of the biochemistry on it, and so on. So, that was my contribution. I finished that work in '68' [1968]. So, I was a, I was a microbial physiologist. That was my field, microbial physiology. So, I was interested in the physiology of micro-organisms, how they behaved and what made them survive in certain types of environments. I came to Washington [District of Columbia], I interviewed in the department of microbiology in the College of Medicine. I was recruited by an individual there named Charles Buggs, B-U-G-G-S, an interesting name for a guy who heads up a department of microbiology, obviously. So Charlie Buggs recruited me to Howard in the department of microbiology. I was young, very young for the faculty at that point in time. It was very interesting, because he also recruited a man from the University of Michigan at the same time. His name was Rubin Kahn, K-A-H-N. Rubin was in his eighties (laughter). I was twenty eight, Rubin was in his eighties. And Rubin Kahn was in, he had developed, he had had a career in microbiology at the University of Michigan and developed a test for syphilis, to detect syphilis, called the Kahn Syphilis Test, actually. So he and I came together, interestingly, at the same time, to the microbiology department. I taught microbiology there to the medical students, to the dental students, medical and dental students, primarily. And it was during that time that Howard had it's, a lot of the student disruptions and so on. I came to Washington right after the riots. Martin Luther King was assassinated in '68' [1968], the spring of '68' [1968], and I came in the aftermath to Washington after the riots in Washington and so on in the fall of '68' [1968].$$Okay.$$That was quite a sight, obviously, to drive through Washington, to drive down U Street to see the destruction and so on. And there was student unrest on Howard's campus at the time, in the medical school. And in fact, some of the individuals who were in the, who had, who were responsible for the disruption as undergraduates went to medical school. They were activists and, of course, decided to, not replicate, but at least start to create some disruption within the College of Medicine, and bring forth I think some legitimate issues that needed to be addressed in the College of Medicine.$$For instance?$$Well, for example, they felt that student aid could be distributed on a more even basis. They felt that the curriculum was a bit antiquated at the time. And these were students who by their very nature--because they had had that success in terms of really changing the undergraduate, some of the undergraduate programs. And so they felt that, you know, this could be done at another level. So, it was almost in their DNA, so to speak, to do these types of things. So, as a result we had a dean at that time who resigned as a result of that, a department chairman who resigned as a result of that. A number of changes went on. I was placed on committees at that time to look at financial aid. That was one of the sensitive areas, and I think I was chosen because I was relatively young and had just come out of school, and the students identified with me as being close to their age, so to speak. Most of them were in their twenties when they went to medical school. So I really got to know, you know, the university, the medical school very well as a result of the work, and that I sat on the curriculum committee. And then after my first, after my first year or so there, a couple of the faculty in the College of Medicine encouraged me to consider going to medical school. At that time also there were programs being established in medical schools called the Ph.D. M.D. programs because there was a shortage of physicians during that time. So, some schools established a two-year program for individuals with Ph.D.'s and put them through a very rigorous course and training so that they got their M.D.'s in two years. And I thought about that at some time, because actually the faculty members who spoke to me felt that it would be a good idea for me to pursue an M.D. degree. They said if you're going to be in a medical school, if you're really going to make a difference, and if you expect to really rise in the ranks, you need an M.D. degree. I took that to heart. And also, the type of research that I was doing was primarily bench research with micro-organisms. I felt I wanted to do more clinical type of research, and I thought an M.D. would be a way to, would be an avenue to pursue that. So, I could not afford the two-year medical programs that were being offered at other institutions. I had a family. By this time we had three children. My son was born right after we got to Washington, in that February. So I inquired, actually, about attending medical school at Howard.

The Honorable Michael B. Coleman

City of Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman was born on November 18, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana to John H. Coleman, a physician, and Joan Coleman, a criminal victim’s activist. Coleman’s family moved when he was three years old to Toledo, Ohio where his first jobs were working at the corner drug store, Kroger’s supermarket and his father’s barbeque restaurant. He attended St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio and then went on to receive his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Cincinnati in 1977. Coleman obtained his J.D. degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980.

After completing his law degree, Coleman began his career as an attorney in the Ohio attorney general’s office. In 1982, he was hired as a legislative aide for then Columbus City Councilman, Ben Epsy. Coleman joined the Schottenstein Law Firm in 1984 and became a member of the Columbus City Council in 1992. He served as president of the city council from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, Coleman was the gubernatorial running mate to Democrat Lee Fisher, but they lost to Republicans Bob Taft and Maureen O'Connor in the closest gubernatorial election in Ohio in twenty-eight years. In 1999, he won a highly contested race to become the 52nd mayor of Columbus, Ohio and the first African American to hold the post. As mayor, Coleman spearheaded the Columbus Downtown Business Plan and Neighborhood Pride, a program designed to engage communities to revitalize their neighborhoods. He also created the after-school program, Capital Kids, in 2001 and the Green Spot program in 2006, to encourage Columbus residents and businesses to protect the environment. Coleman has leveraged incentives to create and retain more than 92,000 jobs in the Columbus area. He was re-elected to the office of mayor in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Coleman has been recognized many times for his commitment to the Columbus community including receiving the Community Service Award from the Columbus Bar Association and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC’s) Sustainability Award. He is an honorary member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Coleman has three adult children, Kimberly, Justin and John.

Michael B. Coleman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 4, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/4/2012

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy

University of Cincinnati

University of Dayton School of Law

Lincoln Elementary School

St. Angela Hall

Maumee Valley Country Day School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

COL21

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

A City That Stays The Same Falls Behind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/18/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Columbus

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Michael B. Coleman (1954 - ) became the first African American mayor of Columbus, Ohio in 2000, and spearheaded the redevelopment of downtown Columbus.

Employment

State of Ohio

Columbus City Council

Schottenstein Law Firm

City of Columbus

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:234,2:2734,69:6165,104:19846,362:20254,367:59346,680:60490,696:67508,778:69380,842:69740,848:75173,910:75558,916:81982,977:89666,1044:89978,1049:91382,1092:107338,1304:143314,1661:145940,1677:146540,1682:149188,1699:149750,1706$0,0:2862,47:11450,132:15311,207:15806,216:16202,221:19377,281:22403,342:23026,349:23649,358:24272,366:35204,535:46142,716:55378,827:57100,853:77606,1108:77982,1113:79768,1145:97520,1441:123280,1796
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Michael B. Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his father's early life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the black community in Madison, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his parents' experiences at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his parents' early relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's work at the Indianapolis 500

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his father's medical practice in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the black business district in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about Lincoln Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the television broadcast of the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his introduction to politics

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the presidential election of 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his admiration of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his experiences at the Maumee Valley Day School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls transferring to St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his social activities at St. John's Jesuit High School

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the incidence of crime in his childhood community

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his discriminatory high school counselor

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his transition to University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his activities at University of Cincinnati

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers becoming a Democrat

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his work with Upward Bound

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his early involvement in presidential campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Mayor Jerry Springer of Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about black politics in Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his early exposure to black attorneys

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers the Law School Admission Test

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his summer positions during law school

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers his internship at the White House

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his time in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers C.J. McLin

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers William J. Brown's mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his work for Ben Espy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls founding the Young Black Dems

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Buck Rinehart's mayoralty of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his campaign for Columbus City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Columbus Mayor Gregory S. Lashutka

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls his presidency of the Columbus City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Lee Fisher's gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his campaign for the mayoralty of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his experiences as the first black mayor of the City of Columbus

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his initiatives in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his initiatives in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the housing crisis in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the economic diversity in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the economic diversity in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about the growth of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his relationship with the white community in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his accomplishments as mayor of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his challenges as mayor of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his focus on urban redevelopment

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman recalls the changes in federal funding to the City of Columbus

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his staff members

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
The Honorable Michael B. Coleman remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Honorable Michael B. Coleman describes the housing crisis in Columbus, Ohio
Transcript
I remember Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Toledo [Ohio] before then, before '68 [1968], 'cause he was assassinated in '68 [1968].$$Right. On this--$$Actually (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) this day--$$This day--$$--actually--today, yeah.$$This day in '68 [1968]. I remember when he was a younger person, he came to Scott High School [Jesup Wakeman Scott High School, Toledo, Ohio], and I remember the--he was in the gym and the whole community, black community--came out, and several thousand people squeezed in the gym on little steel chairs, the fold up chairs. And I remember standing on the fold up chair 'cause I couldn't see, and I remember it was just an exciting time 'cause he preached, he spoke, and while I didn't understand everything he said, I said, "This is a great man. He's doing a great thing. He's helping us some kind of way." And I remember in those days where Dr. King and--would pay for his next trip, by the trip, by what he was doing there--said, "Pass the bucket." And in this case, the bucket was a steel--literally, a steel bucket was passed person to person, and it came to me. I was standing on the chair and I, and everybody, and there was all this quiet money in the bucket--dollars--and it was filled with ten dollars, five dollars, one dollar--lots of money in this big steel bucket. Came to me, and I reached in one pocket, I felt lint, reached in the other pocket, felt a nickel. I took out the nickel, dropped it in the bucket, and I heard it hit the bottom of the bucket, clang at the bottom of the bucket, and I passed the bucket along. I was so proud, so proud to make a contribution to this effort of saving people.$So I'm very proud of our city, and we have our challenges, just like any city. We have the blight of vacant and abandoned housing, which I've got, we got a plan for that, (makes noise) and I'm convinced in three or four years, it'll be all gone.$$Okay.$$Move south that problem.$$Someone was telling me about--now you have a plan--you don't really focus on tearing down a lot of homes (unclear).$$Well, actually, here's what we're doing.$$Okay.$$We have actually a comprehensive effort. We are gonna be tearing down the worst of the worst homes. We haven't done that in the past, but we are now gonna do it because you can't--they're unrepairable. They're burnt out or they're just not gonna be repaired--nobody will, nobody can. I'm tearing 'em down. That's one hand. The other hand is out of this equation is that I'm remodeling and rebuilding homes that can be saved, so it's kind of a two prong approach, and we're trying to preserve housing as well. So tearing down, you know, we got a plan for tearing 'em down, spend $11.5 million to tear down nine hundred homes. We have federal dollars and city dollars, it's totaling now well over 40, $45 million in rehabilitating homes. So it's comp- comprehensive, a comprehensive effort. And by the end of this term, we will not have a vacant abandoned problem in the City of Columbus [Ohio].$$Now did the housing crisis of 2008 affect the--or how did it affect Columbus?$$Well, the housing crisis, the financial crisis affected Columbus by virtue of--like every other city--caused a lot of houses to go foreclose and become vacant and abandoned, which left blight in the neighborhoods all throughout--old neighborhoods, new neighborhoods; and that was a problem we had to deal with, and we're dealing with it. And we're getting it done.

Cornell Leverette Moore

Lawyer and bank executive Cornell Leverette Moore was born on September 18, 1939 in Tignall, Georgia to Jesse L. and Luetta T. Moore. Moore was raised in Statesboro, Georgia and graduated from William James High School in 1957. He received his A.B. degree from Virginia Union University in 1961 and his J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law in 1964. During law school, Moore worked as a staff attorney for the United States Department of Treasury.

After receiving his law degree, Moore worked as a trust administrator for Crocker National Bank. In 1966, Moore became a regional counsel for the Comptroller of Currency, U.S. Treasury Department. He then rejoined the commercial banking world as the assistant vice president and legal officer for the Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis from 1968 to 1970. Moore continued to work in banking as the executive vice president and director of Shelter Mortgage from 1970 to 1973, a director of Shelard National Bank from 1973 to 1978 and the president of Hennepin County Bar Foundation from 1975 to 1978. He served as president and CEO of Lease More Equipment from 1977 to 1986, director of Golden Valley Bank from 1978 to 2002; and became senior vice president and general counsel of Miller & Schroeder Financial Inc. in 1986. Also in 1986, Moore became part owner of the professional baseball team, the Minnesota Twins. In 1995, he joined the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney, LLP where he has represented major energy and natural resource companies. In 2004, Moore was elected Grand Sire Archon of the Grand Boulé of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the first African American Greek-lettered organization.

Moore has served on the boards of many organizations and universities including William Mitchell College of Law, Howard University, Virginia Union University, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, the Boy Scouts of America, Johnson C. Smith University and Dunwoody College of Technology. He is the recipient of many awards such as the Legacy Award from the Pan African Community Endowment, the Kappa Alpha Psi Distinguished Citizen Award, the Child of America Award and the Whitney M. Young Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Cornell Leverette Moore is married to Wenda Weekes Moore and has three children, Lynne, Jonathon and Meredith.

Cornell Leverette Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.014

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/15/2012

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Middle Name

Leverette

Occupation
Schools

Virginia Union University

Howard University School of Law

William James High School

First Name

Cornell

Birth City, State, Country

Tignall

HM ID

MOO16

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Savannah, Georgia

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Ask Anybody For Anything, You Don't Owe Them Anything.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

9/18/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Calf Liver

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Cornell Leverette Moore (1939 - ) was a partner in the Dorsey and Whitney, LLP law firm, and was elected Grand Sire Archon, Grand Boulé of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in 2004.

Employment

United States Treasury Department

Northwest National Bank

Shelter Mortage Company

Shelard National Bank

Leverette Weekes and Company

Miller & Schroeder Financial Services

Dorsey and Whitney, LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore narrates his photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Cornell Leverette Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore shares a story about his maternal uncle, Lonnie Leverette

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his maternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Cornell Leverette Moore lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers his early interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers the integration of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers segregation in Statesboro, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his watch collection

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his high school graduation

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes the technological advancements during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Statesboro, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his early impressions of African American attorneys

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his aspiration to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers his classmates at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his experiences at Virginia Union University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his mentors at Virginia Union University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his activism with the Richmond Improvement Association

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about The Valentine museum in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his graduation from Virginia Union University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls attending Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his experiences at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his influences at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his first position in the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls passing the bar examination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers moving to San Francisco, California

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his interview at the Crocker-Citizens National Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his position as counsel to the national bank examiners

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his position at the Northwestern National Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls campaigning for Hubert Humphrey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his work at the Shelter Corporation of America, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his civic engagement in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the African American leadership in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his experiences of discrimination in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers founding the Shelard National Bank in St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his clientele at Robins, Davis and Lyons in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers the film, 'How the Midwest Was Won'

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls representing professional athletes at Robins, Davis and Lyons

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his representation of the National Football League Players Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers meeting O.J. Simpson

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls financing the Grande Royale Hometel, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls financing the Grand Royale Hometel, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers becoming a minority owner of the Minnesota Twins

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about the Minnesota Twins baseball team

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his work at Miller and Schroeder Financial, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the election of Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls the changing racial demographic of Minneapolis, Minnesota in the late 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore recalls joining the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his experiences at Dorsey and Whitney LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his role on charitable boards

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about the Minneapolis Aquatennial festival

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his involvement with the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cornell Leverette Moore reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cornell Leverette Moore reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cornell Leverette Moore reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Cornell Leverette Moore remembers being profiled on 'November Magazine'

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Cornell Leverette Moore talks about his wife's career

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Cornell Leverette Moore describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

10$5

DATitle
Cornell Leverette Moore recalls his interview at the Crocker-Citizens National Bank
Cornell Leverette Moore talks about the Minnesota Twins baseball team
Transcript
The interview goes like this. Mr. Emmett Solomon was the chairman of the board of Crocker-Citizens National Bank [San Francisco, California], the fourteenth largest bank in the world in 1964. And I had done some work on a file of theirs in the [U.S.] Supreme Court--in treasury law, some underling work. And so he said, "Would you like to be the assistant to the chairman of the board of the bank? In the mornings, you'll come down to the train with Joe [ph.], the driver, and meet me. And the meetings I don't wanna go to like the audit committee of the chamber of commerce or the finance committee of the museum, I don't feel like being bothered, you go and you report back to me. And certain things I'll ask you to do around the office. Just when we go to meetings, you'll take notes and hand me stuff." I said, "You know, Mr. Solomon, I don't know how to say this to you, but I really don't wanna be in that job. I want to be a management trainee." The man said, "Are you serious?" I said, "Yes, sir. That's what I wanna be." 'Cause I hadn't passed the bar. I couldn't be a lawyer. He said, "Now, I offered you this job, and you didn't take it." And I said, "No, sir. That's what I wanna be, 'cause I heard of white boys being management trainees. That's the job I took in the trust department [U.S Department of the Treasury]." He had me sign a letter that he had offered me this big time job, and I use that in my speeches, along with my genius speech, is that if we don't tell our kids what's going on, they'll never know. Now, they can see it on TV and all kinds of things, but there's still things they don't know. But nobody ever told me, and people ridicule me and say, "Why do you keep telling people that stupid story?" I said, "Because people learn by others' mistakes." And that's a mistake that I try and tell kids all over the country. Know something about the job before you apply for it. So I took the job; turned out not to be very good at it (laughter) because it was with a computer and with a calculating stuff. But I made it through the day. I mean I made it through the training program and what not, but I could see I was going nowhere in this job, and I couldn't find another job 'cause I didn't take the California bar. I knew I couldn't pass it. It was too tough for me, and I had forgotten all the law I knew. So I called the comptroller of currencies. He said, "Come back to Washington [D.C.]."$Let me go back, back track and ask you about, now, I'm, I'm sure there are other pla- players, you know, you know, in the history of the Minnesota Twins. But, but these were World Series, I think, were particularly important. I mean Kirby Puckett was particularly important--$$Kirby Puckett, he was the man. Kirby Puckett was the man, of course, you know, and there's other guys. But as we said, "Touch 'em all," Kirby Puckett, "Touch 'em all, we'll see you tomorrow night when he hits the home run." And then the one time, he climbed the wall and got it. Kirby was the only player that knew, that asked me did I own part of the team. They'd see me, but they didn't know why I was around. In fact, the day they bought, we bought the team and announced it, my son [Jonathan Moore], who is now bigger than I am, was a little boy. And he sat on Mrs. Pohlad's [Eloise O'Rourke Pohlad] knee at the ceremony because there were no more seats available. And no one ever asked why that little boy was sitting on Ms. Pohlad's knee. They always thought that somebody--they knew that Pohlad [Carl Pohlad] had a partner. But they never knew it was me unless they--if they asked me--if they told me they knew, I'd say, yes. But if they asked me, I wasn't supposed--you know, I could fudge it. So that was the first thing. Then we took a lap around the field, Wenda [Moore's wife, HistoryMaker Wenda Weekes Moore] and I, and my friend, Sid Kaplan [ph.], who took the bar exam with me was the only guy I studied with and I took the bar exam. We stayed friends until this day. His wife loved baseball and so they took a round. So they assumed that I was there with Sidney, I guess. Nobody ever assumed that I was the other owner of the Twin [Minnesota Twins] 'cause Woolley [Robert E. Woolley] never came around. He lived in Arizona. He didn't care. See, my theory for Woolley is, he lived in Tampa [Florida] and Phoenix [Arizona], and neither one had a time. I think Pohlad was gonna try and get us to move to one of those places--$$Okay.$$--because it took 60 percent for him to keep the team here. He only had 55. So he was gonna blame it on us. That's my theory. I've never said it publicly, but that's what I'm telling you my theory was. But Kirby, the first trip to the White House [Washington, D.C.], I didn't go. Woolley went. The second trip to the White House I flew with the team--this is '91 [1991]. We're on the plane, and I'm sitting up with the owner and management up in first class. The players had a three seater, one seat between them folded down with the wife against the window or vice versa. And Chili Davis says, "Who's that ol' black guy up there with Pohlad? Is that his driver?" And that's when Kirby said, "That's Mr. C [HistoryMaker Cornell Leverette Moore]. Look at your checks sometimes. He signs the checks every now and then." And said, "Don't you see? He's already got on a ring. You haven't even gotten yours yet." And that's when it came out, the word came out then that we had a--part ownership of the team. And people started, you know, they'd see me at the game, they'd see in a box, but the company I worked for had a box. So they finally just figured that's why I was there. But I'd be in the owner's box, and I'd be in the press box, eating hot dogs with the press and all. And it was, it was a fun time; didn't go on any trips with the team, just wasn't my thing. And I didn't, I had a pass to any ballpark, and I'd go places, and I'd show off every now and then for my friends and say, let's go to the game, and stay for an inning or two and then leave, you know, right from the owner's box and what not. But it was fun, it was a fun time.$$Well, you were around during the right time. For real, yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Oh, yeah, the only two they've got. There're other minority owners of teams in the country, but I don't think anybody's got two World Series rings. Somebody may have one, but I don't think anybody's got two yet.

Charles Collins

Community leader, association branch chief executive and Harvard trained lawyer Charles Collins was born on November 22, 1947 to Daniel Collins and DeReath Curtis James in the Fillmore community of San Francisco, California. After graduating from Tamalpais High School in 1965, Collins pursued higher education at Williams College, where he earned his B.A. degree with honors in 1969. Four years later, Collins earned his M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and subsequently his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1976.

Upon completing his education, Collins began his professional career working with the law firm of Steinhart and Falconer, and then the law firm of Berkeley and Rhodes. An active member of the San Francisco and California communities, Collins led a comprehensive study for the City and County of San Francisco in 1979 and subsequently became the deputy secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California in 1980. Collins has also served in leadership capacities as president and chairman of WDG Ventures, Inc., a real estate development firm in San Francisco; president and chief executive officer of the Family Service Agency of San Francisco; and president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of San Francisco. In his work with the YMCA, Collins has supported its mission to strengthen the foundations of communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Collins has received much recognition for his work in community development, including the 2003 Bicentennial Award from Williams College. In 2005, Collins was named the senior vice chairman of the National Urban League. For his dedication to the organization, the National Urban League established the Charles Collins Award in his honor. Collins was the author of The African Americans, a collection of photographs recognizing the accomplishments of African Americans in various capacities. He was also the senior editor of A Day in the Life of Africa.

Collins is married to Paula Robinson Collins. They have two daughters, Sara DeReath Collins and Julia Elizabeth Collins.

Collins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.010

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/10/2011 |and| 11/9/2012

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Old Mill Elementary School

Edna Maguire Elementary School

Tamalpais High School

Williams College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Flexible

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

San Francisco

HM ID

COL20

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, but all ages

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mediterranean

Favorite Quote

Must Be A Responsible Adult Guiding Youth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/22/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Association branch chief executive and community leader Charles Collins (1947 - ) was a Harvard trained lawyer known for his dedication to the San Francisco community, primarily in his position as president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of San Francisco.

Employment

YMCA of San Francisco

Family Service Agency of San Francisco

WDG Ventures Inc.

San Francisco Art Institute

National Urban League (NUL)

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Berkley and Rhodes

State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Collins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Collins discusses his maternal lineage and the history of their family business

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses his maternal family history, his grandparents, and his maternal great grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses his family's relationship with Howard Thurman and his mother's, Dereath James Collins, upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his paternal family and his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Collins talks about his father's education, how his parents met, and his early childhood in San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his developmentally challenged brother, Craig Collins, and their upbringing in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Collins discusses the sociopolitical aspects of San Francisco, California during the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, and his family's leisure activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses his early education and his family's move to Mill Valley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his experience living in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes his experiences living in Washington, D.C., segregation, and his parents' civil rights involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about the shift in his perspective after returning from Washington, D.C. and his summer experience in Finland.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses his parents' political party affiliation, and his junior high school experience and his father's work

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes his high school experience in Mill Valley, California and his classmates

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Collins discusses his teen years and the musical influences in his home

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes his college application process and experience attending Williams College in Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his father's trade business in West Africa, and the challenges of importing and exporting and West African Politics

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes his first impressions and experiences at Williams College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Collins talks about his art history education, African American Art and his relationship with Romare Bearden

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes Williams College's political and social environment

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his experience in the later years of the Civil Rights Movement and his extracurricular activities at Williams College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his post graduation plans, receiving the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and meeting his wife Paula Robinson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Collins discusses researching migration and city planning in South America and Rio de Janeiro, and the death of Whitney Young

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Collins discusses cinematic depictions of Brazil and the impact of rapid urbanization in Rio de Janeiro

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Collins talks about his educational influences, time spent in Athens, Greece and transitioning to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Collins discusses his time attending Harvard Law School, his classmates and professors

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about working with Steinhart and Falconer, and Berkeley and Rhodes

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Collins gives his thoughts on the People's Temple suicide, urban renewal and displacement, and draws connections between these phenomena

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Collins' interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Collins remembers Jim Jones and the massacre in Georgetown, Guyana

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Collins describes his position at the law firm of Berkley and Rhodes

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Collins talks about the study he conducted for the San Francisco Planning Department

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes his role at the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Collins recalls his accomplishments at the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Collins describes his reasons for starting Western Development Group

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Collins talks about Western Development Group's construction projects, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about Western Development Group's construction projects, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Charles Collins describes San Francisco's Fillmore District, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes San Francisco's Fillmore District, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Collins remembers the 1989 earthquake

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about his book, 'The African Americans'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Collins remembers John Hope Franklin

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Collins describes the process of selecting photographs for 'The African Americans'

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Collins describes Venus Williams' photograph in 'The African Americans'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Collins talks about individual photographs in 'The African Americans'

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Collins remembers acquiring a photograph of Arthur Ashe

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about the initial idea for the book 'A Day in the Life of Africa'

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Collins describes the shooting process for 'A Day in the Life of Africa'

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about one of the photographs in 'A Day in the Life of Africa'

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Collins recalls the reception of 'A Day in the Life of Africa'

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes how he came to work for the Family Service Agency of San Francisco

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Collins remembers his accomplishments at the Family Service Agency of San Francisco

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Collins describes how he became the president and CEO of the YMCA of San Francisco

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Collins recalls the state of the YMCA of San Francisco upon his arrival

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Collins talks about the YMCA of San Francisco's programs

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Charles Collins talks about his work with the YMCA Sri Lanka

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charles Collins talks about the importance of youth programming at the YMCA of San Francisco

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charles Collins describes the growth of the YMCA of San Francisco

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about publicity for the YMCA of San Francisco

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes the National Urban League's Charles Collins Award

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charles Collins lists his organizational involvement

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charles Collins talks about his interest in art

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charles Collins talks about his future plans for the YMCA of San Francisco

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Charles Collins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Charles Collins reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Charles Collins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Charles Collins talks about his family, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Charles Collins talks about his family, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Charles Collins describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

9$8

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Charles Collins describes the shooting process for 'A Day in the Life of Africa'
Charles Collins talks about his book, 'The African Americans'
Transcript
Yes, we were talking about the--'A Day in the Life of Africa' [David Elliot Cohen and Lee Liberman], how, you know, one of my questions is another quan- a quantity question. Ho- how many photographers were employed on this?$$We had close to 100 photographers.$$And I guess you had to sit down and decide like where are they gonna go in Africa, right?$$You have to have an outline for such a big project and the outline was both geographic and thematic. The thing about this book ultimately that made it important and the impetus for this book was the then looming AIDS [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] crisis in Africa. Time magazine had put on its front cover, you know, the scourge of AIDS, and the decimation of the continent of Africa because AIDS had not been really focused on as a huge public health hazard. And this is an epidemic, a pandemic, and you--you, you have to--sometimes you just have to get up and do something about things. And our response and the impetus for this was that, you know, David [David Cohen] and Lee [Lee Liberman], you know, really felt that, you know, that something had to happen. We had to shine light on this continent and really let people know how important it is, you know, that Africa is not expendable. And it's certainly not expendable from the point of view of its people. And so all of the proceeds from the 'A Day in the Life of Africa' went to support AIDS education on the continent. So that was the cause, that was the reason, you know, for doing this. That we needed to shine a bright light on Africa that people would care more, that they would see the face of Africa through many, many lenses and understand how, how much we all share in its outcome. And so, you know, how you tell that story is, you know, to slice it and dice it. North, south, east, west, central, different cultures, religious, you know, themes, and, and how do you--how do you then pull that together. You bring in the best photographers in the world and you essentially ask them to go to their sweet spot. These are photojournalists, they know how to get into tough spots, they know how to get out of it. So they can go into places that would be remote or could be perilous or hazardous. But, but their, their skills, you know, their social and professional skills, and their artistic vision would be able to render something really important. They could find the moment and really define it. And so we all met in Paris [France]--there was a huge amount of planning, but we all met in Paris for a couple of days and we briefed all the photographers, gave them their equipment. Their equipment was all digital, and that was new then, you know, digital technology and photog- and photography were just beginning to fuse. And so that was just a tremendous opportunity for a lot of these photographers that had been basically, you know, taking their pictures on film to learn digital photography. And it was then gonna be a project that we could do electronically. We worked with Apple Computer [Apple Computer, Inc.; Apple Inc.] also. And so we could fuse all this technology now in the new way of storytelling. The storytelling, itself, is, is still you know rooted, you know, in humans, but we would use new technology, you know, to get the output. So we all met in Paris, we briefed them and then we sent them, you know, on planes, you know, to go to all of these different places in Africa. We had to have lots of connections. We had to have a whole command center. We had to make sure that any situations that got tight, you know, we could work through. We informed all of the embassies, all of the--all of the nations from which all of these photographers came to make sure that all of their visas and all of their, their basic needs could be met on the spot. So there was an entire logistical and support unit, you know, in case somebody got into trouble. So the photographers fanned out and they had about two days to get into their situation, two days to figure out, you know, what they were gonna do and then on the 28th of February in 2012 [sic. 2002], you know, they took those pictures.$$So, so they arrived four days ahead of time?$$They were--they were there probably, you know, yeah in some cases, you know, two to three days ahead of time just to get themselves on the ground and to get their logistics straight and how they were gonna go and what they were gonna photograph. And then they went in and they took these pictures on that day.$$Okay. This--that must've been really expensive. (Unclear)--(simultaneous)--$$It was an expensive project. It was a very expensive project because then we had to get them all back from, from where they were back to Paris. They had to deposit all their film and then we had to get them back to where they came from. So that, you know, that was just wonderful, you know, to think about, you know, getting a chance to see, you know, these, these just incredible people who wanted to co- make this contribution.$I don't know if it's time to ask you about the development of the book or not. But the book came out in nine--1993, 'The African Americans' [Charles Collins and David Cohen].$$Yeah.$$Did--when did you start working on 'The African Americans'? (Unclear)--(simultaneous)--$$That's--you know, that's--this is one of the happiest chapters of my life, you know, me doing these books. My neighbor, David Cohen, who lived literally next door to me, and his wife were very good friends of ours. And David had just completed, you know, a great set of books and he and his wife and their kids were setting off to go to Bali [Indonesia]. And we were talking over the fence and they said, "Well why don't you come over to Bali and visit us." I'd never been to Indonesia and Paula [Collin's wife, Paula Robinson Collins] hadn't either, and so we thought well what a great invitation, we--we're gonna go to Bali. And so there we were, you know, we got on the plane, went to Hong Kong and then we ended up in Indonesia and--on this beautiful island of Bali where we stayed for a couple of weeks. And in that type of space it's again amazing how creative your mind can be, when it's calm and what I always say sort of flat and horizontal and you get a chance to see new patterns. And so David and I were out playing golf in an impossibly horrible rain storm, we were the only people on the golf course. We just started thinking about, you know, books and you know, what would the shape of a book that we would do together be. And so I said, you know, "Let's do a book that really celebrates the significant achievements and contributions that black people--that African Americans have made not only to the American landscape, but to the world." And so we just committed right then and there, we said when we get back we're gonna do this book, and we did.$$Okay, okay. Now there have been other such books way back, I mean not exactly like yours but, but similar in some ways. There--(simultaneous)--$$'Songs of My People' ['Songs of My People: African Americans: A Self-Portrait,' Eric Easter and Dudley M. Brooks].$$Yeah, 'Songs of My People.' Way back Langston Hughes and Milton Meltzer actually produced 'A Pictorial History of the Negro in America'--$$That's right.$$--which a, you know, dealt with more, I think, historical pictures but then had a--had contemporary pictures done in black and white. A couple others, I think Ebony had a set, 'Black America' ['Ebony Pictorial History of Black America'], you know, with black and white pictures. Now were you--had you seen those and--$$Sure, I grew up with that type of literature. I grew up in a household where everything, you know, that was published about black people was sitting there in the bookshelves or on the table or beside the chair. So the idea of this type of ongoing celebration, a real storytelling was important to me. But one of the reasons why this book became important to me was that it was also at the beginning of the hip hop generation. And you know, young people were redefining themselves and, and brushing up against culture in really different ways and voicing who they are and what they saw and what they were concerned about, very powerfully. And my daughters [Sara Collins and Julia Collins] are of that generation. And I wanted, at the same time as they were developing their own voice and their own culture which is absolutely important for every generation to do, is to again self define and look at their own creativity and their own way that they're going to express themselves. I wanted them also to know where they came from and who they are, and to make sure that they are grounded in pride and not working from a deficit. So no matter how hard that you work, you know, as a parent to make sure that your kids feel good about themselves and they know about themselves, that they know that they're not unique, that they know that they're not really all that special, but they come from a long line of people that have been forging the story of America. You know, this was a time to create a new book that would tell the story, you know, in new terms, and that was what 'The African Americans' was all about.$$Okay, okay. So it's an idea that we've been working with for a long time, but this is a refreshment of that idea for another generation?$$I think that it's very much like HistoryMakers. You know, if you don't tell your story, somebody else is gonna tell it or they're gonna interpret it or misinterpret it, or at least you have the opportunity to have an interpretation. And in this case, I wanted 'The African Americans' not only to have the historical roots and references, you know, that we have been a part of the foundation of this country, that this country would not be the America that it is if it hadn't been for the blood, sweat, tears, labor, effort, intelligence, genius and vision of all of its people, including African Americans. And so as, as you in this great project, you know, called The HistoryMakers are allowing people to tell their story, I wanted to put it in--in a book form. I--I would've loved to have done it and there were many offers in fact for us to begin to tell the stories in other ways, but in a sense, you know, I'm really ultimately not a storyteller, I'm ultimately not a book maker, I happen to have done a couple of these things, but it takes that persistence to be able to really map it out and, and to see the future, you know, through story telling. But this was my stab at it and I wanted it not only to be grounded in the historical matter, but I also wanted to tell contemporary stories so that people could see the new heroes and sheroes are being made every single day in all these different walks of life throughout our country, throughout the landscape in all these different dimensions. That, you know, it's not over, that the best can lie ahead of us, but we need to be able to ground ourselves in the past and then also to see our way into the future.