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Charles Warfield, Jr.

Broadcasting executive Charles M. Warfield, Jr. was born in in Washington, D.C. in 1949. Warfield attended Hampton University and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in accounting in 1971.

Upon graduating, Warfield began his career as a staff auditor at Ernst & Young, and then joined RCA Corporation as supervising senior auditor in 1974. Warfield’s broadcasting career includes managing some of New York City’s top radio stations including twelve years at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC). He joined ICBC as a corporate controller and was promoted to vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio. Warfield was later hired at Summit Broadcasting Corporation, where he served as vice president and general manager of WRKS-FM Radio in New York City.

In July of 1997, Warfield was appointed as the vice president and general manager of heritage stations at WDAS-AM/FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later became the senior vice president of urban regional operations for Chancellor Media Corporation in March of 1998, with oversight of KKBT-FM in Los Angeles, California; WJLB-FM and WMXD-FM in Detroit, Michigan; WGCI-AM/FM and WVAZ-FM in Chicago, Illinois; WUSL-FM and WDAS-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and WEDR-FM in Miami, Florida. Warfield was promoted to senior vice president of regional operations in October of 1998, and assumed responsibility for Chancellor Media Corporation’s thirty stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Puerto Rico. From 1997 to 2003, Warfield served as senior vice president of regional operations for AMFM, Inc.; and, from 2000 to 2012, he served as vice president and chief operating officer of Inner City Broadcasting Holdings, Inc. In October of 2012, Warfield was named president and chief operating officer of YMF Media, LLC.

In 2009, Warfield was elected president of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP. The following year, he was appointed as the chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. He also served on the Radio Advertising Bureau Executive Committee. Warfield’s community involvement includes organizations such as the American Red Cross, the National Urban League, the Salvation Army, the United Negro College Fund, the Partnership for a Drug Free Greater New York and the Harlem Young Men’s Christian Association. In 2010, Warfield received the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Charles M. Warfield Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.281

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2013

Last Name

Warfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Morris

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

James G. Birney Elementary School

Kramer Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Academy

Anacostia High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WAR17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saint Martin

Favorite Quote

Straight Talk Makes For $Straight Understanding

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/10/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Charles Warfield, Jr. (1949 - ) served as president and chief operating officer of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Inc., and as vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio.

Employment

Ernst & Young

RCA Corporation

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Inc.

WBLS Radio

WLIB Radio

Summit Broadcasting Corporation/WRKS-FM

WDAS Radio

Chancellor Media Corporation

AMFM, Inc.

YMF Media, LLC

Medger Evers College

Uptown Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Warfield, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls spending the summers in Rappahannock County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early responsibilities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his brother with Down syndrome

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his relationship with his twin brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his family's holiday traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his childhood hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his experiences at Kramer Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early academic interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his start at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his decision to major in accounting

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the student protests at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the closure of the Hampton Institute in 1971

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision not to live in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his work at S.D. Leidesdorf and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his work at the RCA Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers joining the staff of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his career advice to African American youth

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his transition to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his interview at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his coworkers at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the influence of radio deejays

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Frankie Crocker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his role in station acquisitions at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his contributions to the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his promotion to vice president and general manager of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's human resources system

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the process of acquiring a radio station

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the challenges of managing a nationwide media company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the impact of recessions on the black radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the Quiet Storm radio format

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the competitors to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his decision to join WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remember Barry A. Mayo

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the audience of WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his changes at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his career at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his departure from WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his attempts to invest in a radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers working for Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls joining the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the longevity of WVON Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the role of syndication in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the importance of community relationships in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his experiences as senior vice president of the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his return to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about changes in the radio market

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the introduction of the portable people meter

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about competition from satellite radio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls serving on the executive committee of the National Association of Broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the conflict between Cathy Hughes and Dionne Warwick

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the bankruptcy of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the divestiture of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's assets

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the underrepresentation of African American radio executives

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the dissolution of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of black broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his contributions to the broadcasting industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for African Americans in the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

2$10

DATitle
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations
Transcript
Can you describe the organization you're coming into; and who, who some of the key players are, and, and what--because at this point--let's see--Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] began--I thought it began in (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Began in '72 [1972] with--$$It's--$$ --the AM--'74 [1974] with the FM [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], and by '75 [1975], '76 [1976], going into '77 [1977], FM had overtaken AM as the primary band for entertainment on the radio. And I was a bit star struck when I--when I first went into the company. I had--you're listening to the radio in New York City [New York, New York], and I listened to a lot of radio. And I'm, I'm here with the home of Frankie Crocker and Ken Webb and [HistoryMaker] Vy Higginsen on the air. It's--this is Percy Sutton's company. This is a high profile job opportunity in New York City. So you're, you're struck with that. You have the artists that come through the radio station that you would see from time to time coming to pay homage quite honestly to the man, Frankie Crocker. There was also [HistoryMaker] Hal Jackson, who was there as a vice chairman of the country--company. And Pepe--Pierre--Percy Sutton, who was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch, was in and out. And Charles Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] was in and out; and [HistoryMaker] Basil Paterson was in and out. And, and these kinds of people were in the environment all the time. David Lampel, who was the news director--people that you would hear on the radio, and now I'm here in this company, and it--yeah, it made--it made me feel very good. It was an important job, but then the reality of the work that you're facing, you know, sort of hits you in the face and says you got a real job here. All this was before computers. Records were maintained on handwritten cards, receivable cards. Human error was involved. They had a manual system for putting commercials on the air. And once the commercial ran--getting the commercial on an invoice and being billed, and how they handled the collection of money and offsets against accounts receivable, and, and the, the manual--our means of processing checks. There was a real need for the job at that point, and I embraced that, and I--and I worked hard as I was taught to always do--gained the confidence of, of people. One thing I learned at this point--and I, I guess I was learning it along the way is that I'm very good at the numbers; I understand the numbers; I can explain the numbers, but I wanted more in my life. I also had an interest in engaging with people. I wanted to learn the business, but I wanted to do more than be in the--the bean counter that's upstairs or downstairs or around the corner in accounting. And prep--Percy Sutton, when he lost the race for mayor and came into the company as chairman of the company, began to give me more and more responsibility and respect and, and counted on me. In the first year I was there I spent working with a consultant to the company, had engaged to raise money to buy radio stations in other cities, which was a very difficult thing to do in 1977 because African Americans--one you're in radio; you--it's a business you don't know because the entrepreneurs in radio at that point were successful business people in either arenas who are now investing in radio were not seasoned broadcasters, and they were surrounded by seasoned broadcasters. So we didn't have a lot of confidence in financial institutions to lend us money. But the first year I was there working with a consultant we were able to convince Citibank [Citibank, N.A.] to lend the company $15 million, which in 1978 allowed the company to buy an FM station in Detroit [Michigan], an AM/FM station in San Francisco [California], and an AM/FM station in Los Angeles [California] and get change back. Now today, you can't buy WLIB [WLIB Radio] in New York today for anything approaching--uh, maybe $15 million today you possibly could, but there's a valuation today that's totally different from what it was in, in those days. But I gained the confidence of, of Dorothy Brunson and, and Percy Sutton at that point, and he allowed me to learn more about the business and become more involved in, in other aspects and ultimately appointed me as the vice president and general manager of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] in 1981, replacing his son [HistoryMaker Pierre Sutton], who was de facto in that position and had been in that position when Dorothy Brunson left to run her own company. I will always be thankful to Inner City Broadcasting, to Percy Sutton. I don't believe that had I been a controller working for CBS or NBC or, or the other broadcast companies I would have ever been given an opportunity. And I've never taken that for granted, giving me the opportunity to learn the business. As I say, I learned the business from the bottom up. I learned the business from a P and L [profit and loss] perspective: here's how much money we're gonna make but understanding well, how do we get there? And it's because of the trust that he in- that he showed in me during my tenure there with Inner City Broadcasting.$One of the challenges--and, and I--and I take this seriously, with being one of the few African Americans given the opportunities that I've been given in this industry, I have to speak on behalf of those that did not get the opportunity that I have. I have to speak on behalf of the communities that we serve. And when I started with this company, I mentioned that it grew from roughly twenty-five stations to ninety-six. And they had a staff meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where they brought in the managers of all of all ninety-six of their radio operations. Six of us were African American out of these ninety-six managers. And I'm--and I'm in the room, and there's six people whose careers I followed-- Verna Greene in Detroit [Michigan]; [HistoryMaker] Jerry Rushin in Miami [Florida]. There was not an African American in, in Phila- in Los Angeles [California]. I'm running DAS [WDAS Radio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] AM and FM. Chester Schofield was running Power [WUSL Radio] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. [HistoryMaker] Marv Dyson was running GCI [WGCI Radio] in, in MXD [WMXD Radio, Detroit, Michigan]--I mean, GCI in--$$In Chicago [Illinois].$$ --in Chicago. Legendary individuals in this business, very successful in their own right, and they're all under this umbrella of Chancellor Media [Chancellor Media Corporation] at this point. In '98 [1998], I was approached by Jimmy deCastro as to whether I would be interested in overseeing the urban properties. Because I'm challenging them every opportunity I get, why aren't there more qualified African Americans that you can hire to run some of these radio properties, not just urban. I can run more than urban. That's what I run; that's what I'm comfortable with; that's what I been challenged to do and I've been successful at, but there need--there's the need for more diversity here. And you, you--if you're in the room where you can have the conversation, you have a responsibility to have the conversation. They gave me an opportunity for about six months to oversee the urban operations, so I was not only running DAS AM and FM in Philly, I was also over Power in Philadelphia. I was overseeing EDR [WEDR Radio, Miami, Florida] in Miami [Florida], Marv's stations in Chicago, ZAK [WZAK Radio] in, in Cleveland [Ohio]--there are two stations in Cleveland--the Beat [KKBT Radio; KRRL Radio] in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. I had--we had ten of the top urban radio stations in America under Chancellor Media that I had an opportunity to be involved with. In my, my under--what I do, I don't tell them how to run their radio stations. I can't tell Marv Dyson how to run a radio station. He's been doing that successfully for more years than I have. It's how do we help bring resources to help these stations continue to grow under the banner of Chancellor Media? And from there a few months later with some corporate changes, I was given an opportunity to, to drop the urban operations title, and I took on a cluster of thirty radio stations for Chancellor Media, AMFM [AMFM, Inc.], which concluded all of their stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta [Georgia], Miami, and Puerto Rico. So I had a thirty station region that I was responsible for which was all different types of formats--$$That's--$$ -- (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous)huge then. So what--how long did you do that?$$ I did that for about a year and a half, until the announced merger with, with Clear Channel [Clear Channel Communications, Inc.]. And I had an opportunity to stay with the company or to leave; and I exercised an option to leave (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) To leave (audio disturbance).

Dolly Adams

Nonprofit executive Dolly Desselle Adams was born in Marksville, Louisiana on August 13, 1931, the only child of Moses J. Following her graduation from of Xavier University Preparatory High School in New Orleans, Adams enrolled at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she received her B.S. degree. Adams went on to earn her M.A. degree in education from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D degree in education from Baylor University.

As an educator, Adams has held a variety of positions, including elementary school teacher and administrator; college dean and Professor at the University of Michigan, Wilberforce University, Albany State College, Paul Quinn College, and Howard University School of Law. Adams last served as an adjunct professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also held outstanding leadership positions in community service organizations. Her role as Episcopal Supervisor of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) and the Ministers’ Wives of the Tenth (Texas), Second (Mid-Atlantic States), Sixth (Georgia) and Seventh (South Carolina) and Eleventh (Florida and Bahamas) Episcopal Districts covered a span of 32 years. Adams served for four years as National President of The Links, Inc., and The Links Foundation, Inc., and five years as National President of the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. In addition, Adams served on the board of directors of the United Negro College Fund, Paul Quinn College Foundation, the Southern University Foundation and the sisters of Charity Foundation. Adams now serves on the Board of Directors of the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc., the WMS Foundation and the Links, Inc.

From 1982-86, Adams was cited as one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony Magazine, and Dollars & Sense Magazine named her as one of the “Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women” 1986 and 1987. Adams is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the N.A.A.C.P. In recognition of her services in South Carolina, the Governor presented to her the Order of the Palmetto, the highest citation given by the State to a citizen.

Adams and her husband, Reverend John Hurst Adams, live in Atlanta, Georgia. They are the parents of three successful daughters: Attorney Gaye Adams Massey, Dr. Jann Adams, and Madelyn R. Adams

Dolly Desselle Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.246

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/13/2012

Last Name

Adams

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

University of Michigan

Southern University Laboratory School

Baylor University

First Name

Dolly

Birth City, State, Country

Marksville

HM ID

ADA12

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Ft Walton, Florida

Favorite Quote

Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God, And His Righteousness; And All These Things Shall Be Added Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/13/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (Seafood)

Short Description

Educator and nonprofit chief executive Dolly Adams (1931 - ) served as the national president of The Links and the Black Women’s Agenda.

Employment

New Orleans Public Schools

University of Michigan

Wilberforce University

Albany State College

Paul Quinn College

Seattle Public Schools

Head Start

Neuropsychiatric Institute

Howard University Law School

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:12620,100:18650,111:23638,165:28788,194:33928,247:34232,256:34992,323:35448,330:36588,369:38710,377:41720,425:42236,432:44816,528:56916,721:72620,934:77492,1052:90405,1297:91000,1309:109570,1518:109890,1523:111970,1552:112290,1557:112610,1570:113330,1580:114290,1595:116530,1647:117970,1670:119330,1688:128712,1762:135663,1866:136473,1878:150418,2022:150730,2027:154162,2148:154474,2153:159394,2216:162280,2273:162724,2280:167164,2373:180070,2617:183510,2685:184710,2709:185110,2715:188430,2761$0,0:612,12:1088,20:3400,89:6080,105:6619,113:7004,119:13492,245:13876,250:15316,260:18196,305:18964,314:19540,322:23890,336:24430,343:25060,353:25870,365:29290,419:31360,501:38572,599:40000,636:46580,727:52952,806:67328,1143:83250,1319:83718,1326:91030,1490:93886,1546:104090,1732:116450,1861
DAStories

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

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams describes her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams describes her parents' personalities and her likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams describes her education in Marksville, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams remembers her educational influences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams recalls the educational environment at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams remembers the Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams recalls her graduation from Xavier University Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams recalls the mentorship of Professor Julia Purnell

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams remembers the end of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams remembers the marching band at Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams remembers substitute teaching in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams recalls her decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams remembers segregation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls working at the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams recalls joining the faculty of Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams remembers Wilberforce University President Charles Leander Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams remembers meeting her husband, Bishop John Hurst Adams

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams recalls moving to Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes her role as the dean of students at Paul Quinn College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams lists the schools affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams remembers moving to Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams describes her husband's education

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls the reprisals against her civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams remembers the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dolly Adams remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams talks about the renaming of King County, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams describes the Grant A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes the founding of The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams talks about the activities of The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams describes her duties and mentors in the church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams talks about female preachers in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams recalls her husband's election as bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams describes her doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams talks about the benefits of online universities

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls her experiences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams talks about her work with Planned Parenthood in Waco, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams recalls teaching at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her community involvement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams recalls traveling to Kenya with The Links

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes The Links' international presence

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams remembers writing 'She in the Glass House'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams remembers living in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams talks about the Gullah culture

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams describes the services in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams describes her work in Charleston, South Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams describes her work in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes the Black Women's Agenda

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her activities during retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 1
Dolly Adams recalls the reprisals against her civil rights activism
Transcript
Waco [Texas] was a nice, very segregated country town, but here again, we had our own system of, of survival. When, when Waco dec- dec- well, when we decided--when integration came, one of the first places that was picketed was across the street from the campus [Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas; Dallas, Texas]. It was a little store, a little--one of those 7-Eleven stores, which would not employ any of our students, but nobody bought anything in there except black folk, kids from the campus or people who lived around the campus. So, we--I was on the picket line and, of course, they picket--our kids picketed downtown. I remember they called my husband [HistoryMaker Bishop John Hurst Adams] and said--the mayor called and told him, "Come get your, your students. They're sitting out here at one of these lunch counters." He said, "Well, if you fed them--they probably can't even afford to pay for the Coke, so if you, you offer to them, you would--you would be able to get rid of them. Otherwise, they can stay there until you decide, you know, what you're gonna do." And he said, "Well, we'll put them in jail." He said, "And I'll come get them out of jail and they'll be back there tomorrow." So, they--Waco was one of those towns that was very pragmatic and they really did not want all of that. So, they asked my husband to come down and talk with them and they ended by fiat, the may--the mayor integrated all of the downtown eating facilities the next day.$$Yeah. Now, I've heard a few stories like this where segregation seems like it's hard, a hard line until somebody challenges it and it fades.$$Well, the truth of the matter was we lived in separate enclaves anyway. We weren't all over town, but to say--it's--it was stupid to say here is a store in the middle, next door to your house and you can go in and buy in that store, you can keep him in business, but you cannot--they will not employ--they bring in people to employ, won't employ any of your kids.$$Okay. So, now, now were you or your husband a member of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] or the--$$Oh, yeah.$$Okay.$$I was very active in the NA--NAACP. I was the secretary at that time and that's another interesting story. I had teachers in the public schools of, of Waco who would give me their dues, but I was--they would tell me, "You cannot report my name. You can--I will give you the money, but don't ever tell them who gave it to you."$$Okay, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So, I, I, I collected a whole lot of money from people. They were afraid of their jobs. They didn't know what was gonna happen if they found out they were NAACP. But, because we worked for a black church, there was nothing they could do to us.$Back to our time in Seattle [Washington]. Our time in Seattle was marvelous, but it was also tumultuous because those marches, while they didn't make the kind of publicity that, that King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] did down here, they were life changing there. As a matter of fact, my, my children were in school and we became targets. There was a racist who used to call me every night. He seemed to know when my husband [HistoryMaker Bishop John Hurst Adams] was gone. He'd be at church or at some meeting, and he would call and make threats and, you know, "What do you niggers want?" And, "Why, why are you doing this?" And I was trying very hard to be conciliatory and I would speak to him very nicely until one Sunday night he called and he said, "Yeah, you've got two daughters, three daughters, one is Gaye [Gaye Adams Massey] and one is Jann [Jann H. Adams] and they're at McGilvra [McGilvra Elementary School, Seattle, Washington]," it was a elementary school, "and Madelyn [Madelyn R. Adams] is in a Montessori school," and our telephone was tapped. We knew this. The police put a tap on the telephone because they knew they'd been calling and stuff, and I lost it. I promised all sorts of things I was gonna do to that man if he--if he touched my children. So, the next morning, the police came to see me and said, "Ms. Adams [HistoryMaker Dolly Adams], do you have a gun?" I said, "No." The man said, "Well, you need one. After what you told him, he just may come after you." So, they took me down to the police department, they gave me a gun, took me to the firing range and taught me how to use it, gave me the ammunition and told me if he comes up those stairs or gets anyplace near your children, feel free to shoot him and I promised I would. I never had to, praise the Lord, but I had every intention of doing so.

The Honorable Sylvester Turner

State representative and lawyer Sylvester Turner was born on September 27, 1954 in Acres Homes, Texas. His mother was a maid at the Rice Hotel and his father, a commercial painter. Turner was raised with eight brothers and sisters. In 1973, he graduated as the valedictorian of Klein High School. Four years later, Turner received his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Houston, after which he attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. degree in 1980.

Turner was hired at the Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski. After three years, Turner left and formed his own law firm with partner Barry M. Barnes. Barnes & Turner specialize in corporate and commercial law. In 1984, Turner ran for a Harris County Commissioner seat, but he lost to El Franco Lee. In 1988, he won the seat in the Texas House of Representatives for District 139, a mostly minority district. Turner also taught at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, the South Texas College of Law, and at the University of Houston Law School’s continuing legal education program. He also ran for the mayor of Houston twice, once in 1991 where he lost in a hotly contested race, and again in 2003, where he lost to Bill White. In 2003, Turner became the Speaker Pro Tempore in the Texas House of Representatives, a post he held until 2009. His major legislative accomplishment, HB 109, expanded access to the children’s health insurance program and was passed in 2007.

Turner sits on the State Affairs committee and is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee. He is also on the Subcommittee on the Current Fiscal Condition. He is a member of Brookhollow Baptist Church and has one daughter, Ashley Paige Turner.

Sylvester Turner was interviewed by The HistoryMakers<\em> on August 15, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.156

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/15/2012

Last Name

Turner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

Harvard Law School

University of Houston

Klein Forest High School

Garden City Elementary and Junior High School

Klein Intermediate School

First Name

Sylvester

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

TUR07

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ That Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

9/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Ox Tails

Short Description

Mayor, state representative, and lawyer The Honorable Sylvester Turner (1954 - ) represented district 139 in the Texas House of Representatives from 1988 to 2016, when he became the mayor of Houston, Texas. He also founded the law firm of Barnes and Turner LLP.

Employment

Texas House of Representatives

Barnes & Turner

University of Houston

South Texas College of Law

Texas Southern University

Fulbright & Jaworski

City of Houston, Texas

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:380,8:1604,36:7724,163:8156,170:10316,223:18750,252:22422,313:26358,341:27285,351:50377,577:57466,610:77669,792:78024,798:78734,811:79799,830:80083,835:92624,969:94016,988:106892,1136:140006,1522:141014,1533:144934,1619:167844,1904:173690,1994:180690,2087:181880,2120:191646,2255:208620,2463:208990,2469:213334,2656:219318,2808:259770,3011:266990,3079:281530,3243:285824,3263:286164,3269:292840,3443:299198,3492:302405,3528:304170,3536:304548,3549:304764,3554:305142,3563:308916,3627:313108,3672:313888,3683:317554,3751:325020,3807:325460,3812:366638,4401:367070,4416:370785,4464:371050,4470:371262,4475:372240,4499$0,0:27348,354:28086,361:28988,373:33062,403:35174,434:39650,465:53194,619:54118,632:54454,637:72446,774:91845,962:94811,990:97624,1076:123530,1376:123850,1381:129690,1507:141350,1624:142946,1649:165488,1935:186730,2255:204944,2400:212130,2475:212410,2481:212802,2490:233200,2640
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Sylvester Turner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers working with his dad

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his roots in Chappell Hill, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Acres Homes community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his experiences of school integration in Houston, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about African American political representation in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the African American community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers being bused to an all-white school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his experiences of school integration

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his early ambitions

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes the demographics of Klein High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his influences at the Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his community in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his valedictorian speech

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his father's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his early aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his decision to attend the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his friendships with Leroy Hassell

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his social life at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Derrick A. Bell, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the faculty of the Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his club football team at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls hearing a female preacher for the first time

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his internship at Fulbright and Jaworski LLP in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers founding Barnes and Turner LLP

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers losing his first political campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his campaign for the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls his election to the Texas House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his interest in healthcare reform

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his first campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about the aftermath of the 1991 mayoral election in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers Lee P. Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about politics in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about political redistricting in Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his legislative achievements

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers his second campaign for the mayoralty of Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers the passage of Texas House Bill 109

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner remembers meeting President Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his work in the Acres Homes section of Houston, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

2$8

DATitle
The Honorable Sylvester Turner describes a memorable legal case
The Honorable Sylvester Turner recalls arguing a civil suit against the Phillips Petroleum Company
Transcript
Now, is there a memorable case from that period of time that you can tell us about?$$I guess it's, it's one in particular. The plaintiff was a guy by the name of Willie Harris [ph.]. I guess it is memorable since I still remember it, and that's been years ago. But, anyway, Willie was an entrepreneur, African American, and he was in his company's truck, and he was coming over the Ship, Ship Channel Bridge [Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge, Houston, Texas]. And this 18-wheeler hit him, and he was seriously injured, and he sued the 18-wheeler. I represented the company. And, and I made him an offer through his attorney, and he did not, he did not accept the offer to settle. It end up--it went to trial. I made him another offer, and his attorney did not accept it. And, quite frankly, you know, I had, I had much more to give, okay. And, but, and so, we went to trial. During the trial, I made him another offer, attorney didn't accept it. And then, the attorney came to me during the trial, and asked me, was the offer still on the table? And I said, "Well, if you accept it now." Now, mind you, I had a lot more to give. And in many ways, I said to myself, the attorney is crazy as hell (unclear) to be accepting--I mean, I represent my client, so if, you know, and so, I say, "Yeah, if you, if you accept it now, it's on the table." This is during the course of trial. And he went over and talked to Willie, and I could, and I could kind of hear and see the exchange, where Willie was not liking the offer. And his attorney kept talking to him, kept talking to him, kept talking. And Willie finally relented and said, "Okay." And the attorney came to me and said, "We'll accept." And in my mind, I was saying, "You're crazy as hell but, okay, no problem." So, when he stood before the judge to announce that the case had settled, and the judge said, "All parties in agreement?" I said, you know, "It's the best terms for the defendant, judge, yes, I'm in agreement." Asked the other attorney, the attorney said, "Yes." And the judge asked Willie Harris. "Mr. Harris, are you in agreement with the settlement?" And he kind of said, "Oh, well," and said, "You should, well, you don't have to--are you in agreement with it?" And attorney, his attorney looked at him, and he finally said, "Yeah, yeah." And she said, "Okay, all parties in agreement. This case is dismissed." It's over. So, I was packing up, and Willie comes over to me. And he said, "Mr.," he said, "Mr. Turner [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], you know, I'm hurt, you know, I'm hurt, and this does not cover me for my injuries," and stuff like that. And I said, I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent, I represent my client, and I did my job." And he said, "But, brother, you know, I'm--," he said, "Brother, you know, I'm hurt." I said, "Mr. Harris, I'm not your attorney. I represent my client. I did my job." And, and my client and I got up, and we walked out. That one, that one stands out because it's one of those deals that, yeah, you know, he had a poor lawyer. Had a poor lawyer, but it's not a case where I can be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for his client as well. Okay. Now, subsequently, a few years later, I'm no longer at Fulbright [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP], and now I'm in my own shop [Barnes and Turner LLP; Barry Barnes and Associates PLLC, Houston, Texas]. Willie comes to me, and became my client, you know, but that one stands out. And, and, and because it's nothing like having a good lawyer. It's nothing like having somebody that's going to advocate for you, and fight for you, and get everything that's on the--that's potentially is on the table for you. Nothing like having a good lawyer. And in his case, his lawyer fell short, and he paid the price.$$I heard such cases before when cold--cold aspects of law sometimes, you know, the people don't know. They--$$You know--$$--don't give, give a thing (unclear).$$Right, but you can't be, you know, the way the system is designed, you know, I can't be the lawyer for my client, and be the lawyer for you at the same time. And my job is, as a lawyer is to represent my client, and represent my client zealously, and do the best I can, so but it points out the importance of having quality representation, and not only quality representation, you've got to have people who are willing to advocate for you.$$Okay.$$And if you don't have that, you'll fall short.$Now, in 1989, you sued Phillips Petroleum [Phillips Petroleum Company; Phillips 66]. That's when the big Phillips plant explosion--$$Um-hm.$$--okay, that's the Phillips plant explosion case. Tell us about that.$$(Cough) I represented Janet Little. She was an employee at Phillips Petroleum. Interesting story on how we met--I was speaking at a, at a church association banquet in--I want to say, in Sealy, Texas. And she and her parents were in the audience. Later, goes the Phillips Petroleum explos- explosion. And her mom calls me here at the firm and says--she introduced herself, Ms. Foy, and she says, "My daughter has been seriously burnt. And there are a lot of lawyers that are around here at (unclear). But she asked me to call you because she wanted, she wanted the lawyer that spoke at the banquet, and that was you." And then, we--I met with them and signed on, and represented her, and I had a very favorable outcome. She's been a client with this firm ever since. From the proceeds, her father [Charles H. Foy] was a pastor in Dickinson, Texas. And from part of the proceeds, she, she built, she constructed a new church in Dickinson [Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church] and paid for it herself, which is one of the, one of the largest churches now in Dickinson, Texas. You know, it was, it was, it just started the ball, the ball just--things just started changing in the, in the life of the firm.$$So, the plant was caused by some negligence of Phillips?$$Yeah, they were, they were negligent and then caused the explosion. And I represent Anna Brooks [ph.] and her, and a couple of other people. Ironically, the people that were defending, the lawyers that were defending Phillips came from Fulbright and Jaworski [Fulbright and Jaworski LLP]. And one of, and one of my mentors, Blake Tartt, was the lead attorney.$$That's, that's interesting.$$Yeah. And we were in, we were in a conference room which it was a settlement meeting. And we were talking and, you know, and Blake says, "Sylvester [HistoryMaker Sylvester Turner], are we going to get this case settled?" And I said, "I hope so, Mr. Tartt." He would call me Sylvester and I called him Mr. Tartt 'cause I'd looked up to him. And then, he asked me, how much was I asking for. And I, I wrote him a note on a sheet, on a sheet of paper, and I forwarded it to him. And he crossed it out, and sent a note back and, and I told him, I said, "If I accepted this, you would, you would lose all respect for me, and I would not be the, the student that you had taught well." So, I crossed it out, and sent him another note. And he said, "Done."

Martin Nesbitt

Transportation Chief Executive, Presidential Advisor, and City Government Official Martin Nesbitt was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1962, to Margaret and Martin Nesbitt. He graduated from Columbus Academy High School and went on to receive his B.S. degree from Albion College in 1985. He began working for the General Motors Acceptance Corporation as an analyst and while there qualified for a fellowship from GM to attend the University of Chicago to attain his M.B.A. degree. After he graduated from the University of Chicago, he went to work for LaSalle Partners as an associate. In 1991, he was promoted to vice president of the company. In addition to meeting his future wife during his time at the University of Chicago, Nesbitt became good friends with future President of the United States Barack Obama.

In 1996, while looking for investors in an airport parking company he was hoping to start, he became acquainted with Penny Pritzker of the Pritzker Realty group. She was impressed with Nesbitt, and invited him to become Vice President of her organization. Nesbitt served in that capacity for two years before receiving the funding to found his own airport parking and transportation corporation called The Parking Spot. Nesbitt began serving as president and CEO of the company.

In 2003, Nesbitt was appointed to the Chicago Housing Authority, which had recently come back under the city of Chicago’s control and had begun to implement the Plan for Transformation to completely overhaul the public housing system in Chicago. Three years later, Nesbitt began serving as vice chairman of the CHA and was quickly appointed chairman by Mayor Richard Daley. In 2007, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States and Nesbitt became his campaign treasurer. Obama won the election and Nesbitt returned to work for The Parking Spot, although he and Obama have remained in close contact during his presidency.

Nesbitt has been active in the Big Brothers/Sisters of American program and has served as the Chairman of the DuSable District of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a trustee of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, a member of the University of Chicago Laboratory School Board, and was a member of the United Negro College Fund Advisory Council.

Accession Number

A2010.101

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/26/2010

Last Name

Nesbitt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

H.

Schools

Crestview Middle School

Columbus Preparatory Academy

Albion College

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Buckeye Preparatory Academy

First Name

Martin

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

NES03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Luck Is Where Preparation Meets Opportunity.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/29/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Transportation chief executive Martin Nesbitt (1962 - ) was the founder, president and CEO of the airport parking corporation, The Parking Spot. He was also a close friend and advisor of President Barack Obama.

Employment

General Motors Company

LaSalle Partners

Pritzker Realty Group

The Parking Spot

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3139,70:6862,148:7373,161:7884,209:9344,234:11826,282:18262,455:23310,495:24506,513:25242,530:25794,537:29290,589:30026,598:34074,684:35822,720:36282,727:40859,750:41237,757:41741,766:42371,784:42686,790:45590,816:46094,830:46514,836:49370,887:49874,895:50882,910:53370,915:53730,922:54510,944:54930,952:55530,965:55890,972:57430,979:57934,986:59698,1014:60118,1020:61042,1037:61378,1042:61882,1049:62554,1058:66065,1104:68001,1135:75335,1208:75651,1213:77073,1236:79522,1286:82592,1302:89464,1457:91324,1496:94393,1546:95137,1555:95974,1570:96346,1575:96904,1588:106030,1680:106714,1691:107246,1702:107550,1707:108386,1735:111170,1779:114005,1816:114740,1831:117155,1870:119670,1875:120182,1887:120630,1895:120886,1900:121974,1940:122870,1957:123382,1966:123638,1971:124918,2002:129285,2051:130672,2079:131256,2090:132132,2112:132789,2122:136901,2171:137571,2183:141410,2236:143930,2283:145010,2297:145460,2303:151223,2334:151871,2352:152195,2357:152762,2365:153329,2374:156567,2407:156963,2412:160230,2469:166090,2530:177552,2653:178564,2664:185980,2751:186456,2760:187068,2770:188564,2839:191080,2883:192032,2908:192712,2921:197580,2972:199032,2985:203730,3010:204566,3028:205706,3042:206010,3056:206466,3072:209695,3093:210325,3106:211690,3121:216454,3157:217126,3171:217990,3183:218374,3188:220582,3228:222406,3268:227632,3282:231266,3308:240430,3443:241950,3468:242406,3475:242786,3482:243242,3498:243926,3510:258804,3677:263090,3737:263678,3782:270970,3855:271290,3860:282230,3997:282824,4007:287774,4080:288078,4085:288534,4093:289750,4112:291954,4162:292714,4181:293474,4193:293854,4199:298410,4216:306660,4302:318470,4429$0,0:2225,48:6979,68:8112,81:8524,86:12984,151:28507,452:36844,512:50796,803:54092,876:54596,971:59936,1026:74222,1212:74550,1217:74878,1222:75206,1227:85550,1333:86229,1342:89020,1361:89643,1369:93026,1439:93439,1448:93970,1501:94560,1514:96570,1519:98470,1544:99770,1558:101170,1594:101670,1605:102170,1611:102970,1620:107370,1705:113092,1809:115765,1851:117142,1871:123534,1949:124173,1960:125096,1975:126658,2024:127084,2034:127510,2041:130120,2050:130824,2059:131176,2064:133464,2122:134960,2142:138776,2164:142988,2260:144122,2297:144770,2306:159510,2486:160134,2493:162862,2512:166096,2594:167482,2623:168021,2643:174456,2746:175248,2761:181436,2862:181740,2867:182196,2874:182652,2881:184613,2890:185858,2921:186190,2926:186605,2932:190140,2969:190440,2974:191340,2992:192015,3003:192315,3008:193215,3028:193965,3043:196365,3116:197415,3139:197715,3144:202712,3186:204434,3221:211685,3317:216055,3444:216530,3450:217100,3459:223718,3549:224158,3555:225302,3571:226182,3584:229614,3654:234407,3700:243166,3855:243662,3864:244220,3883:247740,3923:248060,3970
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Martin Nesbitt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the history of landownership in his father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt describes his father's personality and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes his early years in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt remembers Crestview Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt recalls how he avoided dangerous behavior

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his experiences at Crestview Junior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his black peers at Crestview Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his teachers at Crestview Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt remembers applying for A Better Chance scholarship

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his start at Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his classmates at the Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt describes his mentors at the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt recalls playing football at the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his high school basketball coach, Jack MacMullan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes the success of his classmates from the Columbus Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt recalls the deaths of his childhood friends

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his decision to attend Albion College in Albion, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his early career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his interest in business

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes his first year at the General Motors Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt recalls leaving the General Motors Company to attend the University of Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt describes the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt recalls working at the LaSalle Partners in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt remembers his early acquaintances in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes his role as equity vice president at the LaSalle Partners

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt recalls starting his company, The Parking Spot

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his partnership with the Pritzker family

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his coworkers at the LaSalle Partners

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the early business plan for The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt describes his company, The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his goals for The Parking Spot

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt describes his approach to leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt talks about his friendship with the Obama family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt recalls playing basketball with Chicago's business leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt describes his support of Barack Obama's U.S. Senate campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt talks about U.S. Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt remembers supporting Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt talks about President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt describes a presidential campaign rally in Iowa

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Martin Nesbitt talks about the controversies during Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Martin Nesbitt remembers the night of the 2008 presidential election

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Martin Nesbitt remembers President Barack Obama's first inauguration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Martin Nesbitt recalls his optimism during Barack Obama's presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Martin Nesbitt describes his friendship with President Barack Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his hopes for President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Martin Nesbitt describes his family, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Martin Nesbitt describes his family, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Martin Nesbitt describes his concerns about the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his hopes for the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Martin Nesbitt reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
Martin Nesbitt remembers his start at Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio
Martin Nesbitt recalls starting his company, The Parking Spot
Transcript
I want--two things I want to ask you. Do you remember the day you got your letter of acceptance? Do you remember that day, and do you remember the first day of school [at Columbus Academy, Gahanna, Ohio]?$$I remember, yes, I--well I remember finding out that I got the scholarship through the counselor at school [Crestview Junior High School, Columbus, Ohio], and not getting a letter at my house. I don't know why. Maybe their letter did come to the house, I just wasn't aware of it, and I remember I played football, little league football once I got to the sixth grade. So I was a football player, I mean I had a lot of experience. First of all, we played football every day practically in the neighborhood and then I started playing little league football when I was in the sixth grade, and then so by the time I got to ninth grade I was, I knew I wanted to play football so I went to campus for two days before school started. So I started going to the school before school started, and I remember the coach asking me if I'd ever played football before and I said, "Yeah," and he said, "What position did you play?" And I said I played cornerback which is a defensive back, right. He thought I said quarterback which I've never played quarterback, right. So he made me a quarterback and that lasted for my whole freshman year 'til he really figured out I couldn't throw a football. You know I was not a very good quarterback, but I couldn't find the way to tell him, "No. I said cornerback not quarterback," (laughter), but so I remember that and I was very small at the time. I was kind of a late bloomer physically so I would--I mean I was, I weighed like 118 pounds and this was a high school. I mean these kids, some kids were over two hundred pounds, and then I remember--so when I got, when school finally started I, there were a certain set of guys that I knew because they were on the football team, but I wasn't respected on the football team because one, we hadn't started playing yet; and two, I was really small. And I remember walking--well, now this was a campus and there were different buildings and it was on you know, I don't know a hundreds of acres that this school was on and I remember walking from one of the academic buildings towards the cafeteria and being challenged by a kid and he was behind me, and we were walking down the stairs and there were a bunch of boys around and he was making you know sort of these, sort of derogatory jabs at me while I had my back turned and sort of poking me on my back and I stopped on the stairs, I turned around and I grabbed him around his neck and I wrapped his head around the rail, this metal rail and he had braces and his mouth started bleeding and I was--just made the statement that it doesn't happen this way, right (laughter). I'm--the guy you think I am, I'm not that guy. I mean I'm a nice guy, I'm gonna be a nice guy and respectful but I'm, you're not gonna bully me, and that sort of established who I was on campus, but I was still very, a very you know nice kid, but I grew up a lot at, at school, both physically and emotionally and.$$In what way?$$You know a lot of things were very different there, the traditions and the hierarchy and sort of the you know, you know the path that you were expected to take and the hurdles you had to cross and just the whole way things were systematized and traditionalized there and I had no, I had no respect for that kind of system when I came. I didn't know how to respect it and I you know, as a freshman I think I was a little immature and sort of ignoring some of the rites of passage and stuff that they had set up there, but I quickly adapted and, and learned to respect sort of the way things worked and, and what the expectations were, but it was also very challenging for me academically because up to that point I was never really challenged academically. I could you know get A's you know without really trying that hard and I--it took me a couple of years to figure out you know you gotta do the work, you gotta do all the work like in advance so you can review it, so you can (laughter) you know, and so there was a period while I was smart enough to do you know okay, I wasn't performing at sort of my potential because I just didn't have the skills. Nobody had taught me how to prepare for the rigor that was at that school. So there was a period of adjustment there.$And unbeknownst to me when we went to make this presentation, Penny Pritzker had been given my name by a headhunter as a potential candidate to fill a position that she needed to have filled in her real estate operations. So, they treated this whole thing like, "Man, not only do we have a chance to look at this parking, investment opportunity, but we get to interview this guy and he doesn't even know it," (laughter), right. So I go to this whole presentation and, and they like me. She called me back and said, "Hey, you know I probably would never do this deal with LaSalle [LaSalle Partners; Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, Chicago, Illinois] but you know what's at some point I might think about doing it with you." I was like, "Here's ten reasons why you should do it with LaSalle. Here's twenty reasons why you should do it with LaSalle," we, so we started the dialogue between us and over the course of--once I realized she was serious about not doing it with LaSalle no matter what I said, we started talking about this other thing and this other job she had and all this stuff, and finally I just switched and went over to the Pritzker Realty Group [Chicago, Illinois].$$So what was she saying that they were wanting to do because Pritzker just for context they owned the Hyatt.$$So the Pritzker family has a broad array of holdings, but the, highest profile is the Hyatt Hotels [Hyatt Hotels Corporation] and the Marmon Group of companies [Marmon Holdings, Inc., Chicago, Illinois] which is you know eighty, ninety different manufacturing companies around the world and then there were other holdings like Conwood [Conwood Sales Company LLC; American Snuff Company] and Royal Caribbean cruise lines [Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.] and so forth that they have. So you know a broad array of holdings and they had--Penny Pritzker was responsible for the family's non-hotel real estate. So she had this function where she was doing office and industrial and retail investment and development, and she had a couple of retail projects that had gone sideways a little bit and she was looking for somebody to come in and sort of rescue 'em. So that's what she was interested in me for and I was like, "You know well that's interesting but this is really what I'm doing." I read this business plan and, and she said, "Well you come and help me fix these problems and then we'll do this parking thing as partners." So I went and I, I went over and fixed the, the couple of retail things and then we started off on the parking thing, went to her Uncle Jay [Jay Pritzker] and made a presentation on the business plan. "This is the business, this is what I want to do," and I was hoping that he'd say, "Okay, well go buy one asset and show me how it works," but we had this long lunch meeting. At the end of the lunch meeting he said, "You know what this sounds really hard and challenging and I'm really not sure about this," and Penny said, "Jay, you had your chance. You were willing to work hard, you wanted to make something successful. Marty [HistoryMaker Martin Nesbitt] wants his chance. He's young, he's willing to work hard, he wants a chance to do it," and he said, "Okay, okay, let's throw $50 million at the idea and see how we like it." So we walked away and I was off and running. She said, "You heard him say 50 million, didn't you?" I said, "Yeah." She said, "Go to work," and I said--and I went off and the first person I called was Kevin Shrier [Kevin J. Shrier] and I hired Kevin Shrier to come and he was the first employee of the company. We started it from scratch with $50 million.$$Marty, what year is this?$$That was 1990, let's see I was at LaSalle for seven years, so that's '96 [1996], so it was, this was '97 [1997] probably when I made the call to Shrier. So '96 [1996] I started with Penny. I got her problems started to get 'em fixed and then '97 [1997] I started the business [The Parking Spot, Chicago, Illinois].

The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr.

Former Civil Sheriff of Orleans Parish Paul Raymond Valteau, Jr., was born on October 5, 1946, in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, Paul Valteau Sr. (1918-2003), was a mailman, and his mother, Udine Davis Valteau (1921-1996), was a schoolteacher. His father’s parents died when Valteau Sr. was very young, but his mother’s parents, Nelly Norman Davis, a housekeeper, and William H. Davis, a bricklayer, lived until 1974 and 1962, respectively. Valteau had two younger siblings, Eileen and Edward, and from 1960 to 1965 he attended St. Augustine High School, an all-boys parochial high school in New Orleans.

In 1969, Valteau obtained his B.A. degree from Dillard University in Sociology, and in 1972, he received his J.D. degree from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. From 1974 to 1976, Valteau served as a lawyer for the Louisiana legislature, then went on to work as a private practice lawyer with the firm Gerty, Ferry, & Valteau. In 1979, Valteau’s elder daughter, Michelle, was born, and in 1982, she was followed by her younger sister, Collette. That same year, Valteau was elected to Civil Sheriff of Orleans Parish, a position he would keep for twenty-eight years. In 2007, he married Paula T. Saizan in Houston, Texas.

From 2006 to 2009, Valteau served as Chairman of the R L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Committee. At a New Orleans City Council regular meeting on February 19, 2009, the council honored Valteau for his efforts on the Executive Committee of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF), commending him for his leadership and its role in the event’s growth. In 2010, Sheriff Marlin Gusman was elected as the first single sheriff of Orleans Parish since 1880; until then, Orleans Parish had separate civil and criminal sheriffs. Valteau, the civil sheriff, did not run against Gusman and instead retired from politics. He now heads the private law firm Valteau, Harris, Koenig, & Mayer.

Paul R. Valteau, Jr., was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.039

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/11/2010 |and| 8/19/2011

Last Name

Valteau

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

R.

Occupation
Schools

St. Augustine High School

Dillard University

Loyola University New Orleans

University of Cincinnati

Holy Ghost School

Blessed Sacrament School

First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

VAL01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Get it done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood (Louisiana)

Short Description

Lawyer The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. (1946 - ) was the Civil Sheriff of Orleans Parish and served for three years as chairman of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Committee.

Employment

Louisiana Legislature

The Grove, Inc.

Civil Sheriff of Orleans Parish

Gerdes, Thierry and Valteau

Ernest Morial

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:288,10:17826,290:19308,360:19932,369:25704,508:26484,521:26874,527:29058,592:29994,605:31476,682:31788,687:32256,694:32724,702:33426,714:34518,746:34830,751:35610,763:36000,769:43130,837:44010,861:52976,991:58268,1137:60116,1172:61628,1202:62216,1210:62804,1218:63560,1230:76925,1380:80082,1435:80621,1443:81468,1457:82161,1467:83470,1502:83855,1511:84548,1522:86627,1567:88860,1614:89168,1619:91093,1645:91555,1652:93403,1683:93788,1689:94250,1697:94635,1702:96791,1750:102750,1757:103602,1778:104525,1801:105519,1826:106229,1841:108004,1890:108927,1906:110276,1931:110702,1939:110986,1988:131915,2201:132341,2208:132838,2216:133548,2232:134116,2241:135465,2271:135749,2276:136246,2285:136672,2292:138802,2338:139725,2362:140293,2371:141997,2404:142565,2414:143133,2424:144837,2457:145121,2464:147961,2539:148316,2545:151014,2598:151298,2603:151866,2612:152789,2626:160348,2676:160636,2681:161212,2691:167430,2771:168078,2781:168366,2786:169230,2808:172821,2826:173976,2847:174746,2860:175593,2872:176979,2891:177826,2902:179289,2943:180290,2959:182754,3023:183293,3033:196734,3215:197094,3221:199326,3278:200550,3297:200910,3303:201198,3308:202062,3329:202350,3334:202926,3345:203286,3351:206921,3359:209666,3418:209910,3423:216250,3495:221384,3572:222212,3592:222488,3597:223868,3630:225869,3676:229733,3755:230423,3764:231251,3784:231872,3794:232148,3799:233114,3826:233459,3832:238220,3944:238841,3955:247070,4009:249710,4047:250110,4052:254110,4113:255630,4139:256430,4150:257950,4180:258990,4203:260670,4231:261070,4237:269020,4317:270265,4347:270597,4352:271676,4369:273253,4391:274083,4406:279727,4528:280640,4543:281304,4552:282549,4573:283130,4581:286950,4630:287350,4636:287670,4641:290470,4683:290790,4688:300490,4877$0,0:749,8:7877,89:8516,100:8800,109:11924,212:12208,217:12492,222:12847,229:20744,309:21249,315:24885,377:59044,999:64210,1039:64750,1046:68694,1061:69114,1067:70122,1078:73062,1130:73902,1148:74742,1165:81535,1255:89598,1339:93329,1373:97815,1428:100665,1495:102375,1537:103420,1554:104085,1562:115852,1669:116124,1674:116804,1686:120340,1758:124302,1786:124814,1795:125390,1807:130230,1857:131322,1919:134832,2000:148138,2139:150788,2189:154509,2212:155093,2221:159254,2295:159546,2300:162685,2366:171186,2485:171924,2504:174980,2533:183982,2637:184444,2645:197644,2880:198162,2900:202598,2954:203336,2965:205455,2979:208156,3032:211393,3061:220654,3187:221502,3197:222562,3205:223198,3212:225705,3253:226230,3261:240640,3481:241360,3491:242170,3502:242710,3509:243610,3520:245230,3541:248060,3559:248725,3568:250340,3588:253095,3627:255945,3705:256800,3716:264922,3792:266950,3839:273502,3969:285529,4115:286610,4126
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr.'s interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about his mother's name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his father's U.S. military service

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his father's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his earliest memory of prejudice

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his early civil rights activities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers being arrested during a civil rights demonstration

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the assassinations during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his experiences at Dillard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue a law career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his transition to the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls being drafted into the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls recruiting African Americans to the Loyola University College of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls working for the U.S. Department of Justice

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls one of his early discrimination cases

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his early law career

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls serving as Ernest Morial's campaign manager

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls Ernest Morial's election as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his election as the sheriff of Orleans Parish

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers modernizing the sheriffs' office in Orleans Parish

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls forming a reserve deputy association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the sheriff's office

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about the hurricanes prior to Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the first response to Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about the deaths following Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. reflects upon Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. reflects upon Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls founding The Grove, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his second wife

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about the BP oil rig explosion

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. explains how he came to join the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the Coordinating Council of Greater New Orleans

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the role of national sports organizations in integration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers the growth of black political power in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to pursue law

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes himself as a student at Dillard University

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to attend the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Ho norable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers recruiting African American law students

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the success of his minority recruitment program

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes how he recruited African American law students

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his pre-law program at the University of Cincinnati

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the State of Louisiana's legal system

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his interests during law school

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls representing the Black Panther Party

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls working for the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers his classmates at Dillard University

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers working for the Louisiana State Legislature, pt. t

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers his mentor, Revius Oliver Ortique, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers working for the Louisiana State Legislature, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the African Americans in the Louisiana Legislature

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the history of Gertes, Theirry and Valteau

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about the prominent African American lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls New Orleans' African American leadership

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls A.L. Davis' appointment to the New Orleans City Council

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the black political objectives in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls becoming a partner in the law firm of Gerdes and Valteau

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his friendship with Ernest Morial

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes what he learned from his first campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls Ernest Morial's election as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls Ernest Morial's election as mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls Dutch Morial's mayoral tenure

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers major cities' first African American mayors

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to run for sheriff of Orleans Parish

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his campaign strategy

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. lists Dutch Morial's political allies

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls reforming the Orleans Parish sheriff's office

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the effects of Reaganomics on cities

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls buying The Grove, Inc.

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the transformation of the air travel industry

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his return to the airport industry

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his mentorship of airport concessions entrepreneurs

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the barriers to minority entrepreneurship

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his introduction to the airport concessions industry

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about his daughters

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his challenges in the airport concessions business

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his role in the Louisiana Sheriff's Association

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his reform of real estate auctions

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his public school programs

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his role in Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls supporting Marc H. Morial's early political campaigns

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision not to run for mayor

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls meeting Richard Pennington

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the racial tensions about New Orleans' mayoralty

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the perceptions of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers Ernest Morial's mayoral administration

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls Sidney Barthelemy's mayoral administration

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. remembers Marc H. Morial's mayoral administration

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls being wrongfully investigated for extortion

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls being offered a bribe by an undercover FBI agent

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about his historic election as the sheriff of Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the sheriff's office

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes his return to private law practice

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about his personal response to Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. talks about the resegregation of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls his early civil rights activities
The Honorable Paul R. Valteau, Jr. recalls the first response to Hurricane Katrina
Transcript
What were some of the other things that you did while you were at, at that school [St. Augustine High School, New Orleans, Louisiana] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, just, just--oh. Real big thing was that that's when I got involved in the Civil Rights Movement back in 1963. I spent several summers--actually, it was '62 [1962]--I spent several summers teaching people how to register to vote, and then trying to encourage them to go down to register, knowing that they were gonna get turned down the first two or three times. There was an organization called the Greater New Orleans coordinating council [Coordinating Council of Greater New Orleans], and they would get us high school kids to come in, do that kind of stuff, and then we also picketed on Canal Street and around some of the other department stores. There was a boycott going on at the time of the department stores in New Orleans [Louisiana]. And so we, we picketed, protested, and regis- and attempted to register people to vote; taught 'em how to (unclear). In fact, I saw Dr. Martin Luther King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] great I Have A Dream speech in the, in the kitchen of a woman in- woman's home in the housing project where I was teaching her how to, how to register to vote. We, we would work the whole summers. There was a team of five of us, and we would go out and work as a team in, in the black neighborhoods in, in many of the housing projects, and encourage people to register. And it wasn't just the process of teaching 'em how to register, we then had to build up their confidence enough to get 'em to come down to the corner on, on Friday mornings to get on a bus to be taken down to city hall to try to register to vote, and that was a great, great accomplishment when you could get the people that you had been working on all week to teach them how to fill out the forms and everything, and what to say, to then get them to come down to the bus and get on the bus and ride down to city hall and go in and attempt to register. Those were the brave souls (laughter) in my world at that time--not me. We were just, you know, having fun and, and kids on a mission, you know.$$What was the voting process like? You, you said for them to attempt, knowing that they would be turned down.$$You had to, you had to fill out a card which asks for a lot of personal information, you had to bring at least two pieces of information that showed that you were a resident of that address. So we had to teach 'em how to fill out the card, which questions to answer on the card. We had to make sure that they had documentation that they lived at that residence. Excuse me. And then there was always the question that the registrar or the deputy registrar would ask you to interpret some portion of the [U.S.] Constitution, and that's where--if you fill out the application right, and had the proper ID, then they would ask--they'd read you the Preamble to the Constitution and they ask you to interpret it, and whatever you said, you were wrong, so they'd send you back home, unregistered. So, and what you'd have to do is you'd--get sent home, you'd have to go back and visit with 'em and say, "Okay, that was the first time; let's try again; we can, you know, we can do this; this can happen so let's keep working on it." And some people, to their credit, continued to, to do it until they finally got registered. Some people did not. Some people were afraid, and I can understand why they would be afraid. But, you know, as I said, those are the real heroes--those people who, who had jobs that were dependent upon a white community and they were fearful that--and had reason to be fearful--that going to register would, would expose their name to possibly losing their job or something like that. I mean I, I applaud those people and I think about 'em every day--every single day, 'cause we wouldn't be where we are today without them taking the steps that they took to, to do it, so we--and then we would, we would hold mass protests at city hall where we would chant and sing and--our old civil rights songs and, and just, just make a big commotion to try to force the city to understand and appreciate that we were not going away, and that they needed to open up the, the voter rolls so that we could get people registered. I mean at that time I, I was at least four years away from being old enough to--no, more than that 'cause at that point you had to be twenty-one to register, so I was--I'm--you talking about somebody who's fourteen years old--fourteen, fifteen years old. So I was, I was quite--and I was six years away from, from being--six or seven years away from being eligible to register myself, but thank God my parents [Udine Davis Valteau and Paul R. Valteau, Sr.] understood the importance of, of the time, and encouraged me to be involved in it.$So here comes Katrina [Hurricane Katrina]. And so after I--Sunday, after I meet with my people and tell 'em where they're gonna be, I tell 'em to go home and get their families out of town, and then tell 'em to come back with a couple a days' clothes, change of clothes, and report back at a--I think it was three o'clock, or something like that, so we dispersed 'em to their locations; ten of 'em were at the Superdome [Louisiana Superdome; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana], a couple of 'em were at the Municipal Auditorium [New Orleans, Louisiana]; nobody was at the, the convention center [New Orleans Convention Center; New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana]. And a few other public buildings in town we had people at. And so I settled down to see what was gonna happen, and overnight wasn't, wasn't a whole lot going on; it was a little wind, a little rain, but not a whole lot. The next morning sunrise came--it was still raining. We had a really bad blow of wind maybe two hours before sunrise, and I could hear glass breaking, so I figured there was stuff being tossed around and thrown around, and when sunrise came, it was a little, little bit more damage than you would normally see under a hurricane, and we had lost electricity, but we expected that to happen. Excuse me. About midday--the rain stopped on Monday, and so I, I took one of my vehicles and, and a couple a deputies and said, "Let's go out and look around." So we first went uptown and there were a lot of trees down. St. Charles Avenue was non-negotiable; you couldn't drive up it. And--we didn't see any water, though, and so then we came back to the office and we, we hung around the office for a couple hours and then we decided to go and check the downtown area of the city. As we're driving out, we reach St. Bernard Avenue and I looked over--we were on the interstate; I looked over and, and I could see there was water in the street. I said, "Gosh, there's water in the street." So we stopped and looked, and so we kept going and as we went further out, we could see that the water was rising. This was now about four o'clock in the evening on Monday. We got to the Franklin Avenue up ramp, and we couldn't go any further because it--the interstate goes down to ground level, and that entire area was flooded; there was about twelve feet of water there, so we stopped and we--stopped the car and we got out to look, and when we got out to look, I could hear people hollering, "Help me! Help me! Come get me!" I said, "Boy, something's going on." So, we were by an up ramp, and I started walking down the up ramp and I saw two guys who are now policemen, who used to work for me in the sheriff's office and they had a boat, and they saw us and they said, "Aw, man, are we glad to see y'all! Help us! We, we gotta go get--there's people all over the place; we gotta get outta here!" So we started doing search and rescue, and I called for my other deputies to bring the other vans because we were transporting people as soon as we got 'em out their houses--transporting them down to the dome. So, we did that all night--all afternoon, until ten o'clock Monday night, and it was just too dark; we were running into automobiles. You couldn't see; the water was above the roofs of automobiles, so you couldn't see the cars, and there were still people hollering and screaming, begging for somebody to come and get 'em. So we quit about ten o'clock on Monday night. And Tuesday morning, the mayor [Ray Nagin] called a meeting. And I was walking over to my car to drive to the meeting, and I don't know why I was taking my car 'cause the meeting was just across the street. So, I got to the parking lot and the water started coming into the parking lot--parking garage--city hall parking garage, and it was about ankle deep. I went upstairs to my car and, and I heard some--when I was starting up my car, I hear some people hollering, I went back, back downstairs, and water had gotten to my knees (laughter), so I couldn't go anywhere in a car, so we stopped at that point.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson was born on February 20, 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio, to Olden Wilson, an iron foundry worker, and Lillian Ryan. Wilson attended Burnside Heights Elementary School and developed her singing skills by participating in church choirs. She attended West High School in Columbus, Ohio where she won a talent contest and was rewarded with a role as a host for a local television show. She then went on to attend Ohio’s Central State University where she pursued her B.A. degree in education.

In 1956, Wilson auditioned and won a spot as a vocalist for Rusty Bryant’s Carolyn Club Band. Afterwards, she moved to New York where she began working as a secretary at the New York Institute of Technology. While in New York, Wilson became friends with jazz saxophonist “Cannonball” Adderley who introduced her to her manager John Levy. With Levy’s help, she landed a record deal with Capitol Records and released her songs “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “Sometimes I’m Happy.” After touring and performing at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, California and the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wilson’s album Tell Me The Truth was released, and the following year, she won a Grammy Award for her album How Glad I Am. Wilson was the host of the Nancy Wilson Show from 1967 to 1968 and has appeared on several television shows and films throughout her career including I Spy and The Cosby Show.

After Wilson won her second Grammy Award with her album the Nancy Wilson Show, she went on to record overseas in Japan. In 1983, she was declared the winner of the annual Tokyo Song Festival. During the 1980s, Wilson released several albums including The Two of Us, Forbidden Lover and her fifty-second released album A Lady With A Song. Wilson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and in 1992, she was presented with the Whitney Young Jr. Award by the National Urban League. In 1994, after winning the Turner Broadcasting Trumpet Award for Outstanding Achievement, her album Love, Nancy was released. In the late 1990s, she became involved with MCG Jazz, a youth education program and a non-profit, minority-directed, arts and learning organization located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wilson was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999 and from 1996 to 2005, she was the host of the Washington, D.C based radio program, The Jazz Profiles. In 2007, Wilson celebrated her seventieth birthday with an all-star event hosted by Arsenio Hall.

Wilson passed away on December 13, 2018.

Nancy Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 15, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.328

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/15/2007

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

West High School

Central State University

First Name

Nancy

Birth City, State, Country

Chillicothe

HM ID

WIL44

Favorite Season

None

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

12/13/2018

Short Description

Singer Nancy Wilson (1937 - 2018) was a multi Grammy Award winning singer who recorded more than fifty albums, including 'How Glad I Am,' 'The Two of Us' and, 'Love, Nancy.'

Employment

Capitol Records

Favorite Color

None

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nancy Wilson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson describes her early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson remembers her early interest in singing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson describes her family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson talks about her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson describes her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson talks about her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson describes her early interest in cooking

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nancy Wilson describes her family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nancy Wilson talks about her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nancy Wilson lists her half-siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of Nancy Wilson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson remembers the community of Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson remembers her first car

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson talks about her interest in reading

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson remembers her first television show, 'Skyline Melodies'

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson remembers joining Rusty Bryant's band

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson recalls her decision to pursue a solo musical career

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson recalls her introduction to the music industry in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nancy Wilson describes her foray into acting

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nancy Wilson remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nancy Wilson remembers the challenges faced by female vocalists

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson remembers meeting Kenneth Dennis

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson remembers her marriage to Kenneth Dennis

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson remembers performing in New York City's nightclubs

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson recalls recording live at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson remembers Frank Silvera

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson talks about her divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson talks about her early albums

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nancy Wilson remembers recording with Cannonball Adderley

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson describes her working relationship with John Levy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson describes the influence of radio on her success

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson remembers her early exposure to music

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson remembers her baptism

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson describes her marriage to Wiley Burton

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson describes her grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson describes the changes in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nancy Wilson describes her experiences in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson remembers the racial discrimination in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson talks about the Grammy Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson talks about her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson talks about her most popular songs

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson talks about her favorite vocalists

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson reflects upon the reviews of her performances

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson describes her civic engagement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nancy Wilson remembers Lou Rawls

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nancy Wilson talks about the hip hop genre

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nancy Wilson describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nancy Wilson reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nancy Wilson describes the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nancy Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nancy Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nancy Wilson talks about her song, 'How Glad I Am'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Nancy Wilson describes her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Nancy Wilson describes her duets

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Nancy Wilson remembers her first television show, 'Skyline Melodies'
Nancy Wilson remembers the challenges faced by female vocalists
Transcript
Somebody told me you won a contest (laughter) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) (Laughter) I keep reading this in my bio. And I keep trying to--we have changed it, and I've sent out, we've sent out different a bio, but every time I see it, it keeps saying that I won this contest. I represented my high school. Columbus, Ohio was having auditions, and each high school sent a representative to be in this contest. And there were--it was East [East High School, Columbus, Ohio], West [West High School, Columbus, Ohio], South [South High School, Columbus, Ohio], North [North High School; Columbus North International High School, Columbus, Ohio], Central [Central High School, Columbus, Ohio], Linden-McKinley [Linden-McKinley High School; Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, Columbus, Ohio], maybe nine high schools. And I was sent to represent West High School. So I went to do my audition, and it's the last time I recall playing the piano for myself. And it was a song that I had written, which I do not remember the name of it, and I am not a writer of material. However, it must have been quite good because I was asked not to participate in the contest. Now, that sounds really arrogant, but it's the truth. "Would you mind not participating in this contest? Why don't we just give you a TV show?" Hey, fine, what do I need to do on this television show? So I was on twice a week on a show called 'Skyline Melody' [sic. 'Skyline Melodies'] and the audience would call in or write in requests for their birthdays, specific songs they wanted to hear. And all I had was this little backdrop, and Hugh Thompson [ph.] was the keyboard player. He was the pianist and he was not--oh, I'm a talker. I would sing whatever the song was, and "This song goes out to such--. And Hugh, what about So and So, and what do you think?" And he'd say, "Uh-huh. Yeah." Okay, here we go. So I was carrying fifteen minutes alone, especially verbally, but he was a brilliant pianist. And he had at one time been with Dinah Washington, and when I went to Cleveland [Ohio] and was working alone--this was after the Rusty Bryant stint--he was at the Key Club [Golden Key Club, Cleveland, Ohio] with me. He was my accompanist there, playing beautifully, but not a talker, however.$Where I felt [HistoryMaker] John Levy was so special, is that he was a musician, and that he was coming to the business from the, from the artist's point of view as opposed to money and management and all those other things. He was the bass player for George Shearing. And George Shearing blew up so big and John was so busy handling George's business that he had to tell George that "I cannot do all of this for you and still be your manager." You know so George was the one who really convinced and talked with John, and said, "You should open your own office." Next thing John Levy knew, he was managing Cannonball Adderley, he was managing Dakota Staton. He had, I don't know if he had Jonah Jones for a while--he had huge people. He was managing, when I got to New York [New York], The Three Sounds. He was managing [HistoryMaker] Ramsey Lewis when I got to New York. And the girl singer part was over. Now we talked with David Cavanaugh, and David was one of the sweetest men in the world. He was my producer at Capitol [Capitol Records], and he and John Levy had this great rapport. And I think they were the first pers- people to kind of mention to me that there were four sexes, and I always--they were male, female, homosexuals and girl singers. Now, I'm offended. "Wait a minute, how do we get to be in a whole separate other class than--what makes us so different?" He said, "Maybe we're not including you there yet, but the bottom line is people look at girl singers--." And girl singers are having a rough time of it. Girl singers could be in the old tradition of the world, word diva. We didn't call them divas, it was the B word as opposed to diva. When you talked about divas, you were be talking about Maria Callas, or during my time coming up, you were talking about Dinah [Dinah Washington]. You were talking sometimes about Ella [Ella Fitzgerald]. Ella would be sweet and nice as she could be on stage, but she would tear into those musicians after actually a perfect show. There had to be something wrong it. Now, Sarah [Sarah Vaughan] was one of the guys. Sarah used to enjoy the musicians, and she played and sang, and hung. Sarah--girl singers were a whole other breed, and they also drew attention from some of the wrong men, and that also was a part of it. A lot of management, a lot of record companies, did not want to deal with the men that kind of came along with the girl singer. And there were a lot that added nothing to the girl singer. They were actually detrimental to their well-being. There was a lot of abuse. I did not like what I saw, and consequently, I really talked with David and John Levy a lot about that, and was fortunate enough to be surrounded by musicians who I've never seen abuse anybody. I knew that any number of the singers--I mean you don't marry five times if you're happy. You know, you just don't.

Larkin Arnold

Entertainment lawyer, music executive and talent management chief executive Larkin Arnold, Jr. was born on September 3, 1942, in Kansas City, Missouri to Larkin and Annie Arnold. When Arnold was in elementary school, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, for his mother's health. In Kansas City and Phoenix, Arnold attended Catholic schools. He received his B.S. degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1966, and graduated from Howard University Law School in 1969.

In 1970, Arnold became one of the first African Americans to be hired as an attorney by a major record label when he joined Capital Records. Four years later, he was promoted to vice president of Capitol Records, creating and heading the company's Black Music Division. In 1975, Arnold signed Natalie Cole to Capitol Records and, in 1977, he served as the executive producer for Caldera’s record Sky Island. That same year, he signed Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, the former backup band for Marvin Gaye. In 1978, Arnold left Capitol Records for Arista Records. As senior vice president, Arnold ran the West Coast office and was in charge of bringing in new artists and products. Arnold held this position until he was hired in 1980 by CBS/SONY Music as senior vice president. There, he spearheaded the marketing and promotion of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album that sold over twenty-five million units worldwide. Arnold also represented Teena Marie, Luther Vandross, Surface, Peabo Bryson and The Reflections. In 1988, Arnold founded Arnold & Associates, one of the few wholly integrated legal and management teams in the record industry.

Arnold co-founded the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, serving as its chairman for eight years. He has served on the boards of the Los Angeles Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Executive Committee of XI Boule Fraternity, the United Negro College Fund Ladders of Hope Program, and the Los Angeles Zoo Commission. Arnold has received numerous honors and awards including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Executive of the Year Award, Outstanding Graduate Award of Howard University School of Law, the Distinguished Graduate Award of Howard University, the Congressional Black Caucus Outstanding Citizen Award, the Langston Bar Association Lawyer of the Year Award, the NATRA Award for Record Executive of the Year, Pollstar Award for R&B Manager of the Year, the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Award for Outstanding Community Leadership and a 100 Black Men Honor.

Arnold is married to Cynthia Arnold and is the father of two children.

Larkin Arnold was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.202

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/10/2007

Last Name

Arnold

Marital Status

Married

Schools

St. Monica's Catholic School

St. Mary's Catholic High School

American University

Howard University School of Law

Howard University

First Name

Larkin

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

ARN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii, Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Life Is Tough, But I Am Tougher.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/3/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Talent management chief executive, entertainment lawyer, and music executive Larkin Arnold (1942 - ) started his own legal and management firm, Arnold & Associates. He was senior vice president for Arista Records and CBS/Sony Music, where he marketed and promoted Michael Jackson's album, "Thriller."

Employment

Capitol Records, Inc.

Arista Law

CBS

Arnold & Associates

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larkin Arnold's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold remembers his community in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold recalls his community in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larkin Arnold talks about his move to Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larkin Arnold remembers his mother's illness

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Larkin Arnold describes his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Larkin Arnold recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold remembers studying math and physics

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold recalls his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold recalls the mentorship of Percy Lavon Julian

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold remembers his decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold recalls his first impressions of Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold recalls his civil rights activism at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold recalls his involvement in SNCC

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold remembers losing his scholarship to Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold recalls being hired by Senator Stuart Symington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold remembers working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold describes his experiences as a U.S. Capitol Police officer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold recalls attending the American University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold recalls his challenges as a U.S. Capitol Police officer

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold recalls his decision to pursue a law career

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold remembers his mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larkin Arnold recalls his admission to the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold remembers the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold recalls his decision to become an entertainment lawyer

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold recalls his struggle to find work in the entertainment industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold recalls being hired by Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold describes his position at Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold recalls his start at Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold describes his work at Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold recalls his advocacy for black artists

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold recalls being offered a position at Motown Records

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold recalls conducting market research for Capitol Records, LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold recalls conducting market research for Capitol Records, LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold recalls his transition to management at Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold remembers signing artists to Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold recalls signing Natalie Cole to Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold recalls the success of his marketing initiative

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold remembers the black artists at Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold talks about his marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold recalls his decision to leave Capitol Records, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Larkin Arnold recalls his experience at Arista Records

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Larkin Arnold remembers his decision to leave Arista Records

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold describes his role as senior vice president of CBS/Sony Records Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold talks about the Columbia Records and Epic Records labels

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold talks about the jazz division of Columbia Records

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold talks about the racial discrimination in the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold remembers signing Michael Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold describes his career at CBS/Sony Records Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold describes his career at CBS/Sony Records Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Larkin Arnold recalls Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Larkin Arnold reflects upon his success at CBS/Sony Records Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Larkin Arnold recalls founding the law firm of Arnold and Associates

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Larkin Arnold describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Larkin Arnold describes his hopes and concerns for the African American music industry

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Larkin Arnold describes his advice for young business executives

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Larkin Arnold describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Larkin Arnold reflects upon his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Larkin Arnold reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Larkin Arnold narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$6

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Larkin Arnold describes his career at CBS/Sony Records Inc., pt. 2
Larkin Arnold recalls Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album
Transcript
So you got Michael [Michael Jackson] and you have, you have Marvin [Marvin Gaye] now.$$Right.$$Okay.$$And Luther [Luther Vandross], right (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And Luther, you, you got three black male artists--$$Um-hm.$$--all different.$$Right.$$So what's your next plan of action?$$Well you know I mean my, my main (laughter) problem was basically you know Quincy [HistoryMaker Quincy Jones] and, and Michael basically took care of the whole recording process on that. I, I, you know I had little and no involvement you know just to go by and see that you know progress was being made you know. And that the bills were being paid and you know and everything was done, but you know I didn't have to really do anything. Quincy bas-, basically shepherded that whole project from beginning to end so.$$Now, how about Luther and Marvin (laughter).$$Well Luther you know Luther, I'm, I'm, I'm going over his material I'm picking you know the songs out of his repertoire you know. And, and I'm, I'm overseeing that, that that whole project. Marvin, and but, but Luther is pretty dependable you know, we go in we; you know he comes in he plays me some, some demos you know. I pick the ones that I want, you know, he goes in the studio and records it you know and, and now I just oversee the marketing promotion of that you know. Marvin in the meanwhile, is like I don't know you know, progress is not being made. And you know money is being spent you know, he, he's not you know recording you know 'cause he's you know having marital difficulties you know. So you know I'm flying back over to Belgium and we have a number of little conflicts. I'm saying, "Marvin you know you got to get this done, my ass is on the line you know," I had a battle, so you know. So that's just, and then Natalie [Natalie Cole] comes over you know and she, she's, she's disenchanted with Capitol [Capitol Records], so she comes and so I'm dealing with that. Not to mention all the other acts that I was you know dealing with that were already on the, Earth, Wind and Fire and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) [HistoryMaker] Dianne Reeves was she coming over--$$No, not when I was there, no.$$Okay.$$You know, Deniece [Deniece Williams], you know.$$Um-hm.$$The Emotions, you know, all the other acts that were, that I kept you know trying to get them to go and, and keep it moving you know.$$Teena Marie, was she ever there?$$Not yet, you know (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay.$So Michael [Michael Jackson] and Quincy [HistoryMaker Quincy Jones] bring you 'Thriller'?$$Right.$$And you listen to it?$$Right.$$"Billie Jean" is on there--$$Right.$$"Billie Jean" is on there, "Thriller" is on there.$$Right, "Beat It" is on there (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) "Beat It" is on there, what do you think?$$Huh?$$Yeah he had "P.Y.T." ["P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)"] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$So what do you think about this when you hear this music for the first time?$$Well first time I heard it, it wasn't mixed properly so I was like you know little dis, disappointed. But I been there enough during the recording sessions to know but, but I, I had violated one of the company's [CBS/Sony Records Inc.] rules. That is that you don't release a single until you have the completely finished product and in hand. But in order to make the, the time schedule 'cause Christmas release, I had to take a chance and go ahead and, and release it you know. And I had an argument with you know, well not argument, discussion with their managers to which, which record should come out first you know. They wanted "Beat It" you know, I, I definitely wanted "Billie Jean," you know, so I was in position. So I was able to get "Billie Jean," 'cause you know I, I'd listen to some of the other material that that Michael had done and that The Jacksons had done. And they didn't seem like they, the company or the people had released the right singles you know. Like on that 'Triumph,' the song, you know, I think that song "Heartbreak Hotel" ["This Place Hotel"] was, was, was the classic song. But they wouldn't release it as a single, so.$$Right.$$So anyway I persuaded the management to allow me to make that as the second single, the first single we went out was "The Girl is Mine."$$Um-hm.$$You know because you know, by this time you still had all this you know musical and political and racial unrest you know with taken place you know in the country. The white pop, the pop stations, the white stations stopped playing black music, stop playing disco music you know. Remember they had the, the burning of the records, disco records?$$Oh right.$$In Chicago [Illinois], Comiskey field [Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois] and running them over with you know 'cause you know they were concerned about you know women and the whites coming you know. And blacks and so the male disc jockeys sort of rebelled.$$So there's a lot of tension.$$Yeah exactly you know busing was going on you know with the, you know.$$The Reagan [President Ronald Wilson Reagan] years (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, exactly.$$We're going into.$$Right, exactly.$$So, so--$$So they released "The Girl Is Mine," 'cause it has Paul McCartney you know to get on the pop play you know and so you know. That works to, to a degree to get some situation. But 'cause to show you that the, the problem that we have you know, when I finally did get Michael, I mean Marvin's [Marvin Gaye] album released you know, and you know we released "Sexual Healing" they, the company you know wouldn't cross the record over to the pop stations you know. They, they refused to take it to pop stations, they said the record was too black you know, it's too dirty or whatever you know. So I, you know we, I had lot of disagreements with, with some of the other management in the pop side you know with regards to Marvin. But, but the record was so strong, they couldn't stop the record.$$Right.$$I mean it's just you know, it crossed over by itself you know, people calling, banning the record and everything so.$$So you got it rolling now, you got Marvin's out, he finally got the record to you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$'Thriller's' out and it's taken off.$$Right.$$It, it's, it's (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And Luther's [Luther Vandross] becoming the male balladeer of all time.

John W. Barfield, Sr.

Maintenance company chief executive, entrepreneur and businessman John W. Barfield was born Johnny Williams Barfield on February 8, 1927 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Lena James Barfield and Edgar Barfield, both of whom worked as field hands. His father also worked in the coal mines and moved north in search of work. In 1932, when Barfield’s father had earned enough money to send for his family, they joined him in Washington, Pennsylvania. While living in Washington, Barfield began his first job, selling dry soap on commission for a white shop owner.

At the age of fifteen, Barfield relocated with his family to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where his father began working in a bomber plant in Willow Run. In 1945, Barfield dropped out of Ypsilanti Public High School and enlisted in the United States Army, serving two years in France and Germany. Upon his return, Barfield began working as a custodian for the University of Michigan, and, in 1949, he married Betty Williams Barfield. With his wife, Barfield cleaned newly constructed houses for additional income.

Barfield quit his job with the University of Michigan in 1955 because his cleaning job after hours had become more lucrative than his full-time one. He began his first company, a contract cleaning group called the Barfield Cleaning Company of Ypsilanti, Michigan, which employed 200 people. Barfield cleaned businesses at night and promoted his business during the day, always sure to wear a shirt and tie. The same year, Barfield also wrote the Barfield Method of Building Maintenance, which would set a standard for the commercial building maintenance industry. In 1969, Barfield Cleaning Company was acquired by the International Telephone and Telegraph Company in one of the highest multiples ever paid for a commercial cleaning company. Barfield and his wife continued working for the company for three additional years. Then, Barfield reentered the maintenance business when he incorporated the Barfield Building Maintenance Company and began promoting his business to different building managers. Also in 1974, when General Motors Corporation was unable to find minority and female suppliers, Barfield incorporated John Barfield and Associates, an organization that provided staffing services to General Motors, broadening its reach to include such companies as the Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

In 1978, General Motors requested that he manufacture transmission pins for them, and soon thereafter, Barfield founded the Barfield Manufacturing Company. In 1981, Barfield turned John Barfield and Associates over to his son, Jon. Three years later, the company was renamed The Bartech Group. The following year, Bartech would be named 1985 “Company of the Year” by Black Enterprise Magazine. In 1986, the Barfield Building Maintenance Company was acquired by Unified Building Maintenance Services, Inc., and in 1991, Barfield Manufacturing was purchased by Mascotech Industries, an automotive supplier. The following year, Barfield began his Share Products initiative, established to bring attention to the issue of homelessness in the United States. Barfield was a recipient of the The George Romney Award in 1996, recognizing lifelong achievement in volunteerism.

Barfield and his wife had six children and resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

John W. Barfield, Sr. passed away on January 2, 2018.

John W. Barfield was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.191

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/28/2007

Last Name

Barfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

E.

Schools

Ypsilanti Public High School

First Name

Jon

Birth City, State, Country

Tuscaloosa

HM ID

BAR10

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Sponsor

Bartech Group

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Punta De Mita, Mexico

Favorite Quote

I'm Glad To Meet A Fellow That Is Glad He Is Black. Who Is Conscious Of His Color And Appreciates The Fact That I'm Glad To Meet A Fellow That Is Glad He Is White.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

2/8/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pinto Beans, Onions, Cornbread

Death Date

1/2/2018

Short Description

Maintenance company chief executive John W. Barfield, Sr. (1927 - 2018 ) founded The Bartech Group, named the 1985 "Company of the Year" by Black Enterprise. Barfield received The George Romney Award recognizing lifelong achievement in volunteerism.

Employment

Bartech Group

Barfield Cleaning Company

University of Michigan

Barfield Manufacturing Company

Automotive Factories

Barfield Building Maintenance Company

General Motors Corporation

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John W. Barfield, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father's work as a coal miner

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his family's homemade syrup and sorghum

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his mother's illness and death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about the Barfield family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memories, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls the mentorship of businessman Bert Lutton

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his childhood in Margaret, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his neighborhood in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the coal mines of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his family's church in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls his childhood in Washington, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the traditions of the Pentecostal church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the black community in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his early personality

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his U.S. Army service

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls founding J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers buying his first house in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his transition from residential to contract cleaning

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the difference between commercial and contract cleaning

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his methods at J and B Cleaning Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers segregation in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his perspective on wealth

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Association of Building Service Contractors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the 'Barfield Method of Building Maintenance'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers the sale of Barfield Cleaning Company, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers the sale of Barfield Cleaning Company, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls working at Barfield Cleaning Company after its sale

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his leadership style

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the sales of his other businesses

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the differences between his companies

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls founding John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. remembers his mentors in the manufacturing industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his manufacturing processes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his children's involvement in his businesses

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the development of John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. recalls the challenges of business ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the divisions of John Barfield and Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his son's leadership of The Bartech Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Minority Supplier Development Council

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his advice to his employees

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his interest in hunting, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his interest in hunting, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon the black business community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon the black business community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his civic involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his work with the Ronald McDonald House Charities

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John W. Barfield, Sr. talks about his art collection

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John W. Barfield, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John W. Barfield, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John W. Barfield, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
John W. Barfield, Sr. describes the National Association of Building Service Contractors
John W. Barfield, Sr. describes his civic involvement
Transcript
How did the, you get acquired? I mean that, you know, it's, it seemed like, okay, all of you are doing this, and then you're acquired by like a major company. How does that, how is that--$$Well, I put myself in a position to be seen, first by, by building a, a company that was as good as, as most in the country. I did things differently. I wrote a book called the 'Barfield Method of Building Maintenance' [John W. Barfield, Sr.]. I developed my own time standards. And when I went to the first meeting of the National Association of Building Service Contractors [Building Service Contractors Association International], a group of contractors that were trying to start an association, I recognized that there were people there that had been in business generations, sometimes two and three generations. And so I went there with the un- idea that there's a lot you can teach me, not that I can teach you something. And I think that, that, that meth- that message gained many friends for Betty [Barfield's wife, Betty Williams Barfield] and I. And, and so, before the convention was over, they asked me if I'd consider serving on the--as a member of the board of directors, the first board of directors, which I served on for five years. And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) This is of the nat--$$The National Association of Building Service Contractors. It was an association that was formed in 1965 for cleaning company, the cleaning company. And I said, "I, I'm honored that you've asked me to serve, but then I don't know very much about this, and you'll have to teach me." And they were willing to do that because I was humble. But it was not long before I realized that I knew about, more about cleaning than most of them, because most of them had, had gained their companies because, some of them because their folks had started their companies, and they had learned it from an administrative and from an executive standpoint, where I had learned mine from the floor up. So I knew as much and most of, of them, if not more. And so I, that's how I started. And, and it, it was not long before, before the meeting was over, they asked me to serve, which I served for five years, and I learned a lot during that time. And I noticed that in, in 1968, 1967, this industry was so profitable that a lot of companies wanted, bigger companies wanted to buy it. So in 1968, I was approached by International Telephone [International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation; ITT Corporation], Consolidated Foods [Consolidated Foods Corporation; Sara Lee Corporation], the Mackie corporation [ph.], the Senators corporation [ph.], and others. And, and we sold our business [Barfield Cleaning Company] to International Telephone and Telegraph for thirteen times earnings. And I was--we were well-off enough so that if we were not foolish with our newfound fortune, we were set for life, and that was when I was thirty-nine years old.$Now there are two, two other things I want to cover before we end. And one is the Share products initiative because, you know, you've done a lot of things. In fact, you were showing me in there this photo invention, which I think is still pretty great. But I want you to talk about Share products, and then there's, there are two other things.$$In the mid-'60s [1960s], something happened in this country that we all should be embarrassed about. And the government, state and federal governments decided that people that were in institutions, mental and health institutions, that were state and federal wards, would be better served if they were served by the private community. And, and they, they turned these people out in droves to be, to be managed by private, private industry. And the influx was so great that the private industry could not absorb them. And that was the beginning of our homeless problem in this country. And I'd, I'd saw that as a, as a terrible mis-justice for these people because it was pathetic in those days, the people that we saw, and even today. So I, I, I started Share products as a reprisal. I, I--to, to bring awareness to the plight of these people. And I sold about seventeen privately labeled products that were things like baby oil, and oatmeal, and garbage bags, and popcorn under, under the private label of Share products. And the idea was to give 50 percent of the profits to charitable organizations to buy food and shelter for homeless people. And, and that's, that was Share products, and we ran this for a number of years. There was no way it could have been successful because we didn't have enough money to, to run it properly, and we had no knowledge of it. But it was, it was our way of, of trying to help. And, and, and our way of creating a greater awareness of the plight of these unfortunate people. That was Share products.$$When you've, making decisions about what to get involved with philanthropically, like this was an area that--you know, the homeless that you identified, what are the key factors for you in many ways, Mr. Barfield [HistoryMaker John W. Barfield, Sr.]? Is it--and you mentioned the United, United Way [United Way Worldwide].$$Negro College Fund.$$United Negro College Fund [UNCF] is what I (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Is it, the question, what is my motivation?$$No, not your motivation, but how do you decide what you're going to get involved with? I mean what--because philanthropic things really are change agents in many ways. So, I was just wondering, you know, because Share was a big, big initiative. It was a big push to make a change. UNCF, you know, is, is also, you know, that's the whole education piece. I was just wondering, I was just wondering your thoughts.$$How do, how am I drawn to these?$$Um-hm.$$Well, with the United Negro College Fund, I was--Share products I was drawn because of the homeless situation. I was very, I was very much saddened by the, the conditions that I saw. The United Negro College Fund, there was a gentleman named Eugene Power, who was a developer of University Microfilm [University Microfilms International; ProQuest LLC]. He was a white man that for twenty-some years had been the voice of the United Negro College Fund in this community. He, he really, he loaned his name mostly to it. And every year we collected probably fifteen to twenty-five thousand dollars from the county to support black colleges in, in private schools. He came to me one year and said, "John, my wife is ill, and I'm well ill, and I can't carry this any longer. Would you take, would you take it over?" And I said that I would. And the first thing I realized--this was a white gentleman, and, and the first thing I realized, that it was--if, if I was gonna be successful with this, I had to incorporate both communities. So I went to a very prominent businessman, and I said, "Would you help me do this?" And he was white. And so now there's white and black, so it's not a black organization now; it's white and black. And he and I for twelve years, for the most, better part of twelve years, we raised funds for the United Negro College Fund. And the largest gift I got was a half a million dollars one year. And we would raise between three hundred and four hundred thousand dollars a year from our county for, for United Negro College Fund. But it was also unifying because it brought the black and the white community together for a single cause. And that was my motivation for that.

Phoebe Beasley

Collage artist Phoebe Beasley was born on June 3, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio to Annette Davis Beasley and George Author Beasley, Jr. Beasley has two other siblings; she has one brother, George Author Beasley III and one sister, Annette Joyce Beasley Coleman. When Beasley was seven years old, her mother who was seven months pregnant died of a heart attack at twenty-nine years of age; her father, later remarried. During her early years, Beasley developed an interest in being an artist. During high school, Beasley received extensive artistic training. In 1961, she entered Ohio University, where she completed her B.F.A. degree in painting, with a minor in education, graduating in June of 1965. She later earned her M.A. degree from Kent State University.

In 1968, Beasley married Louie Gene Evans Jr; the union ended in divorce in 1969. It was during those years that Beasley's artistic efforts increased, culminating in the opening of a store front studio. She specialized in oils-on-canvas, as well as prints and collages. Her reputation as an artist grew, and she began meeting celebrities, including the legendary NBA player Bill Russell. It was through that relationship that she was introduced to Dr. Maya Angelou, who later became her mentor. Beasley simultaneously began a second career in radio marketing. She eventually worked more than twenty-five years in the radio industry.

Throughout the years, Beasley has become a world-renowned artist whose works are featured in the homes of Oprah Winfrey, Anita Baker, Dr. William Burke and Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Tavis Smiley, Byron Allen, Grant Hill, Marla Gibbs, Roger Penske, Tyler Perry and Bill Cosby. Beasley’s commissions include being the official artist of the 1987 and 2000 Los Angeles Marathons, the 100 Black Men National Convention and the 2000 National Democratic Convention. Beasley became the first African American female president of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Beasley’s work honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution.

Phoebe Beasley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 18, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.148

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/18/2007

Last Name

Beasley

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Ohio University

John Adams High School

Charles W Eliot School

Moses Cleaveland Elementary School

Robert Fulton Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Phoebe

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

BEA07

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

The Future Is Not Some Place We Are Going To. It's Not A Destination. It's Some Place That We're Dreaming And That We're Making And That Activity Changes Both The Maker And The Destination.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/3/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Polish Sausage

Short Description

Collage artist Phoebe Beasley (1943 - ) was a world renowned artist whose pieces were commissioned by President Bill Clinton and President George Bush.

Employment

Beasley Art Studio

KFI Los Angeles

Sage Publications, inc.

Cleveland Public Schools

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Phoebe Beasley's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her parents' birthdates and birthplaces

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley recalls her early family life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Phoebe Beasley describes her parents' roles at Manakiki Golf and Country Club in Willoughby, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley remembers segregation in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her childhood chores

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Sundays with her paternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Sundays with her paternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her sister

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her brother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her tall stature

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley remembers the day her mother died

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley remembers the impact of her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley describes her experiences following her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her father's second marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes her sister's lawsuit against their father

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with her stepmother

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley describes her decision to study art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley describes her experiences at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley recalls the riot at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon the impact of racial discrimination on children

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley remembers her art career in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Maya Angelou, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Maya Angelou, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley describes her position at KFI Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley talks about the supporters of her early art career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley remembers Maya Angelou's promotion of her artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes her work with Oprah Winfrey, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her painting, 'Executive Order 9981,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her painting, 'Executive Order 9981,' pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon her body of artwork

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Phoebe Beasley recalls being commissioned by Tyler Perry, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Phoebe Beasley recalls being commissioned by Tyler Perry, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Phoebe Beasley describes her relationship with Earl G. Graves, Sr.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Phoebe Beasley describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Phoebe Beasley describes the book 'Sunrise Is Coming After While'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Phoebe Beasley talks about her artwork commissions from presidents

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Phoebe Beasley reflects upon her life

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Phoebe Beasley describes her decision to study art at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
Phoebe Beasley recalls the riot at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio
Transcript
We'll forward a little because you went through Univ- you went to Ohio University [Athens, Ohio]--$$Yes.$$Graduated in June of 1965--$$Yes.$$--with a degree in painting--$$Yes.$$--major?$$Yeah.$$And a bach- and a minor in education?$$Yeah, that's absolutely, yes.$$Okay, okay.$$And--$$What was college like for you?$$College--well, first of all, let me, let me go back a few months before I went to college. And I had a counselor. Even though I was good in art, did very well in art, I wanted to major in it. The senior counselor, you know, when you to get be a senior, you get a different counselor. And I remember a counselor telling me that--I said, "Oh, I'm planning to major in art." And she kind of looked at me. It was kind of between a smirk and a laugh, and it was kind of like a slaugh [ph.], and it was like--I thought, no, that's not for me. And it was, "There is no such thing as an African American artist. You have to be serious about your career, and at some point, understand what your limitations are." And I was hearing her, but there was something wrong with what was coming out of her mouth. And she said, "Now, come see me tomorrow, let me know, I'll give you a day to decide what you're going to major in because I need to send this transcript in, and come back, and see me tomorrow." And I went home. And the good thing is I didn't hit her, I didn't react, I didn't (laughter), you know, all of that. What would my grandmother think (laughter) comes back to you. Oh, and since there was really nobody to talk to about, you know, there's not a mother and father there to say--and so, you think, well, now wait a minute, I thought I was good in art and, and to her, to her credit, I couldn't think of an African American artist either. I couldn't think--I could think of African American thespians. I could think of [HistoryMaker] Ruby Dee, [HistoryMaker] Ossie Davis. I could think of, of musicians--Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Little Richard. But I could not think, and I'd never, I'd never read about an African American artist when I was in high school [John Adams Senior High School; John Adams High School, Cleveland, Ohio], never saw a book on one. But I don't know--blood, guts, youth, nuttiness, and just pissantiness [ph.], I was determined to put down, I'm going to major in art. Went back the next day and said, "Look, put artist. I'm, I'm going put, art major--that's my major." And she looked at me, and, and realized that I was not to be trifled with at that point, you know. You almost had the, (speaking Arabic) "As-Salaam-Alaikum [Peace be unto you]," (laughter). Don't say another word to me (laughter). There is an attitude where you get particularly, when all of a sudden, we look much taller than we are (laughter).$But I taught for four years, and it was probably the most rewarding thing I'll ever do, teaching high school, because these students were about my age. You know, I was barely out of my, you know, into my twenties. And they were, some of them almost into their twenties, (laughter), so, so that age difference, you know, and it's just, and it was during black power and H. Rap Brown [Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin]; and Ron Karenga [HistoryMaker Maulana Karenga] and, you know, keeping the lid on Cleveland [Ohio]. And '65 [1965] to '69 [1969] is when I taught. And I remembered when I--we had actually a riot at the school [Glenville High School, Cleveland, Ohio]. And some of the students had beaten up teachers. They had taken over this, the cafeteria. They had masks over their faces or material, and the police were outside. All the teachers and, and students were, about three thousand students in the school, we were all down on the ground in the parking lot. And you had about forty students in the school. And on the bullhorn they said, "Send in Mrs. Evans [HistoryMaker Phoebe Beasley] and Mr. Dahdale." Well, I didn't mention that I'd gotten married [to Louie Evans, Jr. (ph.)] in that period (laughter), but I was Mrs. Evans, and I heard my name. And Dennis Dahdale [ph.], who is still my attorney today (laughter), said, "Pheeb, you'll have to go in. We have to go, and then save our kids." I thought, wait a minute, I've already given my notice two weeks ago. I'm leaving and going to Hollywood [Los Angeles, California]. I'm going to California (unclear). And the police were saying, "No, we can cover you." "Cover me? You're about as far as the Pacific Ocean is from this, this gallery [M. Hanks Gallery, Santa Monica, California] here (laughter). You're going to cover me (laughter)? Them's my kids in there (laughter)." Oh, but Dennis convinced me that the thing to do would be to go in this cafeteria, and to help them with their demands, to negotiate the demands. And we went in. They had this long table and sat us in the middle of the table. And I just wanted to, you know, I'd hear the voices, and I would want to smack the student, and rip off this, this, this cloth and say, "Stop it, just stop it right now." But these students were very serious. I mean, they had beaten up, put a couple of the teachers in the hospital--not that some of these teachers didn't deserve what they were getting, retribution, but it was still wrong on their part. Well, they had demands like, "We want to be able to wear afros as large as we want." Well, my way of negotiating was, "Whatever y'all want (laughter)." Dennis, on the other hand, was kicking me under the table saying--"And we want to be able to wear dashi- [dashiki]--." They had the long, they had long dresses, African garb, and now they had to put a limit on how long the train could be. And some of the students were objecting to the length of the train that could be on the garb. And I thought it ought to be as long as a wedding train out the front door and all the way, you make, making turns. But Dennis had said, "You know, we need to talk about the students. We have a safety issue." So, he was studying for the bar. I was studying to get the heck out of there until we leave for Los Angeles [California], but we did negotiate the demands. And they returned the school to the property of the (laughter) Cleveland public schools.

Linda M. White

The 26th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (2002 – 2006) Linda White was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a dining car waiter and a homemaker. White worked for several years as a Social Security administrator while remaining active in the AKA Sorority. Under White’s leadership the Sorority established the Ivy Reading AKAdemy and initiated the Centennial Traveling exhibit.

Raised in Chicago, White graduated from Parker High School in 1959 before matriculating to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Clark, White became active with the AKA Sorority and received her B.A. degree in 1963. She later went to the University of Chicago where she completed her M.A. degree in 1969. After earning a certificate in systems from Stanford University, White moved to Washington, D.C. in 1971 to work as a management analyst in the Department of Health and Human Services. She served in that capacity for two years before returning to Chicago, where she worked for the Social Security Administration. There, White rose to the rank of area director, managing the Chicago East District Office and overseeing twenty-nine Social Security offices in the region.

Upon her retirement in 2002, White began working full-time for the AKA Sorority. Then in July 2002, she became the Sorority’s International President. During her administration, White’s plan was to push the use of technology, particularly the Internet, to facilitate communication both within and beyond the organization. Additionally, she has earmarked education, the family, health, economics and the arts as program targets.

Active for more than forty years at the local and national levels of the AKA Sorority, White has contributed more than twenty years of service to the organization's educational foundation and serves as national president of the committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and a life member of the NAACP. For more than fifty years, White has been a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church, where she is a former president of the Administrative Board and past chairperson of the Council on Ministries and Pastor/Parish Relations.

White lives in Chicago, Illinois.

White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 30, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2003.250

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/8/2003 |and| 5/30/2008

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Betsy Ross Elementary School

Paul Robeson High School

Clark Atlanta University

University of Chicago

Stanford University

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

WHI04

Favorite Season

None

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You Can't Relive The Past. The Only Thing You Can Do Is Learn From It And Move Forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/21/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Macaroni, Cheese, Prime Rib Steak

Death Date

2/26/2010

Short Description

Association chief executive and federal government administrator Linda M. White (1942 - 2010 ) was a former national president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Employment

Department of Health & Human Services

Social Security Administration

Favorite Color

Aqua Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda M. White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linda M. White lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about her parents, including the origins of her father's name

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about her mother Mary Fennell White's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about her mother Mary Fennell White's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linda M. White describes her mother's work and personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linda M. White describes her mother's work and personality, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about her father's work and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the boundaries of her neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linda M. White describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linda M. White describes her teachers at Betsy Ross Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linda M. White describes her experience at Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about activities she was involved in at Parker High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about deciding to attend Clark College in the early 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linda M. White describes her experiences at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia during the early 1960s, including participating in sit-ins and marches

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the consequences of sit-ins for herself and participating students in Atlanta, Georgia during the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linda M. White talks about her choice of major at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha at Clark College in the 1960s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha at Clark College in the 1960s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the history and purpose of the Alpha Kappa Alpha organization, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about the history and purpose of the Alpha Kappa Alpha organization, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linda M. White compares Alpha Kappa Alpha to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linda M. White talks generally about black Greek letter organizations, including their importance for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about her transition from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia to the University of Chicago for graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes her professors and academic experience at the University of Chicago in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linda M. White speaks to work being done by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes her life as a graduate student at the University of Chicago and working as a medical transcriber

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about her career at Social Security Administration

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the reach of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, both in the United States and abroad

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linda M. White describes the most rewarding aspect of being president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linda M. White describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Linda M. White reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Linda M. White considers what she would have done differently

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Linda M. White reflects upon how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Linda M. White describes being a part of a political forum with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linda M. White narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Linda M. White's interview, session two

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Linda M. White's talks about her first involvements in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and her relationship with Marjorie Holloman Parker

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about the various positions she held in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, including president

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Linda M. White describes her initial goals as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about the programs she put in place as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Linda M. White describes what she learned and the data from the implementation of the Ivy Ready AKAdemy program

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about the results of the membership survey she conducted as president for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Linda M. White explains the concept of sisterhood, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Linda M. White talks about executing her vision as president Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Linda M. White talks about the 2002 Alpha Kappa Alpha national conference where she was installed as president of the organization, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Linda M. White talks about the book 'Pearls of Service: the legacy of America's first black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha'

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Linda M. White talks about the lawsuit filed against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 2002

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about the risk management group she formed as a result of the lawsuit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority faced in 2002

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Linda M. White talks about hazing in Greek letter organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Linda M. White talks about the 2002 Alpha Kappa Alpha national conference where she was installed as president of the organization, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Linda M. White considers what can be learned from the past and the importance adapting to the future

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Linda M. White explains the concept of sisterhood, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Linda M. White expresses her concerns for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Linda M. White reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Linda M. White describes the impact of technology on Alpha Kappa Alpha in the early 2000s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Linda M. White recalls planning with the national board and program chairs of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority during the first months of her presidency

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Linda M. White describes the organizational structure of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Linda M. White talks about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's funding and budget

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Linda M. White speaks about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Young Authors Program

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Linda M. White explains how the responsibilities of her job prepared her to be president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Linda M. White talks about the programs she put in place as president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Linda M. White describes what she learned and the data from the implementation of the Ivy Ready AKAdemy program
Linda M. White describes her life as a graduate student at the University of Chicago and working as a medical transcriber
Transcript
What did you learn in that process about the black community, or about education or children in the process of implementing this, you know, significant program?$$It's very--working -- in a economically deprived community, it's very difficult. I mean the, the children are delightful. They, they really are very interested in learning. But they need a lot of support systems, and sometimes those support systems weren't immediately available. And, you know, we tried to provide as much as we could. But I would say to anyone that- it's not an easy task and school systems are--have been trying all kinds of things to improve the -- reading skills of minority children and children like I said, who are economically deprived. But you have to work at it because if -- they aren't unable to read at grade level early in the game, they just fall so much further behind in school and are really not prepared to be competitive in life as a, an adult or high school student, or to be able to go to college because they've never gotten the fundamentals.$$Now you--that--cause I cut you off at the point. You were giving quantifiable, you know--$$Yes. And -- that was one thing that I especially wanted. We had a number of programs that have dealt with reading, health, many programs that serviced mankind, and were good programs and I would never disparage them. But I wanted something quantifiable. I wanted something that could be measured to say you either did something or you didn't do something. But it was acceptable not to achieve what you started out if you learned something from it so that you could make some changes or some other people could make some changes. And I got quantifiable data. And, like I said, we worked with University of North Florida [Jacksonville, Florida]. And they produced that data for us, and--$$So talk about your data. How many people did you reach, you know--$$Overall I think we reached about forty-five thousand students in a program, in a demonstration site there may be were no more than twenty-some children. But the chapters carried on the program to the extent that they could without funding, without being a part of the actual demonstration. But many of them got people to work with them who could do statistical data, count the number of hours spent in their program. So they supplemented what we were able to do on a demonstration basis. And that reached a much larger number of people.$$Okay.$$$Did you stay with family members in the--$$Yeah, see I didn't live that far from the university [University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois], so I commuted every day. And, and I worked in the University of Chicago Hospitals [Chicago, Illinois]. And I was a medical transcriber. So I went from every summer I worked in a different department. And then when I went to graduate school, I worked most of the time in the radiology department. And I worked for a Dr. Vermeulen [ph.], and he was the head of the urology department. And he was a wonderful person to work with. Very, very gruff. You would--it was so interesting because all of the interns and residents, I could see them, I worked in his office and you could see, and they would check to see if he was in the office 'cause he was--he looked sometimes like a mad scientist, you know. And he had this map of the Middle East on the wall and he might point out things to them and they might have to respond. But in any case, he tried to talk me into going to medical school. And I said--and I'm thinking medical school, you know, this man must be out of his mind. I mean I did not see my bent in--I mean although I had done well in math and biology that did not seem like the area that I was strongest in. And he tried for the longest, you know you should, you should go to medical school; you should enter here at the university. And I said, "Well thank you Dr. Vermulen, but no thank you." But I know I'm getting a little off the subject, but one of the things I did do while I was at the university, I typed a book, part of the manuscripts that were used to present the Nobel Peace Prize to I believe it was [Charles Brenton] Huggins at the University of Chicago in the medical school [Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois]. And I had an opportunity, all of these people from famous doctors and scientists from all over the world sent things to contribute to the book, and part of my task was to, you know type up the manuscript. So that was, that was sort of an interesting experience.