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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.

Frederick Oliver

Physicist Frederick William Oliver was born on October 15, 1940, in Baltimore City, Maryland, to Hattie and Willis Oliver. Oliver was raised on J Street, in an African American community located in Sparrows Point. He attended Sollers Point High School, graduating in 1958. Oliver then went to Morgan State University where he received his B.S. degree in physics in 1962, under the mentorship of Dr. Julius Taylor. Oliver continued his education, receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University in 1965 and 1972, respectively, both in condensed matter physics. His research examines the Mossbauer Effect and its uses in spectroscopy.

In 1969, Oliver joined the faculty at Morgan State University as an associate professor. In 1979, Oliver became Chair of the physics department at Morgan State University, taking over the position from his mentor, Dr. Julius Taylor. He served until 1995, and then again from 1999 to 2006. While at Morgan State University, Oliver held appointments with the Naval Research Laboratory, the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Maryland, NASA, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, Bell Laboratories, and the Harry Diamond Laboratories. Oliver also served as the university’s Radiation Safety Officer for fifteen years beginning in 1990. Since 2007, Oliver has been an appointed part-time administrative judge with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel.

Oliver has published thirty-two full-length papers since 1965, and presented at numerous conferences. He has been awarded the Dr. Iva G. Jones Medallion Mantle Award and is an inducted member of Beta Kappa Chi, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Pi Sigma. Oliver’s most recent grant was funded by the Department of Energy for its “Educational Bridge Program.”

Oliver lives in Maryland with his wife Dianne. He has two grown children, Chaszetta and Chinyere from a former marriage.

Frederick William Oliver was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.057

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2010

Last Name

Oliver

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W

Schools

Sollers Point/Southeastern Technical High

Morgan State University

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Frederick

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

OLI02

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

10/15/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hot Dogs

Short Description

Physics professor and physicist Frederick Oliver (1940 - ) served as the chair of the physics department at Morgan State University for over twenty years, and has held research appointments at highly regarded facilities like the Argonne National Laboratory and NASA.

Employment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Morgan State University

Howard University

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2058,12:3150,25:4578,47:5670,65:6258,73:11408,105:12045,113:12682,122:18140,171:18612,176:20520,187:20860,192:21370,203:21880,210:30784,311:31254,317:31724,323:36542,369:36898,374:38580,386:39394,406:41096,433:41392,438:42428,456:43020,465:44722,503:45536,516:46276,527:51452,565:51848,572:76858,867:80500,898:80860,904:81220,911:81796,922:83524,965:84172,975:84460,980:89140,1099:89860,1118:96060,1202:99107,1250:103800,1288:105240,1311:105672,1318:111580,1361:111936,1366:112470,1373:114161,1403:114695,1410:118687,1461:125959,1525:127813,1570:128328,1576:132640,1593:135350,1624:136682,1650:137496,1660:155860,1940:158200,1982:159292,1998:163089,2016:163746,2029:164257,2034:164549,2039:166290,2047:170834,2140:172254,2159:173035,2179:173319,2184:174242,2201:175520,2230:175946,2237:177366,2271:177721,2277:184580,2370:187300,2416:189640,2431:192474,2447:193562,2469:197964,2524:198648,2540:199712,2563:200320,2572:202738,2587:203374,2594:212480,2688:213283,2704:213575,2709:215473,2739:219853,2833:223365,2844:228950,2936:230666,2978:231524,2990:234176,3028:240421,3097:242197,3127:243640,3156:246500,3165:246805,3171:247049,3176:247476,3185:247781,3191:255606,3344:256190,3354:260440,3398:262681,3436:263096,3442:264092,3457:264756,3466:265171,3472:283820,3756:288610,3810:290290,3849:293160,3908:300230,4107:300650,4115:306410,4170:315454,4283:315946,4290:320784,4366:321112,4374:323950,4379$0,0:1104,15:3864,56:10054,163:10342,168:10774,175:11494,187:11998,199:12574,208:12934,214:15090,221:16104,236:16962,247:19020,259:19440,267:19860,275:20350,287:20700,293:21190,303:21680,312:29041,388:29436,394:32912,453:33623,465:35677,489:36546,503:37257,515:37968,525:39311,552:45690,562:46770,571:49728,600:50016,605:51024,622:51816,640:52392,650:57260,710:57690,716:66340,764:66740,774:67090,783:67490,792:67790,799:68540,829:68840,836:69240,846:69490,853:70040,870:75570,940:76130,950:77180,966:77530,972:77880,978:78230,985:80940,1000:81570,1009:82740,1024:83280,1031:86320,1057:86880,1065:88640,1098:89280,1108:91770,1117:93090,1137:96338,1160:99270,1169:99760,1174:100250,1182:101230,1200:101650,1212:101930,1222:103540,1252:104030,1261:104520,1270:107460,1331:111462,1356:111888,1363:112385,1372:113166,1386:116798,1428:117178,1434:117482,1439:121850,1496:123956,1526:126296,1567:133000,1593:133236,1598:133885,1610:134357,1620:134770,1629:135006,1634:135360,1644:136068,1658:137765,1673:137985,1679:138480,1690:140785,1713:141170,1722:141390,1727:141885,1737:142270,1746:142600,1753:143260,1771:146356,1795:146994,1806:147400,1814:149257,1836:149809,1847:150085,1852:150568,1860:151810,1880:152845,1901:153949,1932:160626,2025:167982,2095:168310,2100:169212,2112:171016,2136:171426,2142:171836,2147:172246,2153:173148,2165:173558,2171:176100,2210:181130,2225:182116,2252:182348,2257:182580,2262:183798,2280:184436,2294:185248,2310:185654,2318:187452,2359:190410,2366:190818,2373:191226,2381:193130,2401:193606,2409:194150,2419:194558,2426:195034,2435:195306,2440:197346,2482:197686,2488:198910,2513:199454,2522:199726,2527:200202,2535:200814,2545:204182,2555:204694,2566:205654,2584:205974,2589:210540,2629:211020,2637:213042,2664:213490,2674:213714,2679:213994,2685:214218,2690:214554,2697:214834,2703:215226,2711:215450,2716:216794,2748:217018,2753:221900,2783:223100,2809:223400,2815:224280,2822
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frederick Oliver's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frederick Oliver shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frederick Oliver talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frederick Oliver talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frederick Oliver talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frederick Oliver recalls his childhood in Sparrows Point, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frederick Oliver describes his elementary school experience

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Frederick Oliver talks about his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Frederick Oliver talks about family life as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Frederick Oliver remembers playing sports as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Frederick Oliver recalls an influential high school physics class

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frederick Oliver describes his high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frederick Oliver talks about his high school physics teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frederick Oliver describes his playing sports as well as musical instruments in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frederick Oliver discusses the effects of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frederick Oliver talks about his high school grades and the focus on getting a college education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frederick Oliver talks about his undergraduate experience at Morgan State University, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frederick Oliver talks about his undergraduate experience at Morgan State University, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Frederick Oliver recalls the reaction of his parents and the community to his being in college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frederick Oliver talks about his decision to pursue graduate studies at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frederick Oliver describers the social and political atmosphere at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frederick Oliver talks about his peers and social activities at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frederick Oliver describes his graduate school advisor

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frederick Oliver explains his graduate school research

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frederick Oliver talks about his lack of involvement with activism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frederick Oliver discusses the significance of Mossbauer physics and why he chose the field of solid state physics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frederick Oliver talks about his return to Morgan State University as a faculty member

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frederick Oliver talks about his wife and children

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frederick Oliver describes his experience teaching at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frederick Oliver discusses the importance of a Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frederick Oliver talks about his experience on the faculty at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frederick Oliver talks about his publications and his research in various laboratories

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frederick Oliver talks about his leadership as chair of the physics department at Morgan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Frederick Oliver talks about his involvement in the National Technical Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frederick Oliver defines success

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frederick Oliver talks about undergraduate students and their research

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frederick Oliver talks about his involvement in faculty positions at Morgan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frederick Oliver talks about his second wife, Dianne Polson

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frederick Oliver discusses the African American physics community, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frederick Oliver discusses the influence of race on his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frederick Oliver discusses the African American physics community, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Frederick Oliver talks about the relationship between Morgan State University's STEM departments.

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Frederick Oliver reflects on his time at Morgan State University

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Frederick Oliver reflects on his legacy and his life's acomplishments

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Frederick Oliver describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Frederick Oliver talks about his high school physics teachers
Frederick Oliver discusses the effects of segregation
Transcript
Now, do you remember any teachers in your high school that had a special impact upon you?$$As I said, my physics teacher, that was, her name was Ruth Law (ph.). We had a math teacher in high school. I always remember him. His name was Arthur Morton. He was, I guess, about six, six [6'6"]; probably weighed about three hundred pounds, and he had a long goatee, was very dark, and I always remember the first day of class, and at that time I was in the academic curriculum, and so they would put the academic and vocational students in the same homeroom. And I always remember he would close the door and he took out his wallet and he put his wallet on the front desk. He said, "My name is Arthur Morton and I'm going to run this class." He said, "All of you young men, if you can beat me all together, then I'll let you run this class." And because he was so large and intimidating, no one would make a move to do anything. Some of the guys would maybe do something like this, and you know, he put his wallet out, he said, "By the way, too, you can have--" he'd say--maybe I'll just use an example, "I have a hundred dollars in the wallet, and if all of you together can whip me, then you can have it and I won't report you." And I kind of remember that, and he was sort of the disciplinarian for the entire school. And so, and I think all of us, we were really impressed by him. And what I always remember, he lived in, as a matter of fact, he was from Pennsylvania, so he had a room that he lived in during the week. He would go home on the weekends. So every evening he would take these--the students could come by and we would just work math problems, and he would put the students at the boards all around the classroom, and he would send out for hot dogs and hamburgers. And so, all of the--and girls--everybody--all of the students that wanted to, we would just work math problems. And we would do that for about two hours every afternoon, and it became very interesting and challenging. And also, out of that high school, quite a few of the students went--I went on in physics, but most of them actually went on in mathematics, and I think we had a very good foundation. And some of the students from--I always remember, several of them went to Johns Hopkins [University, Baltimore, Maryland] and they majored in math, they were good. And so, also Arthur Morton, he was very interested in sports. And I remember he, he actually bought me my first pair of track shoes. And he would be out in the evening, and he would go to all of the sporting events. But I always remember he was a very influential person.$$But he became your mentor?$$I wouldn't call him a mentor. He was like everybody's. He was there if people had problems. I remember he even--my dad [Willis Oliver] died when I was in the tenth grade, and mother [Hattie Fowlkes Oliver] was a, as I said, a housewife, and I only remember her doing some day's work a couple of times. And I remember he offered me a job just filing his math papers. He told me, if I came back in the evening and just file his papers for me. I remember he paid me for doing that. And also, he would talk about my older brother [Donald Oliver]. He knew him and said he was very smart, and etcetera. And I couldn't really say he was a mentor of mine. It was--like he was there for everybody and so, the students just kind of flocked to him. And so, every day we would work just math problems after school for an hour or two hours. And he would buy sodas and hot dogs and hamburgers and stuff like that.$$Did you ever try to challenge him in terms of being better than he was?$$It was very interesting. I remember when I was at Morgan [State University, Baltimore, Maryland] and I think I was talking calculus, and so I stopped by the school one evening. I was having some problems and so I remember he said, "Well, I'll get Oliver Stokes to help you." And this was a guy who had gone to [Johns] Hopkins [University] and he was majoring in math. So I knew right when he said, "I'll get him, I'll call him in," you know, "You can come by tomorrow and we'll go over these problems." I knew at that level he probably was not, you know, he didn't know all of the advanced mathematics, but the--you know, the things like Algebra 2, and Trigonometry, and etcetera. And, you know, he was very good at that.$And were there discussions about the segregrated system that you were in that you were quite happy?$$My parents [Willis Oliver and Hattie Fowlkes Oliver]--I think they really shielded us from all of that. I never really understood the effects of segregation until I went to work in the steel mill, and that was shocking because then I could see that all of the blacks had the menial and labor jobs, whereas all of the whites had the skilled jobs. And that was my first realization about segregation. Even in the community that I lived in, we had no desire to interact with the whites. And it was very interesting, one thing happened; I found out later there was a--there was a restaurant and it was in the white community. And so, one day there was a fellow, friend of mine who actually worked there. So one day--and so, I worked there for like a week, he went on vacation. And so, I worked for him in this restaurant. So anyway, I found out maybe about ten years later from a cousin of mine that the restaurant was really segregated, and I did not realize that. Growing up we just had no desire to interact with them--with the whites, and so, it was really a very strange experience, and I didn't even know that that restaurant--they used to sell hot dogs and hamburgers, and if we wanted, we usually would go and do the carryout, and we had--we didn't have any desire to sit down and eat. And as I said, I found out later that even if I had wanted to, I couldn't have. But it was so strange because it was--there just wasn't that desire to integrate. I think a lot of the desire from integration comes out when you find that it's something you can't do. You know, you're not allowed to do it. And it's not from something that you really want to do, and I think that sort of adds something, another dimension to it. But that was a very strange experience when she told me that. And I even worked there, but I just, like I had no desire to interact with them.$$When did you work in the steel mill?$$I used to work there during the summers once I started college. And that was a very interesting experience because then there were suits against the steel plant because as I said, they had--the blacks did not work in the skilled jobs. What they would do was very interesting. They would hire college students for the skilled jobs during the summer rather than to offer these--rather than to train the people that had been there. And so, at the end of the summer, quite often they--a lot of the students were offered permanent jobs, and that was a decision I had to make whether or not I would stay there or go back to college. And a lot of the students, they would just remain there because they were skilled jobs and they paid very well at that time. So during college I used work there every summer.

Vance Vaucresson

Entrepreneur Vance Vaucresson was born on December 3, 1968, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to a long family history of butchers. His great-grandfather, Levinsky Vaucresson, and great-grandmother, Odile Gaillard, originated from the Alsace region of France, but they migrated to New Orleans, where Levinsky worked as a butcher around the turn of the century. Their son, Robert Levinsky Vaucresson, continued in the same line, and Vaucresson’s father, Robert “Sonny” Vaucresson, transformed the family meat market into the Vaucresson Sausage Company. In 1969, the Vaucresson family started selling their sausages at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. At the 1976 Festival, New York Times Food Critic Mimi Sheraton named Sonny’s hot sausage po’boy the “Best Food at the Fest.”

When he was eight years old, Vaucresson’s father, Sonny, began to teach him about the family business; Vaucresson learned sausage-making techniques, along with the traditions of New Orleans Creole culture. In 1983, the Vaucresson Sausage Company was officially established. They opened their factory in October on the corner of St. Bernard and North Roman, in the 7th Ward, where they made sausages and gumbo. That same year, The Vaucresson family sold sausage po’boys at the first French Quarter Festival. In 1992, Vaucresson graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and returned to New Orleans to work at the family business. For six years he worked alongside his father, but on November 1, 1998, Sonny passed away from a massive heart attack. Vaucresson took over the family business.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. After the disaster, Vaucresson’s sausage plant laid under six feet of water; his equipment was ruined, his supply of meat spoiled, and his insurance didn’t cover flood damage. Vaucresson, his pregnant wife, and his young son traveled to New Iberia, Louisiana, where they shared a three bedroom house with fifteen people while waiting for better housing. Eventually, they moved into a mobile home. Vaucresson’s plant was unworkable, so he asked a man with a functioning plant in Metairie, Louisiana, for help. The man, once his main competitor, agreed, and Vaucresson was able to make his sausage po’ boys for that spring’s Jazz Fest. Vaucresson continues to run the Vaucresson Sausage Company, serving his signature po’boy at both the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the French Quarter Festival.

Vance Vaucresson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 10, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.056

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/10/2010

Last Name

Vaucresson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

St. Frances Cabrini Xavier School

Brother Martin High School

Morehouse College

First Name

Vance

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

VAU01

Favorite Season

April, May

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

California Wine Country

Favorite Quote

It Will Make Your Mouth Feel Happy And Your Tummy Say Yummy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

12/3/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Entrepreneur Vance Vaucresson (1968 - ) served as president of the New Orleans-based Vaucresson Sausage Company, the longest standing vendor at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Employment

Vaucresson Sausage Company

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:3713,88:4108,97:5135,119:9019,171:13398,289:17142,433:18006,457:18294,462:18870,472:19158,477:34475,641:35450,656:37925,714:38900,739:41000,795:41300,800:43475,868:43775,873:45050,914:47300,1068:63212,1206:66316,1282:68353,1317:68741,1322:71664,1340:72315,1357:72687,1362:83695,1557:87435,1941:93586,2002:100073,2076:113070,2229:129040,2400:132170,2416:132692,2456:133997,2473:135041,2489:136607,2520:138173,2567:138869,2576:139304,2583:147098,2683:148892,2739:149306,2746:153142,2815:153550,2822:153958,2858:154298,2864:155182,2879:156134,2897:157358,2927:160878,2964:161334,2971:161638,2976:171743,3113:175167,3173:180759,3256:184500,3328:185979,3350:194700,3481:195155,3487:199614,3578:207696,3765:223650,3865:224100,3871:224550,3877:226620,3911:227250,3918:227700,3924:228690,3941:229140,3948:230040,3961:232740,4048:236310,4058$0,0:5860,243:6260,252:28794,581:34082,618:39942,699:40238,704:40756,712:41126,718:43090,737:47330,843:56530,1086:58290,1152:65430,1187:75051,1266:76876,1309:77606,1329:78117,1337:82570,1432:83738,1450:91768,1665:92133,1671:92498,1677:99515,1715:99989,1722:108758,1916:122846,2069:125514,2118:125974,2124:134152,2194:137798,2431:144833,2542:147111,2593:156470,2721:160162,2805:160517,2811:161582,2833:176322,3087:181314,3175:181622,3180:186011,3281:190668,3367:197280,3518:198420,3538:198952,3547:199408,3554:201308,3594:202448,3619:216609,3794:217773,3809:220848,3842:221760,3855:223888,3904:224876,3921:231153,4012:231437,4017:232218,4043:236590,4114
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vance Vaucresson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucresson describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson describes his mother's experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson talks about his mother's integration of New Orleans Public Library

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vance Vaucresson describes his maternal aunt and grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vance Vaucresson talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vance Vaucresson describes his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vance Vaucresson talks about Vaucresson's Cafe Creole in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vance Vaucresson describes his father's influence on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson describes his paternal grandfather's start in the sausage business

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson describes the Creole community in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucrresson talks about the Creole identity

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson describes the early years of Vaucresson's Cafe Creole in New Orleans, Lousiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson remembers the patrons of Vaucresson's Cafe Creole in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vance Vaucresson describes the menu at Vaucresson's Cafe Creole in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vance Vaucresson describes the Creole cuisine

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vance Vaucresson describes his family's charcuterie products

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the Creole Fiesta Association

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson describes his father's entrepreneurialism

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucresson recalls the inaugural New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the clannishness of the Creole community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the diversity in the Creole community

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the diversity in the Creole community, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vance Vaucresson talks about his mother's cancer diagnoses

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vance Vaucresson reflects upon his father's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson remembers his neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucresson remembers the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson remembers his reading tutor

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson recalls the discipline at the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vance Vaucresson describes his early interests and activities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vance Vaucresson describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vance Vaucresson describes the influence of his older brothers

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vance Vaucresson reflects upon his high school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vance Vaucresson recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson remembers his arrival at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson recalls his involvement in the music department at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucresson remembers his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson recalls protesting against a Ku Klux Klan rally in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the Morehouse College Glee Club

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vance Vaucresson remembers joining the Vaucresson Sausage Company

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vance Vaucresson recalls the creation of the Vaucresson Sausage Company's processing plant

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vance Vaucresson recalls his conflicts with his father at the Vaucresson Sausage Company

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Vaucresson Sausage Company, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Vance Vaucresson talks about his wife and children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Vaucresson Sausage Company, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Vance Vaucresson remembers his cousin's suicide

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the support of his competitor, Jerry Hanford

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vance Vaucresson describes his organizational activities

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vance Vaucresson talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vance Vaucresson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vance Vaucresson talks about the importance of The HistoryMakers project

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vance Vaucresson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$5

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
Vance Vaucresson describes his father's influence on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
Vance Vaucresson remembers joining the Vaucresson Sausage Company
Transcript
I'll never forget he told me a long time ago when they was, when he--they were about to open the restaurant they had a group of--called the Bour- Bourbon Street Merchants Association [New Orleans, Louisiana]. It's a group of business owners on Bourbon Street who met and talked about the different topics and needs of the Quarter [French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana] at the time. And, they had a meeting and at that particular meeting there was a big buzz about the fact that, how in the world did they let a nigger get on Bourbon Street? And, so, everybody was walking around--that was the hush of the meeting. So, they had a white gentleman that came and sat down with Larry Borenstein and my dad at his table. Now, my dad knew this gentlemen from dealing with him in the Quarter for some time. And, he had gotten to know my dad and liked my dad. And, he came over and greeted my father and Larry and they were sitting down talking. And, all of a sudden he leaned in real quietly and got real hushed in his tone and he said, "Did y'all hear?" And, they said, "What?" He said, "They done let a nigger get on Bourbon Street." He said, "Lord, our property values are gonna go down. All them people gonna start coming in our businesses, it's gonna, I mean, it's gonna mess everything up." He was very, very upset. So, Larry said, "Well, you know what, I know him, I'm a introduce you to him." So, the man's looking around the restaurant and said, "Please do. I wanna know him so I can watch him." So, the man says, Larry said, "Well, you know Sonny Vaucresson [Robert "Sonny" Vaucresson], right?" He said, "Oh, yeah. I've been knowing Sonny for a long time." He says, "Well, that's the new nigger on Bourbon Street." And, he looked at my dad, and he says, "Sonny," he says, "you black?" He says, "Yeah, I'm black." He says, "Oh, my god." My dad told me the man turned real, real pale and got up and walked away and left the meeting. And, my dad says, he said, he told me, he says, "You know I used to see that man all the time in the Quarter. He'd walk away--he'd make sure to avoid me." He says, "You know, but I--he didn't avoid me because he hated me because I was black. I believe he avoided me because he was too embarrassed." He was too embarrassed. My dad went on and had that restaurant I believe from like mid-'60s [1960s] to about mid-'70s [1970s]. And, it really afforded people of color a place that they could call their own. Because at that time Bourbon Street, you could work on Bourbon Street but you couldn't go and actually have a place to sit in the courtyard and have a function. And, you know, my dad was, he was a hustler, to basically put it plainly. And, he got to know a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds. And, he had a group called the Creole Fiesta [Creole Fiesta Association], which celebrated the culture of Creole people, and they used to have parades every year. And, one of the things that they definitely could not do is parade in the French Quarter, especially on Bourbon Street. Well, my dad got with Ben Bagert, who was a representative at the time. And, and got with him to get a permit to parade in the Quarter. Now, this was unheard of. So, they went and got some buggies and got their dresses and everything and the Creole Fiesta paraded in the French Quarter, down Bourbon Street, and disbanded at 624 Bourbon Street at the Vaucresson's Cafe Creole [New Orleans, Louisiana] and had their celebration in the courtyard outside in our restaurant. And, at that time, that was a big thing for the community.$$Do you know what year that was?$$I believe they had made my dad king at that time, and Leah Chase's daughter, Leah [Leah Chase Kamata] was the queen. I believe that was 1970. I believe so.$$Okay.$$And, and then, since then that was a--the restaurant became a place where people of color of many different shades would come in and eat, have a place to, to celebrate and have a piece of Bourbon Street that they weren't really allowed to do at that time.$What year did you graduate?$$I finished Morehouse [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia] in '92 [1992].$$So, so, your father didn't bring you home.$$He didn't bring me home (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) He decided to let you stay.$$He didn't bring me home. He did come get my car one year. I had a car that he gave me. And the grades didn't come back too right. So, I was walking for the next semester. But that was all right. You know, you need those types of things to humble you. And I brought my grades up and it worked out. I got a car back. But I think for him, he started to see--he started to see me change into a man. And I don't think he was ready for that.$$Okay. So, tell me what happens after graduation.$$After graduation, leading up to graduation my parents [Geraldine Dave Vaucresson and Robert "Sonny" Vaucresson] came up and my dad said, he made plea, he said, "I really need you to come back and help me with this business. I need you to help, come back and take over." At the time, I was kind of of rebelling. I had got a job offer from Kraft General Foods [Kraft Foods Group, Inc.] to start at an entry level of GSO position, great grocery sells type person. So, I thought about it and came back home, work with my dad. And was depressed for like six months after I came back because I felt that my friends and everything--like they was stuck in time. That no one had advanced to the level of understanding and knowledge of which I had--. And all my friends are going to college but, you know, just still, it just seemed like everybody's mentality, everything was stuck in time. So, I worked with my dad in the business for seven years after that. We accomplished a lot of things together. We fought every day. The way we got along was, if we didn't holler, scream, and fight every day, something was wrong. Because that was just how we got along. He had a way of doing things. I'm bringing in new ideas of a way of doing it. And we butted heads constantly. But we, we, we had a lot of battles in business together. We fought against--in the meat business, of being a black company we were already--a true minority, they didn't have that many, that was trying to be a processor. The thing about Vaucresson Sausage [Vaucresson Sausage Company, New Orleans, Louisiana], we were a department of agriculture [Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry] inspected facility that, that sold sausage to grocery stores, institutions, things of that. And that's a larger realm than just a meat market. Now, I'm dealing with a lot of major meat businesses and a lot of 'em did a lot of things to try to knock us out, put us out of business and do things like that. But we just kept fighting. And we kept finding a way to stay alive. And, and, one of the first people that gave us a chance was a guy named John Schwegmann, S-C-H-W-E-G-M-A-N-N [John G. Schwegmann], and he had the largest supermarket chain in the city called Schwegmann supermarkets [Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarket]. And he said, "You know what? I'm a give you a shot. I'm a, I'm gonna--you can bring your product in and sell it in the stores." And from there once we starting showing that we could move product, it opened the door for us to go into Winn Dixie [Winn Dixie Stores, Inc.] to go into some other, some other major chains in the city to where at one point, we, we had a large distribution within the grocery stores in the city. And then we went into institutional business. And that was a business that was really much cornered by certain firms. So, we really had to, you know, kind of fight our way in there and to, to try to get our place in there. We did. We wound up doing some institutional work with the Orleans Parish School Board and with the prisons in the area. And it really put us in a place where, from the department of agriculture standpoint as well as the meat community, that we were, we were here to stay. And we were at least a viable company. We were just not a fly by night. Because they had originally said that we weren't gonna last five years.

Huel D. Perkins

Retired educator Huel Davis Perkins was born on December 27, 1924 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1943 and 1946, Perkins served in the U.S. Navy as a musician first class. He graduated from Southern University with highest honors in 1947.

From 1948 to 1950, Perkins worked as a music instructor at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. Perkins then served as an associate professor of music at Southern University from 1951 through 1960. During this time, Perkins also completed his M.A. degree in music from Northwestern University in 1951 and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1958. From 1968 to 1978, Perkins served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Southern University. In addition, Perkins was appointed as the deputy director of education programming at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. in 1978. Perkins then commenced a long tenure at Louisiana State University where he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1979 through 1990 and as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and Special Assistant to the Chancellor from 1990 through 1998. In 1996, President Bill Clinton appointed Perkins to the Board of Advisors of the J.W. Fulbright foreign scholarship program. He served in this capacity until 2002. Perkins then founded Huel D. Perkins & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm and speakers bureau. He serves as its president. Perkins has also served as Chairman on the Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and has served as Grand Sire Archon of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. In 2005, Louisiana State University acknowledged Perkins’ years of service by awarding him the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and naming a doctoral fellowship program after him.

Perkins has also been honored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (Humanist of the Year); the National Conference of Christians and Jews (Brotherhood Award); the LSU Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa (Outstanding educator); the Baton Rouge Human Relations Council (Brotherhood Award); the Istrouma Area Council of Boy Scouts of America (Citizen of the Year); the Louisiana Chapter of NAACP (A. P. Turead Award); the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Award of Merit) and received the Centennial Award given by Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He has served as a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Perkins has critiqued and published numerous books and articles on the African American experience in America. He has served on several dozen boards dealing with social and educational issues including the Baton Rouge Symphony, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Corp., and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Perkins is the recipient of many public service awards for his achievements both in the civic and academic communities.

Perkins is married to Thelma O. Smith. 2008 marks the couple’s sixtieth wedding anniversary. They have one child, Huel Alfred Perkins.

Perkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 26, 2008.

Dr. Huel Perkins passed away on April 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2008.063

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/26/2008

Last Name

Perkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

Southern University Laboratory School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Northwestern University

First Name

Huel

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

PER04

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Boule Foundation

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Man Comes To Earth Unarmed Except For His Mind; His Brain Is His Only Weapon.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

12/27/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baton Rouge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Meatballs

Death Date

4/15/2013

Short Description

Academic administrator and music professor Huel D. Perkins (1924 - 2013 ) was an instructor at Lincoln University and Southern University, where he also served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. At Louisiana State University, he served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In 2002, Perkins founded Huel D. Perkins & Associates, Inc.

Employment

Southern University and A&M

Louisiana State University

National Endowment for the Humanities

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Huel D. Perkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about the significance of his first name

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins describes his father's law career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Huel D. Perkins describes how he takes after his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins describes his childhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins describes his childhood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins recalls Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about Reverend Gardner Taylor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins recalls his early musicianship

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins recalls the musicians who served at Naval Station Great Lakes

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins recalls his decision to return to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his fiftieth wedding anniversary

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins describes his interdisciplinary teaching style

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his graduate studies in the humanities

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins recalls student demonstrations at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon Felton Grandison Clark's legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins talks about Valerian Smith's family

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins remembers his students at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins describes his transition to academic administration

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins remembers joining the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his career at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins talks about the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins describes his research on the Harlem Renaissance

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins talks about his published works

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon the importance of the humanities

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Huel D. Perkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Huel D. Perkins talks about his favorite figures in the humanities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Huel D. Perkins remembers influencing his students' interest in opera

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Huel D. Perkins talks about 'Cyrano de Bergerac' by Edmond Rostand

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Huel D. Perkins talks about 'The Fountainhead' by Ayn Rand

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Huel D. Perkins describes his civic activities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon his health

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Huel D. Perkins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Huel D. Perkins describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Huel D. Perkins narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Huel D. Perkins remembers joining the National Endowment for the Humanities
Huel D. Perkins describes his career at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge
Transcript
I spoke there [Dallas, Texas] on the importance of the humanities. The fellow was there, who was the chairman of the endowment for, for the humanities. And he came to me right after that and said, "Would you like to come to Washington [D.C.], would you like to come to the National Endowment for the Humanities [NEH]?" I said, "No sir, no sir, I would not like to." I said, "Besides, I've only, I've recently signed a contract to go to LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]." He said, "Oh, what's his name, I'll talk with your chancellor down there. I, I think I can get you released from them." I said, "Well, I, I'm not certain I want to do that." He twisted my arm and said, "You come up and you look at our operation. I think you will want to be a part of it." I went to Washington on a kind of a look-see. I decided that's what I wanted to do. They offered me a contract to, to join them in September. I'm supposed to report to LSU. What do I do? Now, I have, I've signed a contract. I have that commit- commitment. I go down--I'll never forget this. I go down to the chancellor, Paul Murrill [Paul W. Murrill], the same fellow who had enticed me to come to LSU. I said, "I agree, I will sign, I will sign my contract." I said, "I'm supposed to report September 1st." I said, "But in the meantime, I have gotten an offer to join the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington." You know what he said? I'll never forget this because he made, he made me feel so relieved about it all. He said, "Take the job in Washington." He said, "It will be both beneficial to you and to LSU. Drop me a note, and request a year's leave of absence, and go to Washington." That's what I did, that's what I did, and I am very happy that I did it, I am very happy that I did it.$Well, I--in Washington [D.C.], I was reading proposals, making speeches, interpreting the endowment [National Endowment for the Humanities] to, to the various publics and whatnot. At the end of that year, I didn't want to come to LSU [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana] (laughter). They sent a dean up to Washington. He came up for another meeting. When he came by to see me, he said, "I'm told--we hear that you, you might want to stay in Washington a little longer than this year." He said, "I'm up here to tell you that we want you back, that we're expecting you back, and we have increased your salary just to make you, make sure you come back." So, I'm in another quandary--look, look, the qua- the quandary I gave to you earlier was when I wanted to go to--come back to Southern [Southern University; Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana], and finish my, my senior year, you remember. And I said, my mother [Velma Davis Perkins] and the fraternity [Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity]--. Here I am, another quandary in my life: do I want to negate the contract down there, and stay on in Washington? 'Cause I was, I was really doing nicely in Washington, I really was--traveling all over the country and making speeches. And they liked me at the endowment, and that sort of thing, so I had to come and make some hard decisions there. My decision then was to come back to LSU. I talked with somebody, and they said, Washington is temporary. It changes administration every four years (laughter). You, you put your, your eggs in that basket, you don't know how long you're going to be there, you know, it could change. Well, I had some good counseling, so I came on back to LSU, came back to LSU, and stayed twenty-three years. I did twenty-seven at Southern, and I came back to LSU and did twenty-three, including two retirements. I retired once--they asked me to come back. I retired again, they asked me to come back. Then, this last time, which was in 2005, I think it was, I said I'm not going back this time. It became a joke: you're back (laughter) you're back down here. Every chancellor would ask me to come, come, come back there, mainly because I, I, I did a lot of letter writing, a lot of speech writing. And they would let me represent the university and I could represent it well, and people would see they have a black now at LSU, I mean, you know, who, who represents the university. Each chancellor would ask me, ask me to come back, and I, I'd stay here two or three months and, oh, come on, I'd go back down there.

Renaldo M. Jensen

Aerospace engineer and military officer Renaldo Mario Jensen was born on June 29, 1940, in New York, New York. His parents, Octave and Doris Davis Jensen, had roots in St. Croix and Antigua, respectively. Jensen attended St. Charles Borromeo School and graduated from Harlem’s Bishop Dubois High School in 1952. He served in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at North Carolina A&T State University, then transferred to Howard University where he graduated in 1958 with his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. After enlisting in the United States Air Force, Jensen and Horace Russell became the first two African Americans to earn their M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the United States Air Force School of Technology at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1966. In 1970, Jensen received his Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering, specializing in supersonic combustion, from Purdue University.

While serving for twenty years as an officer in the United States Air Force, Jensen was stationed in Florida, Colorado, and Germany; he also worked on the Minuteman missile crew at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Jensen, a combat crew commander, participated in the first successful launch of a dual mode intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base. He joined the faculty of the Air Force School of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1967 and taught at the school until 1974. In 1978, Jensen resigned from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel having received the Missile Combat Crew Award and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Jensen taught at Howard University and worked at the Pentagon before joining Ford Motor Company as an aerodynamics engineer. He became the director of minority supplier development in 1987, and in 2004, he awarded $3.7 billion of the $90 billion in Ford supply contracts to 309 minority suppliers.

Jensen is a member of the Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Minority Business Development Council, the Combustion Institute, the Military Operations Research Society, and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Also a member of the Minority Suppliers Hall of Fame, Jensen lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan with his wife Alicia, with whom he raised two children.

Accession Number

A2005.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2005

Last Name

Jensen

Maker Category
Middle Name

M.

Schools

Bishop Dubois High School

St. Charles Catholic School

St. Charles Borromeo School

First Name

Renaldo

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JEN05

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Don't spend maximum time with minimum people.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

6/29/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork, Potatoes, Grapes

Short Description

Military officer and aerospace engineer Renaldo M. Jensen (1940 - ) was one of the first two African Americans to earn their M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from the United States Air Force School of Technology at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Force Base. During the course of his career, Jensen worked with the United States Air Force, Howard University, the Pentagon, and Ford Motor Company.

Employment

United States Air Force

Ford Motor Company

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Renaldo Jensen's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Renaldo Jensen lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his mother and childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Renaldo Jensen describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Renaldo Jensen describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his mother and growing up without his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his relationship with his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his Catholic school experience and childhood interests

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his decision to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his experience at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Renaldo Jensen discusses his experience in the United States Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Renaldo Jensen talks about the challenges and responsibilities of being in the United States Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Renaldo Jensen talks about working at the Pentagon

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Renaldo Jensen talks about the Defense Readiness Condition system and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Renaldo Jensen talks about U.S. Military testing and experimentation, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Renaldo Jensen talks about U.S. Military testing and experimentation, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Renaldo Jensen discusses going to work at Ford Motor Company

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his work with the Ford Motor Company Design Center

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Renaldo Jensen talks about becoming Ford Motor Company's Director of Supplier Diversity

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Renaldo Jensen talks about Ford Motor Company's Supplier Diversity Program

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Renaldo Jensen reflects on his opportunities and accomplishments

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Renaldo Jensen discusses the successes of Ford Motor Company's Supplier Diversity Program

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Renaldo Jensen talks about the challenges and responsibilities of working with suppliers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Renaldo Jensen reflects on his work with Ford Motor Company

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his concerns for the African American Community

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Renaldo Jensen reflects on his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Renaldo Jensen talks about his love of motorcycles

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Renaldo Jensen reflects on what he has learned and how he wants to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

11$3

DATitle
Renaldo Jensen talks about his decision to attend college
Renaldo Jensen talks about the challenges and responsibilities of working with suppliers
Transcript
So, from what it sounds like, you pretty much knew you were going to college, I guess?$$Oh, yes, there wasn't a question. When I, came time to go to college, my mother [Doris Davis] had saved money. And it wasn't a question of are you going to college? She said, which one are you going to?$$Was it the same for your sister?$$Yes, yes. I tell you. She was an amazing woman who really believed that education was the key to the future. And that's the West Indian upbringing. You know, you work hard, but you will be educated. You "will" be educated. There was never a question of us not going to college.$$Okay, so how did you decide on which college you were going to when you were a senior?$$A couple of ways. I wanted to go to Cornell [Cornell University], Ithaca, New York, at the time. But they wouldn't, they were kind of reluctant to accept African Americans at the time, okay. So my sister college before me. She went to North Carolina College in Durham [North Carolina]. And--$$Was that a black college?$$Yes, a historically black university. And I wanted to, I guess being her sibling, I wanted to be closer so I went to, I wanted to go into the Air Force. I wanted to go into ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps]. And Howard [Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia]--and A and T College in Greensville, North Carolina [North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University] had an Air Force ROTC program, one of the few black colleges that was available to us at the time, had an Air Force ROTC, Reserve Officers' Training Corp, a program. And I went to A and T. And interesting enough, at A and T, I got into the Air Force ROTC, and I majored in science. I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I just wanted to be in the Air Force, I guess. So I just picked something that I could use if I had to fall back on it in the Air Force. And I picked science, and at that time, general, really, first year especially, take the basic math, English, whatever. And interesting enough, the classes were so easy, and I took this as a function of my Catholic school upbringing and teaching and learning. But I never bought books (laughter), never. The money I'd use to buy books, I used it for something else and excelled in all the classes. I never really had to study because they were three years behind in what I had already learned from coming out of the Catholic school. So I excelled and I said, this is not for me. This is not--so I transferred to Howard University.$You've had calls where people call to ask like, what can I make to--$$Yeah, exactly right. And you know, you can laugh at them [suppliers] and say, oh, this is ridiculous, but I believe they're sincere, that they really want to have a business. They really want to provide something and here's an opportunity they think that maybe they could take advantage of, and here Ford [Ford Motor Company] is reaching out to this diverse community for whatever reason. They may not know, but they say, here's an opportunity, and why don't I just ask. So they call me and say, you run the program for? Yes, I do. He says, well, I'm an entrepreneur. I wanna start a business. I wanna supply Ford because you guys are doing such a fantastic job in developing suppliers, and you won the award. So what can I do and what is it that you need that I can help you by providing? Okay, and, of course, we say, you've got to be in business to do business with us. We are not in the business of putting you in business. We're in the business of doing business with you. So you have to have a business. You have to have a skill. You have to have a product that is of value to us now and in the long run. So once I explain it to them, they understand. And then you get some really irate guys who says, well, you're a prime contractor to the federal government. Yes, we are. Oh, you're, being a prime contractor to the federal government, you have a contract with the federal government. I said, yes, we do. Well, the SBA [Small Business Administration] says that you must be doing, you must, as a prime contractor, do business with diverse groups. I say, yes, they do. Well, I'm a diverse group. I said, okay, what do you provide? He says, I provide furniture, and I know you're sitting in a chair in your office, and you have a desk there that you're writing on. I said, yes, we do. He said, well, I'm a small business. You're a prime contractor. I sell office furniture, so you must do business with me. I said, really? He says, yes, because you serve as prime to the federal government, and you must do business with small businesses by law. I said, okay. How many types of furniture do you have? How many models? How many models and brands do you stock? He said, well, I stock four. I said, okay, who are they? Steelcase and a couple of others, three others. I said, okay. How many are out there? He said, what do you mean? I said, how many are out there besides the four that you stock, how many other models or brands of furniture are out there that you elected not to stock, except for the four that you do stock? He said, well, there're about seven others. I said, so you're making a decision on who you do business with, right? He said, yeah. I said, well, bingo, same thing we do too. You're a small business. We must do business with small businesses, but we make a distinction of who we do business with, and your approach is, I don't believe, is in the best interest of Ford Motor Company or Ford Motor Company doing business with you. Bam. Then that's it, conversation over. But that's the type of calls you can, you get. And, you know, and it can get kind of sarcastic, but because they're trying bogard (ph.) your way in to say, hey, if you don't do business with me, you're a racist. Or if you don't do business with me, you're not obeying the law so therefore, I'm a small, and you've been discriminating against small businesses all your professional life, and I'm a small business. You're gonna discriminate, be discriminating against me, I'm a take you to task. (Unclear) deal with it. But again, in the long run, we do business with those who we feel add value to our long-term process of satisfying our customers, the people like you and the public.

Dr. Enrique A. Riggs

Harlem dentist and businessman Dr. Enrique A. Riggs was born on June 3, 1943, in Panama City, Panama, to Winifred and Eric Riggs. Riggs is an active member of several civic organizations and the Army Reserve.

After earning his B.A. in psychology from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Riggs enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1968, rising to the rank of colonel in the Dental Corps. He earned his master's degree in counseling from the State University of New York at Albany in 1971, and in 1978 he received his degree in clinical dentistry from Howard University. Since 1978, Riggs has been in private practice in Harlem at an office he owns with his wife. Riggs was a co-founder in 1983 of the Small Business Stock Exchange of America, providing growing and emerging companies with expansion capital. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from Iona College in 1997 with a certificate in international business.

Since 1995, Riggs has served as a military academy liaison at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is responsible for recruiting cadets from the New York area and minority cadets from the nation at large. Following the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, Riggs used his professional expertise to examine dental records and help identify victims at Ground Zero. In 2002, the U.S. Army Dental Command appointed Riggs North Atlantic Region Dental Commander in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Riggs has been active in a number of other civic and professional organizations, including the 100 Black Men, the American Association of Securities Dealers and the American Dental Association. He sits on the Boulé Foundation Board. He and his wife, Dr. Carol Morales, were married in 1983 and have one daughter, Myra Christine. Riggs lives with his family in White Plains, New York.

Accession Number

A2003.216

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/17/2003 |and| 6/7/2005

Last Name

Riggs

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Central State University

State University of New York at Albany

Iona College

Howard University

First Name

Enrique

Birth City, State, Country

Panama City

HM ID

RIG01

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/3/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Panama

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Dentist Dr. Enrique A. Riggs (1943 - ) co-founded the Small Business Stock Exchange of America in 1983 and has served on its board of directors. Riggs also served as a military academy liaison at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and was appointed as the North Atlantic Region Dental Commander in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Employment

State University New York Albany

Hudson Valley Community College

Delete

NYSA-ILA Medical Center

New York State Department of Corrections

Small Business Stock Exchange

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Enrique A. Riggs' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his mother and how his family came to Panama

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his mother and various phrases she used

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his father and the death of his older brother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his desire to visit Panama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls his earliest childhood memories of Panama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls moving to New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his move to Harlem, New York and ethnic divides in the area

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about learning to cook and adjusting to America as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls his childhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his family's musical abilities and how he became interested in drumming

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about taking up the drums

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes the schools he attended as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about jazz musicians he admired as a junior high schooler

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes how he was exposed to jazz as a child and his involvement in the Minisink Warriors

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes growing up near musicians Jimmy Cobb and Ben Riley

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his love for playing the drums

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs reflects upon how well-regarded jazz musicians found their sound

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about running track as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his interests as a youth inside and out of school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his parents' support for his decisions

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his family's expectations and his involvement with the Order of the Arrow as a Boy Scout

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his path to higher education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls what led him to attend Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about the history of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and his time as a student there

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his decision to major in psychology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about Dr. Charles Wesley, president of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about social unrest at Central State University during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about the musical tradition at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Enrique A. Riggs' interview, session two

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls being drafted into both the NFL and the U.S. Army in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about playing for the Green Bay Packers as a reserve player

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about black players for the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about earning his M.A. degree and working for Educational Opportunities Program

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about a doll test project he worked on in the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes how he ended up studying dentistry, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes how he ended up studying dentistry, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his experience at Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his experience at Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about the musical tradition at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about the musical tradition at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about opening the Small Business Stock Exchange of America, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about opening the Small Business Stock Exchange of America, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his dental practice

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his dental residencies with Dr. Marcus Moore and at Sydenham Hospital in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about an endeavor into opening a teaching hospital in the Bahamas

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about returning to school in 1995 to pursue an M.B.A. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his dental training and that of black dentists during World War II

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about race issues in dentistry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about practicing forensic dentistry following September 11th

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about going to Mississippi during the 1960s and the importance of historical understanding

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about trying to block funding-cuts for Central State University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs recalls presenting a threat analysis for on an oil company during business school

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs laments the state of contemporary education

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his experience in the U.S. military during the Gulf War

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about being stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and being a recruiter for West Point in New York

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes how he recruited minorities to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in West Point, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs reflects upon his experience in the military

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about organizations in which he has taken part

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs explains why he agreed to be interviewed for The HistoryMakers

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. Enrique A. Riggs reflects upon his legacy and words from HistoryMaker Ossie Davis

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$5

DAStory

10$7

DATitle
Dr. Enrique A. Riggs describes his experience at Howard University College of Dentistry in Washington, D.C., pt. 1
Dr. Enrique A. Riggs talks about his dental residencies with Dr. Marcus Moore and at Sydenham Hospital in New York, New York
Transcript
Howard [University College of Dentistry, Washington, D.C.], and what was that experience like, Howard University 1970, in the '70s [1970s] up until '78 [1978] when you completed it?$$Stressful, but wonderful, wonderful. I would not have wanted to do it any other way.$$Who were some of your instructors and some of the influential people on campus in, in the '70s [1970s]?$$As far as dental school was concerned, there were a number of, of instructors and professors that we had in dental school that, that made an impact. Certainly, Dr. Henry, Joe Henry [Joseph L. Henry] who was our dean, I'm sorry he was presi, he was the dean of the dental school. He was one person who made an impact. Well, a lot of them, Dr. [James] Stanback, who was a professor and chairman of the oral surgery department. In fact, the entire oral surgery department was a superb group of individuals. There was a gentleman who I was very close to over the years, a Dr. Hancock, Victor Hancock who was a Tuskegee Airmen who just recently, recently passed about a month ago, month and a half ago. Victor was chairman of American Express, Kenneth Chenault's father-in-law. Victor, Victor was a very, very unique man. Dr. Marcus Moore, he wasn't a professor, but he was a doctor who I started working with when I first got out of dental school. In fact, this was a gentleman that, that my wife and I purchased his practice when I retired. He has now since passed on. He was a major force and my, my first father-in-law also was a, was a dentist, that's Dr. Alfred Proctter [ph.] out of Norfolk, Virginia.$So let's talk about developing the practice. How, how did you go about doing that? I mean you're a young man, you're straight out of Howard's dental school [Howard University College of Dentistry, Washington, D.C.], you buy the practice and what's the day-to-day life--?$$Well, that didn't happen automatically. You come out of dental school and, and one of the things that you want to do, if at all possible, is to secure a post-graduate training program. Then we didn't have that many post-graduate training programs in dentistry. The difference between getting post-graduate dental training and post-graduate medical training is that every physician that finishes medical school has his name on a residency somewhere in this country. It may be his or her first choice; it might not be his or her first choice, but they have their name on a residency program somewhere in his country. It's sort of the next step. In dentistry, there not that many residency programs around. We're getting better, it's growing, but these residency programs are so highly coveted and so highly competitive and very, very difficult to get. So, my first year out of school I worked with Dr. Moore in the office and looking around for other opportunities because you can walk into an office and see patients lined up wall to wall every day. It wasn't like that. It's not like that today. So, oftentimes you found yourself sitting around twirling your thumbs looking at the four walls. Part of that is that a lot of our patients now are not staying uptown, they're going downtown. They're going elsewhere were we don't go because we can't go for whatever reasons. But, you just happen to mention it's ironic that you, you don't have a black dentist, you didn't know many. Well, that's the story that a lot of people are beginning to talk about now. They're saying I never had a black, a black doctor before. You know one of the patients that I had is during my residency program--I did get a residency program--Sydenham Hospital [New York, New York] on 125th Street which just really broke my heart. I was on emergency service one day and a woman came in she was obviously upwards of eighty. She came in on emergency basis and she had a, denture work being done there at the hospital. She came in and she had a complaint that whenever she drank hot tea that her teeth just kept moving and I just thought gee that didn't sound unusual, that's sounded a little, a little unusual. So, I asked her more questions and, heat sort of oriented questions, when you eat hot food do the teeth move around, you know tell me more. She said well anytime she eats or when she drinks hot tea the teeth just seems to move. So, I said okay well let me just take a look at, at your denture. I had took out the denture, and you know what she was wearing, she was wearing what we call a trial denture. This is a denture that we set in wax before it's sent to the lab to be fabricated. Someone let this woman go out with a trial denture, the teeth sat in wax as the competed denture. And the thing that broke my heart about it was that she said to me, she kept staring and I wondered if there was something wrong and I said well, I can't recall her name now, I said is there a problem. She says no, she said you make me so proud I've never had a black doctor before, but she was upwards of eighty years old. That broke my heart. So, we deal with some of that. But, you know, you get through it and so these are the kinds of things that, that had another dimension to your life and you try to make it better, you try to change things, if you can. So, overall, the dental practice is one of the most positive things in my life. I enjoy it. My wife's [HM Carol Morales] a dentist. She does a lot of the general work--she's a HistoryMaker as well, and I now come in and I do the difficult surgical procedures and that's what I really enjoy; I enjoy that.

Donald Miller

Former business executive Donald L. Miller was born in New York on January 10, 1932, to Mamie Johnson and John H. Miller. From 1948 to 1968, Miller served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of major and earning the Legion of Merit award in his final year. Near retirement from the Army, Miller lived in Maryland and returned to school, receiving his B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1967.

Due to a recommendation from his mother who worked at Inmont Corporation, Miller was hired to work as a special assistant to the president in the human resources area. Miller then left Inmont to work in that same capacity at Seatrain Shipbuilding, helping recruit African American employees. Miller was then recruited to a senior ranking position as deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Richard Nixon, a position he held from December 1971 to January 1973. In 1973, Miller was honored by the Department of Defense for his work with the Distinguished Civilian Award.

From 1973 to 1978, Miller worked in academia as vice president of personnel and management at Columbia University. He then went on to hold executive positions with a number of companies, including International Paper, Con Edison and Dow Jones & Company, where he served as vice president of employee relations from 1986 until 1995. Following his retirement from Dow Jones, Miller entered the entrepreneurial and publishing world when he started Our World News as a high-level African American news publication.

Over the years, Miller has been active with a number of professional organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the Bank of New York and Schering Plough. For twenty years, he was a trustee at Pace University, and since 1981, served as director of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Miller had been married to his wife, Gail Aileen Wallace, since 1981. They have one child, Lynn Ann, and lived in Las Vegas. Miller and his wife also founded Associated Black Charities in New York.

Donald Miller passed away on August 29, 2015.

Accession Number

A2003.214

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/17/2003

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

University of Maryland

Harvard University

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

George Washington High School

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MIL02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

You Can't Get There From Here.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/10/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Potato Salad

Death Date

8/29/2015

Short Description

Corporate executive and publisher Donald Miller (1932 - 2015 ) is a former executive at Dow Jones & Company. He has also served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. After his retirement Miller founded Our World News, a high-level African American news publication.

Employment

United States Army

Inmont Corporation

Seatrain Shipbuilding

Department of Defense

Columbia University

International Paper

ConEdison

Dow Jones & Co.

Our World News

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1496,72:5848,160:6324,169:15640,336:17068,418:23902,462:24317,468:40502,715:49397,778:49721,783:52556,821:54824,853:60008,944:60413,950:62843,986:63410,995:65678,1037:66407,1060:80320,1199:80775,1205:87229,1287:89092,1328:103155,1510:106005,1572:106530,1582:107730,1603:108180,1611:110335,1622:119736,1763:127780,1832:135970,1939:150632,2084:151088,2091:169930,2190:170710,2204:174360,2230:176680,2267:177800,2279:196111,2590:200929,2664:201221,2669:224212,3019:224572,3025:229720,3078$0,0:720,3:1008,8:1368,14:3312,40:3816,49:4176,55:6552,99:7056,107:7416,113:8352,129:8640,134:12384,213:12960,222:13392,229:32150,525:32550,531:36470,590:47840,677:49772,703:52124,729:52880,736:53468,743:58281,781:60745,824:68368,953:73842,1008:75129,1027:75525,1033:82851,1134:91240,1168:106390,1316:108024,1336:110432,1362:111636,1377:112668,1393:125566,1524:127198,1541:134896,1604:141672,1678:149660,1776:157464,1842:157962,1849:164702,1909:165030,1914:176086,2031:178080,2045:184830,2143:191440,2190:201730,2273:207765,2332:213050,2369
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Donald Miller narrates his photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Donald Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Miller lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Miller talks about his mother and her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Miller describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Miller describes his childhood neighborhood in Harlem, New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about various places he lived as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Miller describes the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem, New York City in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Miller talks about his mother's decision to relocate the family to the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem, New York in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Miller talks about the schools he attended in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about the schools he attended in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Miller describes his elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Miller talks about his lack of direction and guidance as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Miller talks about the origins of his U.S. Army career and Colonel Henry Minton Francis

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Miller describes a chance encounter that influenced his U.S. Army career

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Miller talks about the implementation of President Harry Truman's 1947 order to desegregate the U.S. military, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about the implementation of President Harry Truman's 1947 order to desegregate the U.S. military, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Miller explains his decision to enroll in officers' candidate school in the early 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about the progress of people of color in the U.S. military

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Miller talks about obtaining skills through successive positions in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Miller recalls his U.S. Army service in Germany during the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Miller explains his decision to retire from the U.S. Army in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Miller recounts a story from early in his career as deputy assistant secretary of defense

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Miller talks about the relationship between the U.S. military and U.S. presidential administrations of the mid-20th century

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about going to work for Interchemical Corporation in 1968, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Miller talks about going to work for Interchemical Corporation in 1968, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about Interchemical Corporation and how the company responded to the affirmative action movement of the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Miller talks about developing affirmative action proposals for Interchemical Corporation and adjusting to the practices of corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Miller talks about the limited results of his affirmative action programs at Interchemical Corporation in the late 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Miller talks about working as vice president of industrial relations for Seatrain Shipbuilding in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Miller recalls his appointment as deputy assistant secretary of defense in 1971 and other black political leaders in the Nixon administration

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Miller recalls a meeting between President Richard Nixon and black political appointees

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about working at the U.S. Department of Defense as deputy assistant secretary of defense

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donald Miller recalls encountering resistance to affirmative action programs on a European inspection tour for the U.S. Department of Defense

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about a meeting between black colonels and the secretaries of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donald Miller explains his decision to resign as deputy assistant secretary of defense in 1973

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donald Miller describes the circumstances surrounding his hiring as vice president for personnel management at Columbia University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donald Miller talks about working as vice president for personnel management for Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donald Miller details a labor dispute between Harlem Hospital and District 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donald Miller talks about his work at Columbia University and the culture of the institution in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about working at International Paper and accepting a job offer from Con Edison

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donald Miller talks about volunteering with the Greater New York Fund

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about volunteering with Greater New York Fund and meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Donald Miller talks about the formation of Associated Black Charities in New York, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Donald Miller talks about the funding structure of United Way and member agencies of Black Associated Charities

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Donald Miller talks about working at Con Edison in New York, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Donald Miller explains how he became a member of the BNY Mellon bank in 1977

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Donald Miller talks about the responsibilities of serving on a corporate board, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Donald Miller talks about the responsibilities of serving on a corporate board, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Donald Miller talks about working at Dow Jones & Company as vice president of employee relations during the 1980s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Donald Miller talks about proposing a black-oriented news publication to Dow Jones & Company and leaving the company in 1995

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Donald Miller talks about developing Our World News prototypes and the fate of the publication

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Donald Miller describes the aims of Our World News, his African American news publication

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Donald Miller describes how his family has influenced his career success

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Donald Miller considers the success of affirmative action programs in the American business and political sectors

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Donald Miller reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Donald Miller talks about his middle name

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Donald Miller talks about the history of blacks in the U.S. military, Associated Black Charities (ABC), and honorees of ABC

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$7

DATitle
Donald Miller describes a chance encounter that influenced his U.S. Army career
Donald Miller talks about working at the U.S. Department of Defense as deputy assistant secretary of defense
Transcript
Now, how long were you stationed in [Kitzingen] Germany?$$Just a year.$$Just a year, okay.$$Perhaps not even quite.$$Okay.$$Perhaps not quite a year.$$Okay and that was what year are we in?$$This was 1948, '49 [1949].$$Okay. And then--so, you go there at that time and then--but you're now, a new world is sort of opening up of things that you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes, exactly.$$You know, you had talked about wanting to--so, and what are learning about discipline and structure?$$Well, you're learning a lot of things. You know that you're in an environment in which you are expected to perform at a certain level and that your behavior has to be acceptable in ways that perhaps have heretofore not been known to you. And I was not a very adept student. I was very difficult and was always finding some little trouble to get into, not being at the right place at the right time or doing something I wasn't supposed to do, but there were tolerances that people had for reasons, again, that I don't understand, but I can recall in one instance while I was in Minton's [Henry Francis Minton] company. I was sent back to the United States on an early rotation, as they call it; and I think that they had sort of given up on me, and they had decided that maybe it would be better if I were not in the service, but when I was at Bremerhaven, Germany, waiting to board a ship to come back to the United States, I had to go through an interview process, and there was a young, white soldier who was doing the interview and he asked me a question, he said, "You know, how would you like to go back to school and become a classification and assignment specialist?" And I said, "What's that?" And he said, "It's what I'm doing now." And I said, "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. I'd like that." And this young man, name I do not know, had such an incredibly enormous impact on my life because when I came back, instead of coming back and being discharged, I was sent off to a school, where I learned a lot about administration, and it was from there that my enlisted career began to take off. It was an epiphany without a doubt, and I mention this to you because it is so important for people to understand that turning points in one's life are not necessarily defined or determined by you but often by others who see things that you do not see or cannot see. And they are very impactful. This gentleman, whoever he is, God knows I'd love to be able to find him and say, thank you, but I can't and the only way that I can say thank you is by trying to do something like that for others that I have run across from time to time. It was a very, very interesting time. It really was.$$Now, where did you do your training then as a classif- you went to--?$$Yeah, that was at, then Camp Lee, Virginia, now Fort Lee.$$Okay.$$This was, again, in 1949. As a matter of fact, my dear and good friend, [HM] General Harry Brooks, whom I think you can interview one of these days, was there at that time as a young lieutenant. We did not know each other at that time.$So talk about what you do you know, and it's one thing working for, you know, the U.S. Army. It's another thing working for the U.S. Department of Defense.$$Absolutely.$$So what are you--and it's probably you're learning things that you, you know--$$Oh, yeah. I'm learning, I'm learning stuff like you can't believe. I mean this is an experience on an entirely different level. I mean I am now in a situation--deputy assistant secretaries carry a three star equivalent rank and I am in an entirely different world. I am being exposed to things as deputy assistant secretary that I was never exposed to when I was on active duty as a young officer, but what I learned very quickly is the following: number one again now, I'm seeing from a different prospective that the [U.S.] military at the senior most levels and the Defense Department at the senior most levels is a very political place, no pun intended. You have to understand the name of the game, the rules of the road, you got to understand the players. It's all very, very different. The politics are being played all day, every day by everyone. You learn that. You learn that what is written is not always what is practiced, and what is practiced is not always written; and this is a very interesting thing to understand. Power points are not as readily discernible because while people have rank, it's the people with the reach that have the impact, not necessarily those with the rank. We had an assignment that was very important. At the time I was there, we had to rewrite the Uniform Code of Military Justice and while this is generally a function that would accrue to the legal people, it fell to my department because I had a young man by the name of [Curtis] Curt Smothers, who was my deputy for military who had been a young captain in the [U.S.] Army, who had really challenged one of the four star generals over in Germany on some issues having to do with race relations. He was a judge in the Judge Advocate General's Corps and he challenged the general. And there was a big brouhaha and he won. He prevailed. And so he prevailed, but he had to retire or resign and [Melvin] Mel Laird who was then the secretary of defense asked him to come in and to be my deputy and it was with Curt that we rewrote the Uniform Code of Military Justice as it pertained to non-judicial punishment.

Lionel McMurren

Lionel McMurren was born in Harlem, New York, on October 21, 1925. At the age of two, his mother died and he was raised by two aunts in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and also by a great aunt in New York. McMurren attended public school in New York and went on to attend Brooklyn College. Because he was drafted in 1944 and served in the Pacific Rim Theater, McMurren did not complete his A.B. from Brooklyn until 1949. A year later, he went on to earn an M.S. from City Colleges of New York. In 1968, he received a professional diploma in instructional administration and a Ph.D. in 1980, both from Fordham University.

McMurren began his professional career in 1951, working as a health education community center teacher. In 1954, at the Methodist Camp Service, McMurren provided summer camp opportunities for inner-city youth. He did this for twenty years, both full and part time, rising eventually to the position of executive director. Also in 1954, McMurren returned to the junior high school of his youth, Frederick Douglass Junior High School, where he showed a particular talent in working with youth. Over the next ten years, McMurren would rise to dean of students and acting assistant principal. In 1964, McMurren took another position as a guidance counselor at a junior high school in Manhattan, and in 1966 he became the assistant principal of P.S. 78 Elementary School. Returning to Frederick Douglass, McMurren assumed the position of principal in 1969, and remained there until 1982.

McMurren was promoted to deputy superintendent of schools of New York in 1982, and remained there until 1986. McMurren continued to work in education even after leaving his post, both as a consultant and as associate professor at City Colleges of New York. In 2005, McMurren completed on an autobiographical account of his experiences at Frederick Douglass, entitled Frederick Douglass P.S. 139: A Citadel of Inspiration--its Aura and Impact : a Story of a Harlem School.

Beyond his years as an educator, McMurren was active in social and civic organizations. He held numerous positions with St. Mark's Methodist Church after first becoming involved in 1940. He was a member of several fraternal organizations, and has been involved with the Minority Task Force on AIDS.

McMurren's former wife, Dorothy, died in 1987. He later remarried and moved, with his wife, Jean, to Sarasota, Florida.

Lionel McMurren passed away on January 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2003.194

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2003

Last Name

McMurren

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Brooklyn College

City College of New York

Fordham University

P.S. 5 Alexander Webb School

P.S. 139 Frederick Douglass School

DeWitt Clinton High School

First Name

Lionel

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MCM02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/21/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter, Jelly, Franks, Beans

Death Date

1/22/2012

Short Description

Junior high school principal Lionel McMurren (1925 - 2012 ) is the former deputy superintendent of the New York Public Schools.

Employment

Frederick Douglass Jr. High School

Methodist Camp Service

Manhattan Jr. High School #45

PS 78 Elementary School

Community School District

City College of New York

Super Center Consortium

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lionel McMurren's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes his experiences living with his great-aunt Priscilla Manly in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes the sights, sounds and smells from his childhood in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about going to live with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lionel McMurren remembers attending P.S. 5, Alexander Webb Elementary School, in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lionel McMurren describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about pursuing his dream of being a psychiatrist

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about his interest in psychology

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren remembers Mr. Amatrano, his favorite teacher at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School, in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes how schools in New York, New York tracked their students

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his class size and best subject at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren talks about Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes the history of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about his teachers at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he gained from attending Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren describes the camaraderie he felt while at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes the demographics of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York and wanting to become a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren describes deciding to attend Brooklyn College in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about serving in the China Burma India Theater during World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren tells a story about segregation on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes the distinction between the U.S. Army Air Force and the Air Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about graduating from Brooklyn College in New York, New York in 1949 and wanting to be a psychiatrist

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes how he became a teacher at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about being dean at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about the Instructional Administrator's Program at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, New York and eventually becoming a principal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about the advent of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, of which he was principal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes his time as principal at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about discrimination against minority teachers in New York City public schools

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes building a team of administrators for Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about his goals as principal of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren sings Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10's school song

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about having conferences with new teachers at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10, in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about becoming deputy superintendent for schools of New York and campaigning to improve schools in central Harlem, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes training assistant principals and principals in his role as deputy superintendent of schools of New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about the influence of HistoryMaker Eugene H. Webb on Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about the legacy of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, today and how it's changed

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about his hope for Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about his decision to retire in 1986

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes his involvement with civic organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he'd like to do during retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Boule

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about his love for Harlem, New York, New York and what it mean to be a good educator

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren recites the poem, 'Invictus'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Lionel McMurren describes the history of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
Lionel McMurren talks about his hope for Harlem, New York, New York
Transcript
So we're talking about the history of [Frederick] Douglass [Junior High School, New York, New York].$$Yes, yes, the history of Douglass. This is Robert S. Dixon who gathered the students and staff members of the first school, the first class of Douglass; they marched from what was a night club on the hill--it was a hill on 140th Street and Seventh Avenue [New York, New York]. Now, it's called Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, but it was Seventh Avenue, and he marched to the school, which was located on 140th Street between Lennox and Seventh Avenues, and that was the beginning of Douglass. And so (simultaneous)--$$What year was that? (Simultaneous).$$Nineteen twenty-four [1924].$$Oh, yeah, you just said that.$$And so that school began. And the school apparently attracted so many noteworthy persons who became noteworthy at any rate; Countee Cullen was one, and he was a great person--poet--known, well-known, as a poet, and he taught French in his--he had years in France, et cetera. Mr. Harcore Tynes [ph.], whom, on one of the articles I have here on my becoming a principal and saying that I was--I could relate to Harlem [New York, New York] and the students and all as principal, I was so blessed to be in that position. And I said because I had such wonderful teachers at the school where I did attend, and one which was Harcore Tynes who was, and I quote, "Teaching Negro history before it was popular." He was teaching us Negro history then.$$Now, how--but what--it was part of the public school system but--I'm just trying to understand it; I understand there was a march, but what--how did it come about--into being? You know, how within (simultaneous)--$$Board of Education decided they would have a school in Harlem--$$Okay.$$--and it should be; however, it came, and fortunately, the name Frederick Douglass. And they assembled a staff from the Board of Education, and the students, apparently, you know, were invited from those who lived in the neighborhood.$$But boys.$$All boys. They had an all-boys' school at that time, and they started--it may have been simultaneously--had to be because they had to have some provision for the girls. A boys' school--this girls' school was Harriet Beecher Stowe [Intermediate School, New York, New York], and that was for all girls--a junior high school. Although when we began celebrating Douglass and Douglass gentlemen and Douglass alumni, before we had the point when I became principal of the new school, that was the first time girls were allowed to come in or were not--I shouldn't say allowed to, but were also part of the school. And we were talking about history of Douglass, et cetera and all of the Douglass alumni. So we had one teacher there who said, "I'm an alumnus of Douglass." I said, "What do you mean you're alumnus of Douglass?" She knows--now we know how old she is. "How could you be an alumnus of Douglass?" She says, "Well, as it turns out, when Douglass first started in 1924, they had a kindergarten that was housed in that school." And she was in the kindergarten 'til the third grade; her name was Catherine Wilson [ph.]. And so she says, "And so I, too, am an alumnus of Douglass." (Laughter), so we had to permit that--with great pleasure.$Do you think with the re-development of, of Harlem [New York, New York], that there's a chance for that? It would take some time, you're saying.$$Well, I'm like [HM Reverend] Jesse [L.] Jackson, I keep hope--keep hope alive (laughter). I feel that--I've heard so many good things about things happening in Harlem; I'm wondering what's happening with regard to the children. And whether or not they're children as well, moving there. I don't think--I haven't addressed that with anyone else who has talked about it. Some--a number of people are very knowledgeable. I wanna find out if these people--if they're just older people that are moving in, which I maybe get the--I get the thought; maybe I don't have any basis for it; I think they're older people whose children are grown, or who are moving in buyin' all of these places in Harlem now, like a--my church used to own a parsonage over on 139th Street [New York, New York] that probably was about $27,000, and now it can sell for $300,000, you know? But I'm wondering if the children are moving in, too; I don't think so--maybe they are, and if so, where are they going to school? If they can move in there and go to school down--up someplace else private, wherever--anyplace but the neighborhood school; and that would be my thought--that's what they would probably do. And I guess maybe you cannot much blame them; they say, "I'm gonna live here now, but I want my kid or grand kid--some of the people have their grandchildren and they're takin' care of them now, but for whatever reason, they don't want their grandchildren going there, see? So, if you can make a transformation of the schools there, at the same time that neighborhood's transforming, then there's hope for it and, and, and that will improve the schools because the people in the houses, the parents and community people, will demand, and they have to put the pressure on the people to make sure that things change. If you don't have anybody--where, where there's no protest, there's no progress.

The Honorable Edward Brooke

Edward Brooke, III was born in Washington, D.C., on October 26, 1919. His father, Edward Brooke, Jr., was an attorney for the Veterans Administration for more than fifty years, and his mother, Helen, later worked on all of Brooke’s political campaigns. Brooke entered Howard University at the age of sixteen, and earned his B.A. degree in sociology in 1941. After graduation, Brooke entered the U.S. Army and was sent overseas. A decorated captain in the all-black 366th Combat Infantry Regiment, Brooke defended men in military tribunals. During the Italian campaign, Brooke disguised himself as an Italian, crossing enemy lines to meet with the Italian Partisans and facing Nazi and Fascist troops.

Returning from World War II and experienced in legal proceedings, Brooke enrolled in Boston University Law School, earning an LL.B. in 1948 and an LL.M. a year later, as well as serving as the editor of the school’s Law Review. While practicing law in Boston, Brooke began seeking political office. Despite good showings in several races between 1950 and 1960, he failed to win. However, in 1960, he was appointed chairman of the Boston Finance Commission, where he exposed corruption in many city departments. His popularity high from his work there, Brooke was elected to the office of Massachusetts Attorney General, becoming the first African American to hold that post in the nation. He remained in the office for two terms, and in 1966, he won election to the U.S. Senate, where he was the first African American to be elected by popular vote, the first to be seated since Reconstruction and later the only to be re-elected.

During his first term in the Senate, Brooke spent a great deal of time on the issue of the Vietnam War, traveling to Asia on fact-finding missions. Upon his return, he requested that the United States cease using napalm. He also began calling for an end to trade with South Africa because of its apartheid policies. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the National Commission on Civil Disorders, which made recommendations that ultimately took shape as the 1968 Civil Rights Act. Brooke later challenged Richard Nixon's Supreme Court nominees Hainsworth and Carswell, even though he had supported Nixon’s bid for the presidency. Brooke later became the first senator to call for Nixon’s resignation. Leaving Congress in 1979, Brooke spent another six years in private practice before retiring.

Brooke received thirty-four honorary degrees from the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities and numerous other awards, including the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit from the Italian Government. In 2000, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts dedicated a courthouse in his honor.

Brooke passed away on January 3, 2015 at the age of 95.

Accession Number

A2003.233

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/23/2003

Last Name

Brooke

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Boston University School of Law

Howard University

First Name

Edward

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BRO10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin, French West Indies

Favorite Quote

You do what you have to do.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

10/26/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb

Death Date

1/3/2015

Short Description

U.S. senator The Honorable Edward Brooke (1919 - 2015 ) was the first African American to be elected senator by popular vote, the first to be seated since Reconstruction, and the first to be re-elected. During the Vietnam war, he called for a ban on napalm; he also served on the National Commission on Civil Disorders and later was the first senator to call for the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

Employment

Boston Finance Commission

State of Massachusetts

United States Senate

C. Splar & Bok

O'Connor & Hannan

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Brooke

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke identifies five favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke provides information about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke shares information about his paternal lineage and father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke reflects on his childhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke discusses childhood activities and heroes

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Brooke describes the personalities of his mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Brooke talks experiences and influences at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke describes himself as a student in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke identifies a high school mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke talks about commuting as a student to Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke reflects on sports at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke remembers notable professors at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke discusses his college involvement in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Brooke talks about the significance of black organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke discusses his entrance into the Army

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke describes degregation in the army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke shares stories about his army experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke shares stories of discrimination while serving in the army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke talks about the low morale of the black troops

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke recounts leading a band of Italian partisans

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke reflects on the historical service of blacks in the military

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke retells a story of a suprise attack on the enemy while stationed in Italy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke details the reluctance to use black troops for combat duty

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke describes the mix of emotions upon returning home after the war

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke shared details about his black combat unit

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke discusses meeting and marrying an Italian woman

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke recounts his decision to attend law school

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke talks about living in the Roxbury district of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke discusses entering private legal practice

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke talks about running for public office

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke describes his involvement in Massachusetts politics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke comments on the impact of his wife's race on his campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke talks about running for Secretary of State

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke describes some of the challenges he faced while investigating corruption

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke discusses being elected Attorney General for Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke talks about the Boston Strangler case

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke discusses politics in Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke talks about the Voting Rights Act

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke talks about the importance of economic and political power

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke highlights the contributions of individuals to black political and economic progress

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke comments on Barry Goldwater

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke comments on black elected officials

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Edward Brooke discusses his path to the Senate

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Edward Brooke discusses his constituency

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Edward Brooke talks about political opposition in 1966

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke explains his approach to public office

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke talks about opposition to his run for the United States Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke discusses the Vietnam war

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke identifies issues he confronted while running for the United States Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke talks about the Watts riot

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke discusses black voters and the two major political parties

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Edward Brooke talks about the Kennedy family

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Edward Brooke discusses black voter support and black representation

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke outlines key issues for future black Senatorial candidates

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke discusses his contentious relationship with Richard Nixon

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Edward Brooke details his stature and influence in the Republican Party

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Edward Brooke reveals his abhorrence for the Republican Southern Strategy

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Edward Brooke discusses Richard Nixon's strengths and weaknesses

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Edward Brooke remembers his advice to Richard Nixon to resign the Presidency

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Edward Brooke recounts his views on the Vietnam War and a meeting with Lyndon Johnson

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Edward Brooke notes highlights from his Senate career

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Edward Brooke shares his hopes and concerns for society

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Edward Brooke reflects on his legacy

Paul Adams, III

Born September 14, 1940, Paul Joseph Adams III learned the value of education from his parents, Patsy Lois and Paul Adams, Jr., who enrolled him in private elementary and high schools in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. After receiving a B.A. from Alabama State University, Adams moved north to Chicago, where he worked in mental health education while earning his M.A. in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University.

In 1971, Adams was hired as director of guidance for Providence-St. Mel School, a private Catholic high school in Chicago. He became the school's principal a year later. When the Archdiocese of Chicago withdrew funding for the school in 1978, Adams spearheaded a national campaign to raise money for the school. In response to his publicity-seeking efforts and the support of the Providence-St. Mel students and community, the school received local and national media attention. Donations poured in from across the country, and Adams transitioned Providence-St. Mel into a not-for-profit independent school.

At Providence-St. Mel, Adams focused on developing a strong academic standard while enforcing strict disciplinary codes. To guarantee the safety of his students, he moved into the vacant convent inside the school to ward off thieves and vandals. His dedication became legendary and during the next two decades, Adams successfully transformed Providence-St. Mel into a premier learning institution for African American students.

Since 1996, Adams has served as president of Providence-St. Mel School, managing an annual budget in excess of $6 million. He is still very active in planning the curriculum for the school, which has expanded to include elementary and middle grades. Under Adams' leadership, every one of Providence-St. Mel's graduating seniors has been accepted to institutions of higher learning.

Adams has received numerous awards for his efforts, including the McDonald's Education Achievement Award, the African-American Male Image Award, the Rozell R. Nesbitt Community Education Award, and four honorary doctorates. Adams was named an American Hero in Education by Reader's Digest and was voted Man of the Year by the Chicago Urban League.

Accession Number

A2003.307

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/11/2003

Last Name

Adams

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

Alabama State University Laboratory School

Southern Normal School

Alabama State University

Northeastern Illinois University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

ADA02

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Make a way or find a way.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/14/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork Chops

Short Description

Civil rights activist and high school principal Paul Adams, III (1940 - ) is the founding director of the independent Providence-St. Mel High School.

Employment

Providence St. Mel High School

Jack-in-the-Box Restaurant (1969 - 1972)

Chicago State Hospital

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Adams's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Adams's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Adams discusses his family's geographical origins

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Adams describes his attempts to research his background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Adams tells of conflicting stories in his genealogical research

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Adams mentions two tragic family stories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Adams remembers his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Adams mentions his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Adams remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Adams describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paul Adams remembers nostalgic smells from childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paul Adams describes his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Paul Adams as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Paul Adams discusses his mentors

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Paul Adams mentions his childhood schools

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Paul Adams as a high school student

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Paul Adams describes why he does not attend church

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Paul Adams reflects on his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 19 - Paul Adams discusses Mr. E. D. Nixon

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Adams discusses the planning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Adams discusses his experience of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Adams describes how Emmitt Till's death and television influenced the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Adams meets Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Adams remembers mass meetings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Adams rides the buses after the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Adams reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Adams discusses Robert Nesbitt

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Adams explains his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Paul Adams attend Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Paul Adams is expelled from Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Paul Adams talks about youth in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Paul Adams mentions Civil Rights Movement organizers

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Paul Adams returns to Alabama State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Adams moves to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Adams describes his work for the Chicago State Hospital

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Adams discusses his impression of Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Adams looks for a job in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Adams goes into business

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Adams remembers the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Adams recalls his last interaction with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Adams describes the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paul Adams reflects on the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Paul Adams returns to Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Paul Adams leaves Jack N' the Box

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Paul Adams provides a brief history of Providence-St. Mel

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Paul Adams restructures Providence-St. Mel

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Adams fights to keep Providence-St. Mel open

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Adams turns Providence-St. Mel into an independent school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Adams discusses an anonymous donation to Providence-St. Mel

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Adams discusses public education

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Adams discusses Providence-St. Mel students

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Adams describes his simple education technique

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Adams describes Providence-St. Mel's assessment process

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Adams emphasizes early exposure for students

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paul Adams discusses parental involvement and continued growth at Providence-St. Mel

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paul Adams discusses his religious affiliation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Adams discusses value education

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Adams disagrees with closing schools on Martin Luther King's holiday

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Adams discusses teacher and student role models

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Adams describes his philosophy of education

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Adams discusses Providence-St. Mel School alumni

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Adams discusses his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Adams talks about the failures of the educational system

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Adams discusses restructuring public education

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paul Adams describes Providence-St. Mel School's high expectations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paul Adams discusses the balance between academics and athletics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paul Adams discusses the racial makeup of Providence-St. Mel School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paul Adams explains how strict rules eliminate behavior problems

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paul Adams explains the curriculum of Providence-St. Mel School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paul Adams discusses the financial difficulties of Providence-St. Mel School

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paul Adams discusses Providence-St. Mel School's teachers

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paul Adams describes his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paul Adams describes how he wants to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo -- Paul Adams's First Grade Picture in Montgomery, Alabama (1946)

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo -- Paul Adams as President of Providence-St. Mel School

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Photo -- Paul Adams as Infant (1940)

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Photo -- Paul Adams and Jeanette DiBella, Principal of Providence-St. Mel School (circa 2000)

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Photo -- Paul Adams (circa 1958)

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Photo -- Paul Adams (1963)

Tape: 6 Story: 15 - Photo -- Paul Adams Calling Bingo Numbers for Fundraiser (late 1970s)

Tape: 6 Story: 16 - Photo -- Paul Adams (1996)

Tape: 6 Story: 17 - Photo -- Paul Adams and President Ronald Reagan, Among Others (1983)

Tape: 6 Story: 18 - Photo -- Paul Adams (1979)

Tape: 6 Story: 19 - Photo -- Paul Adams and Parents Protesting the Closure of Providence-St. Mel School (1978)

Tape: 6 Story: 20 - Photo -- Paul Adams Teaching Guidance (late 1970s)

Tape: 6 Story: 21 - Photo -- Paul Adams in 'People Magazine' (1978)

Tape: 6 Story: 22 - Photo -- Paul Adams (Mar 1965)

Tape: 6 Story: 23 - Photo -- Paul Adams and President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 6 Story: 24 - Newspaper Advertisement -- Paul Adams and Providence-St. Mel School Students in Wall Street Journal (Jun 1978)

Tape: 6 Story: 25 - Photo -- Paul Adams with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Providence-St. Mel School Alumna, Monica Thorns (1983)

Tape: 6 Story: 26 - Photo -- Paul Adams with Daughter, Bridget (circa 2002)