## Charles Thomas

Broadcast journalist Charles Thomas was born on May 3, 1951 in Webster Groves, Missouri to Clarence and Oneida Thomas. He grew up in the St. Louis area and graduated with his B.A. degree from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in 1973.

Upon graduation, Thomas was hired as a broadcast journalist, and worked as a reporter in Kansas City, Missouri before being hired at KGO-TV in San Francisco, California in 1978. In 1982, he was hired as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then, in 1986, Thomas joined WTAF-TV as a general assignment reporter until 1988, when he joined the ABC News bureau in St. Louis, Missouri as a Midwest correspondent. Thomas was then hired as a general assignment reporter by ABC 7 News in Chicago in 1991.

Thomas has worked for ABC 7 on the O.J. Simpson trials, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Rodney King trials, and the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Championship. He has reported from Europe and Asia for ABC 7, and, in 2006, accompanied then U.S. Senator Barack Obama to Africa. In all, Thomas has traveled to every state in the United States and to five continents during his journalism career. In 2009, he was promoted to the position of political reporter at ABC 7.

Thomas has won two Emmy Awards for reporting: one in 1983, and another in 1992. He has been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha since 1969.

Thomas and his wife Maria live in downtown Chicago. They are the parents of two adult sons and one adult daughter.

Charles Thomas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.029

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/24/2014 |and| 1/25/2014

Last Name

Thomas

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Homer

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Frederick Douglass High School

Steger Junior High School

Webster Groves High School

University of Missouri

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

THO21

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/3/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Charles Thomas (1951 - ) has been a reporter for Chicago’s ABC 7 News for over twenty years. He was named ABC 7’s political reporter in 2009.

Employment

WLS TV

ABC News

WTKR TV

WCAU TV

KGO TV

KCMO TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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Slating of Charles Thomas' interview Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas lists his favorites Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes his maternal family background, pt. 1 Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes his maternal family background, pt. 2 Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his mother's childhood in St. Louis, Missouri Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his mother Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal great-grandfather Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal grandfather Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas describes his paternal grandmother Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas talks about his maternal family ancestry and his father's limited understanding of race and ethnicity Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his father's background, pt. 1 Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes how his parents met Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes which parent he takes after most Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his siblings Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes growing up in Webster Grove, St. Louis, Missouri surrounded by his extended family Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes his father's background, pt. 2 Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about his father's family life during the Great Depression Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about his relationship with his paternal aunts and uncles Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes the sights, sounds and smells of Webster Groves, Missouri, pt. 1 Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas remembers walking to high school in Webster Groves, Missouri Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes the sights, sounds and smells of Webster Groves, Missouri, pt. 2 Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas talks about his first job delivering the St. Louis Argus, Ebony magazine and Jet magazine to black communities in Webster Groves Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas remembers starting his first newspaper, The Hotline, in elementary school Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about publishing The Dark Side, a paper serving Webster Groves High School's black community Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers organizing a walkout at Webster Groves High School in protest of a no-smoking policy Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes Webster Groves, Missouri's socioeconomic demographic and how he used The Dark Side to influence a student government election Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas remembers being arrested for entering a Black Nationalist float in the Webster Groves Independence Day parade Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes starring in his high school production of 'A Raisin in the Sun,' and developing an interest in the dramatic arts Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about being accepted into the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and beginning his studies in the summer of 1969 Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas remembers his fifth grade teacher Henry Givens, former president of Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas describes the aftermath in St. Louis, Missouri following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 1 Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes the aftermath in St. Louis, Missouri following the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., pt. 2 Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about transferring to Forest Park Community College in St. Louis, Missouri Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes transferring back to the University of Missouri and declaring a journalism major Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers African American broadcast journalists in the 1960s Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about hosting a top forty radio station show as an undergraduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas recalls interviewing for his first full-time job in radio at KCMO Talk Radio out of Kansas City, Missouri Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about television reporting for KCMO-TV and covering the 1976 Republican National Convention Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about meeting his wife Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes going to KGO-TV in San Francisco, California Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas describes covering a story about a shooter targeting interracial couples and being fired from KGO-TV, pt. 1 Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes covering a story about a shooter targeting interracial couples and being fired from KGO TV, pt. 2 Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes how he got to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas remembers reporting a story about a BDSM-practicing couple for KGO-TV in San Francisco, California Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1 Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about the 1985 MOVE bombing and police riot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his experience as a reporter for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2 Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about briefly becoming a weekend anchor person at WTAF-TV and developing Thomas Productions freelance reporting company Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes how he got to ABC network Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas talks about influential black figures in journalism, pt. 1 Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas talks about influential black figures in journalism, pt. 2 Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles Thomas talks about his limited involvement in the National Association of Black Journalists Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Charles Thomas talks about HistoryMaker Vernon Jarrett's legacy in journalism Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Thomas' interview, session two Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes joining the ABC News Midwest bureau as a national correspondent in 1988 Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about his father's ALS diagnosis Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about buying a house in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about life lessons he learned from his father Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes his tenure as an ABC News national correspondent Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about other African American journalists at ABC News network during his tenure Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about the 1989 ABC News special 'Black in White America' Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas remembers a production meeting of HistoryMaker Carole Simpson and talks about codeswitching Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas talks about diversity and programming in network television Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas describes his coverage of the Velvet Revolution in Europe in 1989 Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas describes his observations of anti-Semitism on-assignment in Europe Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas describes how his duties as national correspondent for the ABC network adversely affected his family life Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas talks about choosing not to relocate to Los Angeles, California bureau Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about joining WLS-TV in Chicago, Illinois Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas talks about his family's adjustment to relocating to Chicago, Illinois Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas describes an aggressive climate of political reporting in Chicago, Illinois in the 1980s and 1990s Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the Rodney King trial and riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992 Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the O.J. Simpson investigation and trial in 1994, pt. 1 Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about his coverage of the O.J. Simpson investigation and trial in 1994, pt. 2 Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers doing an investigative report on alcoholism in Kansas City, Missouri Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes covering homicides and gang activity in Chicago, Illinois in the 1990s Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas critiques former Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration and its relationship to black communities in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1 Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas critiques former Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration and its relationship to black communities in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2 Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas remembers the 2003 Duff scandal involving Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about former Chicago mayor Harold Washington's legacy Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about contemporary race relations in Chicago, Illinois Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas describes his plans for the next phase of his career Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas describes winning an Emmy for coverage of the 1983 recession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1 Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes winning an Emmy for coverage of the 1983 recession in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2 Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas talks about his preference for reporting over anchoring Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Charles Thomas considers what he would have done differently in his life Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Charles Thomas describes his hopes and concerns for contemporary journalists of color Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Charles Thomas reflects upon his legacy Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Charles Thomas lists his favorite political reporters Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Charles Thomas talks about Chicago politicians he's developed strong ties with, pt. 1 Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Charles Thomas talks about Chicago politicians he's developed strong ties with, pt. 2 Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Charles Thomas remembers meeting with HistoryMaker President Barack Obama while covering Rahm Emanuel's departure as chief of staff Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Charles Thomas talks about his family Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Charles Thomas describes traveling with HistoryMaker President Barack Obama on his trip to Kenya in 2006 Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Charles Thomas describes how he would like to be remembered DASession 1$2

DATape

3$6 DAStory 3$8

DATitle
Charles Thomas remembers starting his first newspaper, The Hotline, in elementary school
Charles Thomas talks about the 1989 ABC News special 'Black in White America'
Transcript
By the time I got to junior high school, I was in eighth grade, yeah, and I was actually--because I had some pretty strong, I had good grades at the all-black elementary school that I went to. And I had some pretty strong language skills, as I've told you, from my mom [Oneida Marie Franklin Thomas]. And I read a lot. So they put me in an advanced class. And so I was in there with these pretty much, well-off, you know, white kids. It was myself and another black kid who I know today. He became an attorney later in life, but he was my good buddy in there. And it was just us, these two black boys and all these other white kids.$$So this is about 1964 or so?$$This would be '63 [1964], '64 [1964], '64 [1964], yeah. So we would be in this class, and they--we would take French. And it was an advanced class. It was an advanced section. But I can remember starting a newspaper (laughter). I started typing 'cause we had typing too. We took typing. And I can remember typing a little newspaper. I called it The Hotline. I mean I'm in eighth grade, man. And all I would do in The Hotline was I was, you know, this pre-pubescent kid. And I was basically flirting with the girls, with this Hotline. And I would have a cartoon in there. And I would talk about who was cute and who was liking on who and all this. And I'd write this stuff. Kids loved it. And they would pass it around. Of course, I would get in trouble because I would spend my time at home not necessarily doing all of my homework, but I would be on this typewriter that we had at home. And I would have mimeograph or these carbon copies (laughter), real carbon copies. And I would maybe make three copies of a page. And I would make it, and then I would staple it together, and they'd--kids would pass it around. They loved The Hotline, man. But the school made me stop doing it. But I can remember The Hotline. It was nice. I mean I had a nice header on it, Hotline, and then I would have a cartoon that I would draw. And I'd have a little sports section.$$Now, was there a reason the school made you stop? That was, I mean--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, because they found it disruptive. And I wasn't talking about stuff. I was talking about who was cute and who was liking on who and, you know. And I remember I had a little, I had a little--and this came from Jet, I'm sure, I had Fox of the Week (laughter). Whichever girl I thought was really hot, she was Fox of the Week. They didn't like that, and, man, this is 1964, man, and you know, they didn't go for all that, man. So they stopped me from doing it, but that was my first venture into publishing.$The reason they [ABC News] set up a bureau in St. Louis [Missouri] is because they could use nonunion technical crews in St. Louis where they couldn't use 'em in Chicago [Illinois].$$That's right. (Unclear)--(simultaneous)--$$So they moved the operation, enough of the operation to St. Louis so that they could use these cheaper technical people. But that's another story all unto itself. You need to do a HistoryMaker about ABC News to do that, but that's why I was in St. Louis. And that's why they moved so much of the operation down there. But they did, in 1989, I think they were under some question about, "How come y'all don't have more black people working here?" I think people were asking ABC News that because they really didn't. So what they did, they decided they were gonna do a revolutionary program called 'Black in White America.' And this program would take a look at the status of black people in America in 1989. And the principal correspondents on the piece would be [HM] Carole Simpson, George Strait and Charles Thomas. And I remember my role, my part of the piece was to live in a Chicago housing project and basically tell the story, having lived there. And I lived in a CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] development at, around 61st [Street] and Wabash [Avenue], with a family, and basically, day-to-day. And I interviewed members of the family and we talked, and I told the story--told their story. And it was a great program. It, the executive producer on the program was Ray Nunn. Callie, I can't--why don't I remember her name? Is it Crosby maybe. I think it's Crosby [sic, HM Callie Crossley]. She was one of the producers, field producers. I think she worked with Carol. A brother named Anthony Mason, not Anthony Mason. Was it--yeah, it was, Mason is his last name. He produced for George, and you know the sister that did mine, she actually grew up in St. Louis. I can't remember her name, but anyway, the document is out there, 'Black in White America.' You probably can get a tape of it somewhere if you ever wanted to watch it. But we did this show, and it, and I think we did the broadcast, an hour-long documentary from nine [o'clock] to ten [o'clock], at least in the Midwest, ten [o'clock] to eleven [o'clock] on the East Coast. And we did 'Nightline,' after it. All of us were in the studio talking to Ted [Koppel] about our experiences, and what this program meant. It was, it had to be the highlight of what I did at ABC News. But, you know, I never watched the program. I still--till this day, twenty-four years later, I never watched-twenty-five years later now, I never watched the show.$$Okay,--(simultaneous)--$$'Cause it's just something I never did. I, to do it was so exhausting, I didn't even--I might watch it at one point in the future. And I heard it was good. I won awards, but I'm not that kind of guy. I'm not into awards and I'm not into, you know, seeing what a great job I did. I've never done that.$$So that means too that you didn't--now, you didn't see the other segments, right, 'cause you weren't in those. But you know the one that you were in, but all the footage you shot, didn't necessarily make the show.$$Yeah, I wrote it. I wrote it--$$Okay.$$--so I knew what was in my segment.$$Okay.$$And I kind of knew what was in Carole's segments and in George's segment because we talked a lot about what we were doing. I think George's segment had to do with the Tuskegee Airmen. He told that story, and I think that Carole did a story about self-image, with dolls and such and who chose the black doll and who chose the white doll.$$The Kenneth Clark--$$Yeah, the Kenneth [and Mamie] Clark experiment. That actually had been done by CBS in a White Paper [sic, 'NBC White Paper'] some time, decades earlier. I was always a little shaky about that 'cause I said, hey, I've seen this before. Charles Kuralt or somebody did this--$$That's right--$$--a long time ago. But, you know, she did it. And she did it well. And the story needed to be told again 'cause I think CBS did it in the '60s [1960s]. She did it in the '80s [1980s], and you know what? There wasn't that much difference in terms of what she found, which I thought was something that needed to be documented. ## Robert Lee Harris, Jr. Professor Robert L. Harris, Jr. was born on April 23, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Ruby Harris. Growing up in Chicago, Harris attended St. Finbarr Elementary School and St. Philip High School. He graduated with his B.A. degree in history in 1966, and then his M.A. degree with honors in history in 1968; both from Roosevelt University. Harris went on to receive his Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1974. Harris was hired as a sixth grade teacher at Chicago’s St. Rita Elementary School in 1965. Then, in 1968 and 1969, he worked at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama, as an instructor of social science. In 1972, Harris was hired as an assistant professor of American history at the University of Illinois, where he taught until 1975. He went on to work as an assistant professor of African American history at the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University from 1975 until 1982, when he was promoted to associate professor. Harris also served as the director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University from 1986 until 1991, and then as special assistant to the provost of Cornell University from 1994 through 2000. He then was named vice provost for diversity and faculty development in 2000, and served in that position until 2008. In 2004, Harris was promoted to full professor of African American history at Cornell University, and, in 2010, he was again hired as director of the Africana Studies and Research Center. In 2013, Harris was made both a graduate school professor of African and African American Studies and professor emeritus of African American history, American studies, and public affairs. Harris authored Teaching African-American History, published by the American Historical Association, in 2001. He also co-edited The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939, which was published in 2006. In all, Harris has written thirteen individual book chapters, thirty scholarly articles, and eight dictionary entries. He has served on boards and committees of numerous organizations, including the De Witt Historical Society of Tompkins County, the New York Council for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for History Education, and the National History Center. Harris also served as the president of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History from 1991 until 1992. He has been awarded fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. Harris also received the James A. Perkins Prize in 2000 and the Cook Award in 2008 from Cornell University. In 2003, he was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Scholar’s Medallion for Distinguished Research, Writing and Activism from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Harris is also National Historian for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Robert L. Harris, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 22, 2013. Accession Number A2013.287 Sex Male Interview Date 10/22/2013 |and| 10/24/2013 Last Name Harris Maker Category Marital Status Married Middle Name Lee Occupation Organizations Schools Roosevelt University Northwestern University St. Finbarr School St. Malachy School St. Philip Basilica High School First Name Robert Birth City, State, Country Chicago HM ID HAR44 Favorite Season Spring State Illinois Favorite Vacation Destination Chicago, Illinois Favorite Quote I Believe I Can Fly. Bio Photo Speakers Bureau Region State New York Birth Date 4/23/1943 Birth Place Term Speakers Bureau Region City New York Country United States Favorite Food Meatloaf Short Description African american history professor Robert Lee Harris, Jr. (1943 - ) taught at Cornell University for over thirty-five years, and served as the director and vice provost of Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center. Employment St. Rita Elementary Miles College University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Cornell University Favorite Color Blue Timing Pairs 0,0:273,4:2002,28:2457,34:3185,44:6006,81:6461,88:10101,180:11648,201:16705,231:18680,265:19628,282:19944,287:33374,580:36455,631:46618,714:47290,724:47710,730:50062,771:50566,778:51070,787:52078,800:59125,833:72990,955:73438,960:74782,977:76014,991:81914,1021:82278,1027:82824,1034:83188,1039:83552,1044:84462,1059:85372,1071:90832,1160:95291,1223:105039,1353:105363,1358:107307,1449:109899,1493:110871,1505:111195,1510:112167,1526:112734,1534:117555,1555:118230,1567:118680,1574:121080,1593:121530,1599:122070,1606:126390,1677:129722,1696:130794,1719:133556,1734:134046,1741:134536,1747:135222,1755:136398,1771:138268,1781:139234,1797:141558,1838:142260,1849:154859,2001:155328,2009:155663,2016:155998,2022:156467,2030:158008,2074:158544,2088:159348,2112:159750,2119:162631,2176:168878,2233:169218,2239:169490,2244:169966,2252:170850,2268:171530,2279:172710,2287:179450,2364:179960,2371:180725,2384:185140,2396:185581,2405:185896,2411:186463,2422:186715,2427:188509,2439:189754,2459:191663,2497:193821,2530:199848,2579:200695,2597:204947,2639:205514,2651:207596,2662:209567,2707:215601,2788:217864,2832:219178,2868:219543,2874:233568,3076:234234,3088:235566,3113:236010,3120:236454,3127:238788,3150:239900,3159:245090,3205:245702,3212:246314,3219:251360,3291:253545,3334:262984,3483:263369,3489:266949,3504:270625,3544:271145,3554:275875,3622:276493,3630:279903,3660:280400,3672:281039,3682:283500,3718$0,0:1840,33:5280,155:7920,220:20566,510:33340,673:33720,678:34100,683:34480,688:35240,700:37615,732:38280,740:39420,754:41225,776:46870,817:49940,829:52940,837:53588,844:56892,866:58452,883:58868,888:63340,940:69204,980:76925,1060:77541,1070:77926,1076:78388,1083:78696,1093:79235,1102:79543,1107:79851,1112:83085,1169:83932,1183:84625,1195:85087,1202:85703,1211:86627,1231:86935,1236:87243,1241:87782,1250:94476,1295:94888,1300:96021,1308:96639,1315:97875,1330:98287,1335:100656,1361:101583,1371:114102,1505:116643,1516:117048,1522:117534,1529:118900,1538:120090,1552:124400,1603:124976,1610:127344,1629:127842,1636:128838,1648:133652,1736:134648,1754:135146,1761:138250,1771:139960,1796:140644,1804:142468,1825:143494,1837:146572,1873:147256,1884:151282,1899:151970,1909:152314,1914:153088,1926:155456,1946:155912,1953:156216,1958:157888,1982:158572,1992:162650,2050:166650,2105:168490,2136:168970,2143:170970,2159:171610,2169:202520,2483:202900,2488:204135,2504:206130,2525:208310,2532
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. narrates his photographs

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lee Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his paternal grandfather's pipe

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his parents' careers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his father's shoe repair business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his sisters

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his parents' decision to enroll him in Catholic school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the redlining of the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the wealth gap in the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the achievement gap in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris Jr. recalls the political climate in Chicago, Illinois during the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his involvement in boys clubs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his early interest in history

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his activities at St. Philip Basilica High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his visits to the segregated South

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the death of Emmett Till

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his early aspirations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early experiences of religion

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his decision to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the faculty of Roosevelt University, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the faculty of Roosevelt University, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his decision to pursue an academic career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls the start of his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his master's degree thesis

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the influence of Malcolm X

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers the uprisings of 1968 on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris Jr. recalls his graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his dissertation

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lee Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls his graduate studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the findings of his dissertation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls joining the faculty of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his teaching experiences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon his time at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the regional differences in racial categories

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the historical accounts of the Civil War

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the Dunning School

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls joining the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the scholarship of Stanley M. Elkins

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the scholarship on slavery

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the changing perceptions of slavery

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon the impact of Alex Haley's 'Roots'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. recalls writing the study guides for 'Roots'

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his scholarship on H. Ford Douglas

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his career at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers John Henrik Clarke

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his scholarship on African American historiography

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his article, 'The Afro-American Classics: The Essential Library'

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the contributions of historian George Washington Williams

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his anthology contributions

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his academic textbook, 'Teaching African American History,' pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his academic textbook, 'Teaching African American History,' pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon the impact of President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the employment opportunities in technological fields

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his career at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his current scholarship, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about his current scholarship, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about African American representation in the workforce

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his hopes for African American youth

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the changes to the Africana studies program at Cornell University, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the changes to the Africana studies program at Cornell University, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about the field of Africana studies

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. talks about 'The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his advice to aspiring historians

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes his advice to African American studies scholars

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers attending international conferences

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2 DATape 4$8

DAStory

2$5 DATitle Robert Lee Harris, Jr. remembers his early work experiences Robert Lee Harris, Jr. describes the changing perceptions of slavery Transcript The people who lived in the house before we purchased it left this buggy, it was like a twin buggy; and I used to go to the A and P [The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company] on Saturday and I would deliver groceries. And given that I had this twin buggy, I had this big--I mean most guys had the Red Flyer little wagon, I had this big buggy, put the groceries in, deliver them.$$So grocery delivery was kind of a job that the young boys, I mean boys would do in the neighborhood [North Lawndale, Chicago, Illinois] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah you pick up a few dollars. I mean, you know, you get fifty cents, a dollar maybe to go with the woman who had bought her groceries. I mean these were black and white initially, but the neighborhood was, was pretty safe. I also had two paper routes. I--in a way in my family there was this go get them, entrepreneurial spirit. And so I had two paper routes. I delivered newspapers and at that time I delivered newspapers, I also picked up the money; you know, people paid each week for their newspaper. Sometimes you'd get tips. During the wintertime I would shovel snow, I'd go and I'd ask people, "You need me to shovel your--your sidewalk?" I, later when I was in about, where was I, I was about seventh grade 'cause I--I started working for my father [Robert Lee Harris, Sr.] in high school [St. Philip Basilica High School, Chicago, Illinois], or maybe eighth grade. But I worked in this grocery store, I stocked the shelves and what have you in the grocery store. And this was basically a Jewish neighborhood. The store owners were Jewish. There's one day of the year, I can't remember what it is where Jews are not supposed to handle any money. And so when I first started working at this store, or maybe I told my mother [Ruby Watkins Harris] about this, because he wanted me, that, the guy who owned the grocery store, he wanted me to handle all the money that day. But my--no, no, this--no, this was some--this was earlier when I first started working at the store, that's right. When I first started working in the store my mother said to me, 'cause my mother also did what they call day work sometime, housework, cleaned up white folk's homes, which also created problems in her retirement because there was no social security taken out, you know, from her--her pay. But my mother told me, she said, "Son, when you start working in that store," she said "maybe not the first day, but there's gonna be a day when he's gonna leave some money around you." She said, "Don't touch it." I was working for about three days and the guy--they lived in the back of the store. He said he had to go to the restroom, and so he went to the back of the store to go to the restroom. And so--let me also say, I should back up just a little bit, 'cause my mother said, "He's gonna leave some money around you, don't--don't touch it." I said, "Oh, momma, what are you talking about?" She said, "Boy," now I knew she's serious, she said, "don't touch any money." So he goes to the washroom. I look down by the cash register, there's a twenty dollar bill on the floor. My mother's words are, you know. I'm like afraid of that twenty dollar bill, I don't want to go near it. And when he came back, I immediately said, "There's a twenty dollar bill on the floor." He said, "Oh, it must've fallen from the cash register." I passed his test. And as I explain to students, I could've robbed the man blind after that. See you know, it was Langston Hughes who talked about the ways of white folk ['The Ways of White Folks']. We knew their ways more so than they knew our ways. But that was an important lesson that my, my mother taught me.$I know this is a big discussion, Eugene Genovese's 'Roll, Jordan, Roll' ['Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made']--$$Right.$$--and the writings of Leon Litwack and Ira Berlin and others--$$Yeah.$$--writing about slavery.$$Yeah.$$And I know John Clarke [John Henrik Clarke] said at one of the meetings [of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History] that, you know, Blassingame [John W. Blassingame] had the only book written by an African American about the slave experience at that time.$$Well, you know, this is something that puzzled me as a graduate student and then as a beginning assistant professor. We wrote more--and I was one who fell into this category as well, we wrote more about those African Americans who were free than we did about those who were enslaved. In part, that was to justify racial equality in a way; to show that we did have individuals of merit, of achievement, okay. We had very few novels about the period of, of slavery. It's only more recently like with Toni Morrison's 'Beloved,' and a, a number of other novels that have come out that have addressed, have dealt with--. It--it's, it's one of the things if you look at the Jewish American population, there's more work that has come out on the Holocaust I would say in the last twenty, thirty years then had been published before. It was something that, in a way, I--well, I'm just gonna be--speak for African American--I think we were shamed of enslavement. And we had to reach a point, the Civil Rights Movement freed us in a number of ways and one of the ways, with the Civil Rights Movement, with the notion that we had achieved, and I don't want to say that we had achieved racial equality, but we achieved some semblance of racial equality, that freed us up in many ways to look at our past, to look at the tragedies as well as the triumphs. Before the late 1960s, we wanted to look more at the triumphs. In fact, people talk about Carter G. Woodson basically writing contributionist history--showing the contribution that African Americans made to development of American society and again, justifying, saying that we deserve rights as citizens of the United States.$$Yeah, I think you're right. The name 'The Negro in Our History' [Carter G. Woodson] for instance?$$Yeah, yeah. So this was something that, I think, the Civil Rights Movement, the 1964--well, let's say '63 [1963], '64 [1964], '65 [1965] freed us up to really encounter our past in ways that we had not encountered our past before. ## 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 Occupation Organizations 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 0,0:3552,71:13666,272:14096,278:34480,484:36950,515:37330,520:45425,620:46322,636:51478,680:57126,741:57855,756:58179,761:60366,801:63768,874:65550,904:66117,912:68709,963:80222,1053:83678,1106:88336,1165:88628,1170:90015,1196:90380,1202:96550,1273:96965,1279:98044,1299:108570,1417:108990,1423:114198,1526:114786,1534:115962,1556:116382,1567:124142,1653:129014,1757:132090,1770:132678,1777:148028,1995:148977,2014:150291,2034:165960,2209:167328,2241:168088,2259:171204,2317:171508,2322:171888,2328:172572,2341:173256,2354:186980,2499:187548,2508:190520,2529:196181,2615:197758,2649:198090,2654:204612,2750:205728,2763:228266,3037:228840,3046:240400,3143:241618,3160:250496,3296:251192,3305:257543,3459:271190,35670,0:9517,150:10229,162:25240,274:32669,416:33054,422:34748,460:40369,564:40754,570:50992,664:77050,932:80570,966:81675,982:82270,990:84480,1030:85075,1038:88710,1069:89622,1081:93938,1128:112816,1339:113590,1351:114192,1359:117546,1414:121580,1464:126140,1547:145892,1737:146272,1743:146804,1752:147868,1773:149996,1821:150300,1826:159804,1888:160266,1897:160926,1908:164180,1967:175558,2113:183531,2155:183959,2160:187529,2176:187924,2182:206740,2424:207230,2433:208700,2462:209470,2479:213154,2519:216882,2572:219690,2618:223668,2716:224292,2793:232606,2866:239775,2948:240244,2957:240512,2962:244200,2976:244432,2981:245070,2993:267304,3256:268008,3266:268360,3271:287733,3495:291164,3554:291456,3587:291967,3598:304320,3746:319020,3857 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 11 DATape 65 DAStory 93 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. ## Robert A. Harris Music professor and conductor Robert A. Harris was born on January 9, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Major Harris, was a factory worker; his mother, Rusha Harris, a homemaker. Harris attended Sherrill Elementary and graduated from Charles Chadsey High School in 1956. He studied at Wayne State University where he earned his B.A. degree in music education in 1960 and his M.A. degree in music on 1962. Harris briefly attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and then received his Ph.D. degree in composition and theory from Michigan State University in 1971. He also completed post-doctoral work at Aspen Music School in 1973 and 1974. In 1960, Harris was hired as a music teacher in the Detroit Public Schools. He was then appointed as an assistant professor of music at Wayne State University. Harris became Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University in 1964, and then joined the faculty of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music as professor of conducting and director of choral organizations in 1977. He has also served as a visiting professor at Wayne State University, the University of Texas, and the University of South Africa in Pretoria. In 2012, Harris retired as professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Harris has appeared as a conductor, choral clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and in the Republic of China where he served as one of two guest conductors/clinicians for the Taipei Philharmonic Choral and Conducting Workshop. His international performances also include South Korea as the guest conductor for the Inchon City Chorale, and Hong Kong as a guest conductor of a Choral Festival Youth Chorale. As an international music instructor, Harris has presented master classes, workshops, and lectures on conducting in South Africa, as well as presenting lectures and master classes on African American spirituals in Argentina. Harris served as a member and co-chair of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. Harris is associated with a number of professional and honorary organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP), Chorus America, Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Music Society and Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity. Harris has received several awards and honors, including the Wayne State University “Alumni Arts Achievement Award in Music,” the Northwestern University School of Music “Faculty Exemplar Teaching Award,” and the Northwestern University Alumni Association “Excellence in Teaching Award.” As a composer, Harris has been the recipient of over forty commissions from various schools, churches and musical organizations. His compositions, especially those of the choral genre, have been performed throughout the United States, Europe and South Africa. A number of his compositions have been published. Robert A. Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2013. Accession Number A2013.234 Sex Male Interview Date 8/25/2013 Last Name Harris Maker Category Marital Status Married Middle Name Allen Occupation Organizations Schools Sherrill Elementary School Chadsey High School Wayne State University Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester Michigan State University Aspen Music School First Name Robert Birth City, State, Country Detroit HM ID HAR43 Favorite Season Fall State Michigan Favorite Vacation Destination United Kingdom Favorite Quote It's Better to Have It and Not Need It Than to Need It and Not Have It. Bio Photo Speakers Bureau Region State Illinois Birth Date 1/9/1938 Birth Place Term Speakers Bureau Region City Evanston Country United States Favorite Food Seafood Short Description Conductor and music professor Robert A. Harris (1938 - ) , former Director of Choral Activities at Michigan State University, retired as professor emeritus of the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2012. Employment Detroit Public Schools System Wayne State University Michigan State University Northwestern University Favorite Color Blue Timing Pairs 0,0:82,17:3526,99:6642,175:8856,219:9184,224:23307,329:23703,334:28016,349:29456,380:29960,386:30248,395:31040,409:31400,415:32264,429:32552,434:33344,446:35432,481:35792,487:45544,619:53950,678:55306,687:56109,699:56474,705:67877,826:68161,831:71356,906:71924,916:80706,1029:81238,1045:81846,1084:82226,1090:86142,1133:88039,1144:90778,1212:91110,1217:111144,1412:112753,1422:129538,1580:130870,1665:147336,1904:152200,1953:152556,1958:153179,1967:158959,2034:164788,2182:169708,2250:170398,2332:172054,2365:172399,2371:173779,2396:174262,2405:175021,2418:175435,2425:180136,2485:181460,2493:184442,2634:193470,2737:193850,2743:202650,2868:203376,2882:221708,3134:222053,3140:222329,3145:232630,3586:259050,3871:264372,3931:270686,4054:273370,4123:273858,4132:275810,4172:276115,4178:276420,4184:277518,4206:277823,4211:278433,4222:295934,4463:299196,4520:301780,4583:302120,4590:302664,4599:310212,4831:310756,4840:311640,4861:311912,4866:312320,4873:321938,4890:322626,4900:331436,5063:332576,5088:334476,5128:336528,5168:337060,5177:339416,5209:349466,5335:371450,5645$0,0:5425,51:6025,60:13450,227:19900,337:36630,551:37000,557:37296,562:42455,600:44590,614:48830,679:49792,705:64230,909:65594,924:72970,995:81376,1094:81706,1103:82366,1115:85930,1221:91615,1300:109222,1556:109862,1567:110246,1574:121655,1769:122110,1784:123410,1808:129368,1895:131245,1917:131995,1930:132445,1938:132820,1944:133345,1954:133870,2014:137995,2090:140395,2141:141595,2158:141895,2163:146920,2238:147912,2257:148222,2263:150268,2309:150826,2321:152750,2332:156130,2405:159310,2482:161230,2526:164456,2563:171201,2700:172296,2724:176384,2806:176822,2813:177479,2857:188900,2979
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert A. Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his adoptive father's, Major Lee Harris', first name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about his adoptive parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his biological father and being adopted by his aunt and uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris describes his early exposure to the Baptist and Methodist churches

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris describes his childhood neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert A. Harris describes his exposure to jazz and bebop music as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris recalls attending shows at the Paradise Theater and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about his music education and instructors at Sherrill Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about his extracurricular activities at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his maternal uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about black history organizations and clubs in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his mentors at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris remembers collecting classical music records and receiving a gift from a choir director as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris explains the history of African American spirituals

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about sacred anthems and oratorios

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about Leonard Bernstein's influence on his classical music interest

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert A. Harris recalls listening to jazz pianist, Alice Coltrane

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris describes an experience of racial stereotyping by a teacher at Sherrill Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about his college preparatory curriculum at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about his decision to study music in college and his first conducting experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about his decision to attend Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris describes integrating a Detroit, Michigan restaurant and a Washington D.C. hotel pool

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his mentors at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about his music education curriculum at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching in the Detroit Public Schools while studying for his Master's degree at Wayne State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris recalls his decision to join the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about his Master's thesis on 1920s African American classically trained musicians and hearing Paul Robeson sing in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about black music ensembles in Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris recalls his decision to stop his doctorate studies at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about earning his Ph.D. and teaching at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about composing choral music and meeting Eva Jessye

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about joining the faculty of Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about the differences between Michigan State University and Northwestern University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about the students at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about the music faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about teaching conducting at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris describes the role of the conductor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris describes his conducting philosophy and conducting 'Not In Our Time' by Richard Blackford

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris talks about preparing for a performance and explains how a musical composition translates into a performance

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris talks about black composers and conductors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his own compositions

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris talks about writing for choral ensembles and solo vocalists

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about classical church music in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris talks about former students

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert A. Harris talks about conducting internationally and in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris talks about musical collaborations

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert A. Harris talks about the Winnetka Congregational Church in Winnetka, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert A. Harris describes his dream choral ensemble

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert A. Harris talks about retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert A. Harris reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert A. Harris talks about his satisfaction with his life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert A. Harris describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert A. Harris talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert A. Harris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert A. Harris narrates his photographs

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