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Linneaus Dorman

Organic chemist and inventor Linneaus C. Dorman was born on June 28, 1935 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to schoolteachers John Albert Dorman, Sr. and Georgia Hammond. Raised in the Jim Crow South, Dorman’s parents sent him to the historically black South Carolina State College laboratory school. The state college afforded him a better education than he would have received otherwise and nurtured his nascent interest in science. As a child, Dorman became fascinated with his friend’s chemistry set and the idea of creating new things. When he entered Wilkinson High School in 1948, his teachers immediately recognized his natural talent in science and encouraged him to take more science courses. This led him to declare chemistry as his undergraduate major after he graduated from high school.

In the fall of 1952, Dorman enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Because his father was a World War I veteran, having served in France, Dorman received a scholarship from the small, private institution and its scholarship program for the children of World War I veterans. After receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956, Dorman enrolled in the organic chemistry Ph.D. program at Indiana University. During the summers, he traveled back to Peoria, where he gained invaluable research experience as a chemist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory. In 1961, he earned his Ph.D. degree and took a position as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.

While Dorman has garnered a reputation for publishing many research articles in premier research journals, he has become most known for creating over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. Many of his earliest patents involve synthesis methods in organic chemistry. In 1985, he invented a chemical compound that functioned as an absorbent that removed formaldehyde from the air. In 1992, Dorman invented a calcium phosphate biomaterial that was used in hard tissue prosthetics such as bone prosthetics in 1992. Between 1992 and 1993, he developed a new process for the controlled release of herbicides, this method became critical to crop rotation.

He joined the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 1957 and served in a number of administrative positions such as secretary, councilor, and director. Named Inventor of the Year by Dow Chemical Company in 1983, Dorman has been credited with over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He received the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ most prestigious award, the Percy C. Julian Award in 1992. Although he retired in 1994, Dorman continues to work in the scientific community as a mentor. He and his wife, Phae, live in Michigan and have two children, Evelyn and John.

Linneaus Dorman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2012

Last Name

Dorman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Bradley University

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linneaus

Birth City, State, Country

Orangeburg

HM ID

DOR06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I will study and prepare myself, then maybe, my chance will come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

6/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Midland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Chemist Linneaus Dorman (1935 - ) has twenty-six inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He also served as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company.

Employment

Dow Chemical Company

Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Comerica Bank

Dow Corning

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linneaus Dorman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes growing up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his elementary school experience at Middle Branch School and Felton Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman shares his childhood memories of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his introduction to chemistry and his early interest in mathematics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the prominent speakers who visited South Carolina State College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the first African American chemists

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how his early thoughts about segregation served as a motivating force

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to attend Bradley University in 1952

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a busboy at Carter Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the founder of Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes the differences between the black communities in Orangeburg, South Carolina and in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he met his wife, Thae

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes what influenced him to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr.'s death and his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his extracurricular activities at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a doctoral student in the chemistry department at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman talks about getting married and starting a family while in graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Linneaus Dorman describes his summer research experience at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work for his Ph.D. dissertation on heterocyclic compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work on synthesizing artificial bone material

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes thermoplastic elastomers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Percy Julian, one of the first African American research chemists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his activities in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about travel

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the importance of documentation and communication at the workplace

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he dealt with the frustrations of science

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio
Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds
Transcript
All right, also in our outline, it mentions here that you considered at one time teaching for a historically black college?$$Yes. But I, something told me I didn't wanna teach because that's what so many of my friends and relatives had done, not because they wanted to, but that was the only job open to them. So I wanted to do something other than teach.$$Now, did you believe that Dow [Chemical Company] would hire you?$$At the time?$$Um-hum.$$I didn't think Dow would hire me because some of my friends in graduate school had told me that Dow would not hire me, because they, some of them who had gone, who worked at Dow, (unclear) come back to Indiana University [in Bloomington, Indiana] to do further study, they told me that Dow would not hire me. But I went up to, to the Dow interview because I had a Dow fellowship. And I felt out of respect for the department [of chemistry], I should at least go up for the interview. Well, it turns out that Dow was desperately trying to get a black person, preferably one who had a Ph.D. who could come to work and be standing on your foot, on your feet alone, somebody who was strong enough, educated enough to not just be a laboratory worker, but to be an independent laboratory worker. So I discovered the chairman who was eager to hire, to talk to me and try to get me interested in Dow, much to my surprise. And I still didn't think it would happen, and I also got an offer from Ex-, it wasn't Exxon. It was Esso at the time out in Linden, New Jersey. And I thought that was a real possibility because Dow wouldn't, you know, because of the fact that this was an all-white town, Dow wouldn't probably hire me. And I'll never forget, my wife said to me, "Ah, I'll bet you get the job at Dow and not at Exxon." And that, I went out to Exxon and I followed all the people who were, with their heads in the clouds, who were not very sympathetic to a graduating black person. And sure enough, they didn't offer me a job. But Dow, I came out to Dow, and they were all very nice to me, and encouraging to me and recognized that Dow was trying to get blacks to come to work there. And it was encouraging enough that we had to make up our minds whether we were gonna take a chance on living in an all-white community. And we took a chance, made up our minds to do that and not stay a while and go someplace else because I could have done that after staying around. My telephone rang for a period of time, almost every six months, some other company wanting me to come, stop Dow and come work for them. They were offering me all kind of incentives. So I got to a point, I asked them what can you do for my retirement? They could never do anything to--I would be giving up those years working for, towards retirement. So that was always a no-no, and I had a feeling that they were trying to hire people just like Dow was trying to hire people. So I said, no, no, no. So I stayed here, and that, we decided to retire and live here. And we're happy with that decision.$Okay, all right. Now, during the course of your career, your research changed focus at different times. In the '60s [1960s] and '70s [1970s], you were focused on, from what I understand, peptides, right?$$Pharmaceutical compounds.$$Okay, and--$$And later to, when I got here, one of the things that Dow [Chemical Company] did was to become involved in the pharma--in some pharmaceutical business, thought it was a good venture because the return on pharmaceuticals is like 20 percent, which chemicals are around 10 percent. So Dow was gonna, Dow was very, always into agricultural compounds, and its agricultural compounds were tested for medicinal chemistry by somebody else. We had something called a K-List which every compound we made, you sent a sample of it, and it got a number, a K-number. And those are, one of the things the K-List did was to check it for various, for biological activities. But that was all agricultural until we got into the chemistry, to the drug business. And I was, just so happened to be in position at that time to also become a part of the drug business by synthesizing compounds here in Midland [Ohio]. We had a pharmaceutical group here in Midland. And, well, they later asked me to get into peptide chemistry because that, that was--peptides are like small proteins, and they were becoming more, more prominent because there's a guy by the name of Muirfield who devised a way to make peptides using a solid phase that would cut out a lot of the steps involved in make a peptide. Peptides are made from about twenty-five amino acids in different combinations, but to make a simple peptide, di-peptide, it's many steps, [to] make a tri-peptide, many more steps. So I became involved in the solid phase peptides chemistry, which I made some contributions to the field when I was doing that. And later on, the pharmaceutical business, we had the group here in town which was a part of the pharmaceutical effort, moved down to Indianapolis [Indiana]. And I didn't move with them, so I started something else. And that was diagnostic, latex diagnostic gauges.$$About what year is this?$$How's that?$$About what year is this when you start with the latex diagnostic gauges?$$Oh, ghez, I don't, '74 [1974]--$$Is this in the '70s [1970s] or--$$It's in the '70s [1970s], yeah.$$Okay, that's good enough.$$And we worked on developing a pregnancy test, and I worked in, in that area for a while. And from there we went to control, control release technologies. And from that to plastics.

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.

Anita J. Ponder

Anita J. Ponder is president of the Macon City Council and director of education at the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Georgia, the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast. Prior to serving on the city council, Ponder served as judge of the Municipal Court in her hometown of Fort Valley, Georgia. Ponder was born April 16, 1961, the oldest of three children of Clifford and Margie Ponder of Fort Valley, Georgia.

Ponder received her B.S. degree in journalism/communications from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and her J.D. degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas. She served as editor of the Law Review during her second year of law school. Ponder formed a lucrative partnership with a fellow classmate and practiced criminal and personal injury law immediately following law school. She resigned from the firm and returned to her hometown to fulfill her life long ambition to work in the public sector. Ponder became judge of the Municipal Court in Fort Valley, a position that she held for four and a half years. She volunteered at the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Georgia, while it was in its infancy. She helped the museum to expand its exhibits nationally and internationally, and became director of its educational programs.

Ponder was appointed to the Macon City Council in 1998. In her role as president of the council, she has aided in the revitalization of the city through the neighborhood redevelopment plan. She continues to play a major role in the construction of the multi-million dollar facility that will house the Tubman Museum. Annually, in December, Ponder and friends host the Holiday Feast for All that feeds community members during the holiday season. Ponder is the editor of a recently published book: Standing on Their Shoulders: A Celebration of the Wisdom of African American Women by Dr. Catherine Meeks. She raises Arabian horses, collects antique cars, and organizes antique car shows.

Ponder serves on the boards of the Macon State College Foundation, Macon Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Coalition of Black Women, and Newtown Macon. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Rotary International.

Accession Number

A2006.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/19/2006

Last Name

Ponder

Schools

Peach County High School

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Houston College of Law

Fort Valley Middle School

Hunt Elementary School

First Name

Anita

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Valley

HM ID

PON01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Francisco, California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/16/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Macon

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Museum executive and city council member Anita J. Ponder (1961 - ) was the president of the Macon City Council and director of education at the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Georgia.

Employment

Ponder and Jordan

City of Fort Valley, Georgia

City Of Macon, Georgia

Tubman Museum

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anita J. Ponder's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder describes her maternal family's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder remembers her paternal great-aunt's cake business

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder describes her paternal grandmother's neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anita J. Ponder recalls her maternal grandmother's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anita J. Ponder describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anita J. Ponder describes her family's tobacco farm

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder describes her maternal family's businesses

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder describes her family's social standing in Lakeland, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder remembers the death of her cousin

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder describes how her cousin's death impacted her career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder describes her grandparents' racial background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder describes her father

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder describes her paternal great-grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder recalls spending time with her paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anita J. Ponder describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Anita J. Ponder describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder remembers playing and learning at Fort Valley State College

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder describes her family life

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder lists her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder recalls her childhood neighborhood in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder recalls playing games with her friends in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder remembers playing baseball in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder describes the Ponderosa neighborhood in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder remembers learning the history of racism in the United States

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder recalls influential teachers in the Peach County school system

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder describes her childhood personality

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder describes her childhood ambition

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder remembers attending Trinity Baptist Church

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder describes her childhood friendships

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder recalls playing tennis and basketball

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder remembers travelling to play tennis

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder describes her high school tennis and basketball coach

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anita J. Ponder describes her childhood influences

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Anita J. Ponder describes attending Peach County High School in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder remembers playing the drums

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder recalls the 1975 tornado in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder describes the effect of basketball on her career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder describes tourist attractions in Peach County, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder recalls deciding to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder describes attending South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder describes her journalism major

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder remembers encountering racism at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Anita J. Ponder remembers her early career as a criminal defense lawyer

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder recalls her experiences on the South Texas Law Review

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder describes her partnership at Ponder and Jordan

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder remembers deciding to leave Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder remembers volunteering at the Tubman African American Museum

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder recalls being a judge in Fort Valley, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder remembers resigning as judge and running for the Macon City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder describes her housing initiatives on the Macon City Council

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder describes revitalizing a neighborhood in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder describes her work as president of Macon City Council

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder describes the museum district in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder describes the musical history of Macon, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anita J. Ponder describes serving on boards as Macon City Council president

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anita J. Ponder describes the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anita J. Ponder describes exhibits and fundraising at the Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anita J. Ponder describes the work of Richard Keil

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Anita J. Ponder talks about the significance of history

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Anita J. Ponder reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Anita J. Ponder gives advice to aspiring young professionals

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Anita J. Ponder describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Anita J. Ponder describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Anita J. Ponder reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Anita J. Ponder narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Anita J. Ponder narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Anita J. Ponder narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Anita J. Ponder recalls her experiences on the South Texas Law Review
Anita J. Ponder describes the work of Richard Keil
Transcript
Now while you were in law school [South Texas College of Law Houston, Houston, Texas], are there any memories that you have that you would like to share with us?$$You know, actually, law school is what people visualize it to be, and I mean it's pretty much all I did. I mean, you know, they have--it was the, a period in my life, unlike college [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida], where I really didn't have a life other than, you know, other than law school. And then, for some reason, it, it--something within me looking at, you know, the makeup of that school, wanted to really excel. And, you know, you know, college, high school [Peach County High School, Fort Valley, Georgia], and all that kind of stuff--I didn't really try, you know. It, you know, it just all worked out grade-wise. In law school, because I had this feeling of, you know, some people thinking that we were inferior (laughter), whether they thought it or not, I felt that, that's what they thought. It was important to me to, to, you know, to, to try to excel in law school. And so, it, you know, law school is hard. And so, it, it took a lot, especially, you know, your first year to--it, it took a lot of work and study to--to do that. Made it on law review [South Texas Law Review], first black ever to--you know. Law review in law school is a huge deal, regardless of what school it is. That's why even when you see your TV shows, you know, that still goes on your resume, that: was on law review, you know. I didn't really know what that meant, but I knew they thought it was a big deal. And it came to being that writing was important because, you know, Law Review was all about writing. And so, you know, you know, things, you know, turn out the way they did. And I had put such a focus on writing, and that kind, and that kind of thing. It was good enough to get on, on law review, and later became one of the editors--$$Okay.$$--of, of law review, which was historic in of it, you know, in of itself. And I think at least in that arena, you know, I had professors who really just look- they looked at the body of work, for the body of work and, you know, what you could do. And they, you know, didn't, didn't really see race I felt, you know--I was beginning to feel anyway. And then, I kind of got an easiness to know that, okay, just because I know that's what he feels--that particular professor, 'cause I noticed that he feel- he feels that I'm inferior. I shouldn't blame the school for that, you know. And so, it kind of helped me getting accepted. The law review kind of helped me get back balance--that, you know, all people are not--you know I came to law school, thinking all people are not a certain kind of way--look at them individually. I got there for a minute, and started grouping everybody together, like we so often do, got accepted on law review, and that was kind of like a crosswords, crossroads for me, in that it, it reminded me that, okay, don't let me get this one mixed up with this one, and that one mixed with that one, you know. And so, in terms of that whole thing, got back on, you know, back on track. And, you know, finished, and started making my first paycheck 'cause you remember, I've been in school all my life by that time.$Tell us something about how the museum [Tubman African American Museum; Tubman Museum, Macon, Georgia] got started?$$Well, it, it was founded back in 1981 by a white Catholic priest by the name of Richard Keil who had been, you know, real active in the Civil Rights Movement and other places, like Alabama and Mississippi, and some of your other southern states. And he became a priest here at one of the Catholic churches. And as he looked around Macon [Georgia], he saw, you know, while there were, the Museum of Arts and Sciences [Macon, Georgia], and a lot of things going on in Macon, there was no real place to hear or tell the stories of, of African Americans. And so, he decided--I want to put together this--at that time, he called it a cultural center, and had a hard time getting the support, and the loans to get a building to do so. And so, you know, he had just, you know, a few willing friends to, to join him in starting the center. Finally, he found a warehouse that you know, he could afford to just outright buy, and, and, and the funny thing is it's a warehouse where the inventory at one time was guarded by dogs. I mean, you know, so you had--I mean, it took a lot to get it up to what it needed to be. He purchased it, you know, had a vision to get it to a place that was even, you know, made for people--it took from '81 [1981] to almost '85 [1985] for them to turn it into the--even the center that they wanted. And, you know, you've gone from there, from, you know, three to five thousand visitors to sixty-five thousand visitors and, you know, a thirty thousand dollar budget to a $1.5 million budget. And so, you know, his vision is alive and well; and and, and he's the kind of leader that he founded the museum, knew it wasn't his expertise, and say, you know, this is something that I just wanted, you know--no ownership in it, no whatever, and turned it over to the, you know, the people. And it's governed by a board and, you know, and the staff of the museum. He has no--other than being an active participant in the programs that come, and come in to visit us, and bringing us little notes and candies, and all that kind of stuff. That's all he does. You know, he knew, you know, for it to grow, he needed to let it go. And then--and he did. Yeah.$$Okay. And what did you say one of his current projects is, and how that he has the African American museum up and running?$$Right, right now, he's been working real close with the Hispanic community. The Hispanic community is just like it is all over the country--has really, the population is really growing in, in Macon and Bibb County [Georgia]. And as a result of the, you know, the ability--the lack of ability to communicate, you know, the focus, Spanish speaking, and that kind of thing, he sees where there's a real need to, to make sure that they're not taking advantage of, and that kind of thing. And so, he's formed a group that he's really turned over to the Hispanic community, but just helped them get it started where, you know they have resources to--you know, all the kinds of things that helped them make sure that, you know, they're not getting taking advantage of in their housing, and language barriers, and making sure they can get to school, and that they're needing that, that kind of thing. And so, that's kind of been one of his focuses now.

Gen. Harry Brooks, Jr.

Retired Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr. was born May 17, 1928, in segregated Indianapolis, Indiana. A good student, he attended P.S. 42, P.S. 87 and Crispus Attucks High School, graduating in 1947 as an officer in the ROTC. Joining the United States Army as a private, Brooks soon rose to sergeant and used the provisions of the G.I. Bill to attend college. Noticed because of his baseball prowess, he was invited to Officer Candidates School (OCS) and received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1949. Brooks went on to obtain his B.A. degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1962 and an M.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1973. He also completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

Becoming an officer during the U.S. Army’s desegregation efforts, Brooks served in Japan with a logistics command in support of Korea. Serving in Germany as an artillery officer, Brooks also served a tour in Vietnam. His subordinate officers included Colin Powell. While attending the United States War College from 1969 to 1970, he coauthored The Gathering Storm: An Analysis of Racial Instability Within the Army. Appointed Army Director of Equal Opportunity Programs at the Pentagon in 1972, Brooks was promoted to major general in 1974, as the 6th African American general in United States history. As the commanding general of the famed 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, Brooks was responsible for 16,000 men and for ordering 10,000 of them to return to school for high school and associate degrees.

His decorations included: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Bronze Star Medals, and seven Air Medals. Awards from NAACP and Kiwanis recognized Brooks volunteer activities. After retirement in 1976, Brooks became executive vice president of Amfac, Inc. He then founded, with some of his friends, Advanced Consumer Marketing Corporation, which was heralded as the Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 1989 and the Black Enterprise Company of the Year in 1990. Married with four adult sons, Brooks was chairman of Brooks International and lived in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brooks passed away on August 28, 2017 at age 89.

Accession Number

A2004.186

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

9/29/2004

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Separated

Schools

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

George Washington Carver School 87

University of Nebraska-Omaha

University of Oklahoma

U.S. Army War College

Stanford University

Elder W. Diggs School 42

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

BRO25

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Carol H. Williams Advertising

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

I give a damn.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

5/17/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak (T-Bone)

Death Date

8/28/2017

Short Description

Major general (retired) Gen. Harry Brooks, Jr. (1928 - 2017 ) was Commanding General of 25th Infantry Division and worked to promote improved education in the military. After retiring from the military, Brooks founded the Advanced Consumer Marketing Corporation, which was heralded as the Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 1989, and the Black Enterprise Company of the Year in 1990.

Employment

United States Army

AmFac, Inc.

Advance Consumer Marketing

Brooks International

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry Brooks interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks states his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks talks about his mother and her Cherokee grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks talks about his mother's life and jobs

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks recalls his father's origins and strict upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks recalls his earliest memories growing up in Indianapolis

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks details his activities as a boy and his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harry Brooks remembers his elementary school and returning to visit as an adult

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harry Brooks talks about his high school years

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harry Brooks talks about his role models growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Harry Brooks talks about briefly dropping out of high school to marry but being prevented by his girlfriend's mother

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Harry Brooks discusses his decision in high school to go into the military

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks talks about enlisting in the Army

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks describes his experiences in the Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks talks about his first wife

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks recalls his experiences in Officer Candidates School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks describes his military experiences after being transfered to Japan

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks details his military duties after returning from Japan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks recalls his command success as a colonel and advising Colin Powell

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks talks about his military duties in the late 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks talks about the scarcity of black generals in the Army

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks talks about racial tensions in the military in the early 1970s and his visit to diffuse a crisis at West Point

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks discusses Equal Employment policy changes in the Army, 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks discusses his dissertation on military race relations and strategies for dealing with racial tensions in the Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks talks about the black military officers under his command

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks discusses the Army process for selection of general officers and his own promotion to Brigadier General

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks talks about his emphasis on soldiers' education and being a role model to the black troops he commanded

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks reflects on his tenure as commander of the 25th Infantry Division

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks details changes in his career after retiring from the Army

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks details his activities with the Freedom Forum

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks reflects on his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks ponders his legacy and the sacrifices his family's made for his personal success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks talks briefly about his religious beliefs

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks talks about his friendships and how he wishes to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks lists the black officers under his command who reached Lt. General or higher in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Portrait of U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell in his U.S. Army uniform, ca. 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Mr. Greene, father of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s first wife, Doris Elizabeth Greene-Brooks

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. and an unidentified man at the unveiling of his portrait bust at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. and his son standing in front of the street sign that bears his name, ca. 2000s

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his wife and son at the unveiling ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. posing with his portrait bust at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Harry Brooks with his three sons at his son Harry's wedding, 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. as a U.S. Army corporal, 1948

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks Jr.'s first wife, Doris Elizabeth Greene-Brooks, ca. 1948

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. receiving the Distinguished Service Medal upon his retirement from the U.S. Army, 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s son, Harry W. Brooks, III, in his U.S. Army uniform, ca. 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his first wife and General Bruce Palmer, Jr. at his promotion to brigadier general, ca. 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr.'s father, Harry Brooks, Sr. and unidentified men at his retirement from his position at the post office, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Portrait of Harry W. Brooks, Jr., ca. early 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. awarded a trophy upon being inducted into the Fort Dix Sports Hall of Fame, Fort Dix, New Jersey, ca. 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Portrait of General Harry W. Brooks, Jr., commander of the 25th Infantry Division, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s mother, Nora Elaine Bailey-Brooks

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr., commander of the 25th Infantry Division, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, ca. 1974-1976

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his three sons on a visit to Hawaii, ca. 1989

Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. as an infant, Indianapolis, Indiana, ca. 1930

Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Harry Brooks Jr. with his first wife and sons Wayne and Harry Brooks, III, ca. late 1950s

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Harry Brooks recalls his command success as a colonel and advising Colin Powell
Harry Brooks discusses Equal Employment policy changes in the Army, 1970s
Transcript
When I was a colonel, we had--I had five units, five battalions, six hundred men each [in 72nd Field Artillery Group] and there was another group that had five battalions, six hundred men each, and this was all large artillery, sergeants, Honest John [artillery rocket capable of delivering a nuclear warhead], eighty inches and so forth. A very complex formula about grading the effectiveness in the unit, annual general inspection, technical inspections, Army tests, dah, dah, dah dah. My units came out, one, two, three, four, five--no, one, two, three, four and six. And I wasn't happy about that, 'cause I wanted it one, two, three, four and five, but imagine how this guy [the other group commander] felt when all my units were coming up high because I was able to take those young lieutenant colonels that were commanding those units and teach them the lessons. I remember I went down to Colin Powell's unit when he was working for me [Brooks was Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea] , and said, "Let me go over some of the tricks of the trade." He was having some problems with racial disturbance. And I said, "Let me--let me go over some of the tricks of the trade with you, that experience has taught me." And he listened, and he followed them, and he came out just fine.$$What did you tell him?$$The first things I told him was to ignore some of this foolishness like, the dashikis after hours. People were making a big deal out of dashikis after hours. I said, "Who cares about the dashikis? Let them wear the damn dashikis." Slave bracelets, they were wearing the slave bracelets. I said, "After hours, I wouldn't give a damn what they did as long as they don't get in trouble. Colin, don't fight that battle." And then, set the standards of discipline. You're gonna have one or two bad apples in there. Find them and cut their throats and get them out of there. Get those sergeants functioning and your unit's gonna be fine. And he commanded the First [Battalion] of the 32nd Infantry, as I remember. And he didn't need a lot of help from me. He just needed somebody's shoulder to cry on when those soldiers were going wild. And I provided that. He did fine.$So what did you tell them?$$Number one, I told (laughs) them, "We gonna cut your throat if you don't get yourself organized." See, I, I--I'm a disciplinarian. And the first thing I'm gonna tell you, "You gotta stay within the rules. If you don't stay within the rules, you're gonna get in trouble. And we not gonna miss you when you get marched to the stockade. Now, if you understand that, let's starting dealing with your grievances. What are your grievances?" Most of the grievances are small. Again, "Why can't I wear this slave bracelet after hours?" And I told the commandant, "Let them wear the slave bracelets after hours. Who cares?" As long as they--when the formation takes place, they are in West Point [U.S. Military Academy at West Point, West Point, New York] uniforms. And, you know, little things like that. Anyway, we got it calmed down.$$Okay, just a matter of--?$$Communicating with them. And somebody's listening to me. You know, these guys were very aggressive at that time, throughout the Army. Somebody's listening to me, and then there was an attitude among many general officers in the Army back then that the solution was to put the bad guys in jail, and that's all. You know, my, my solution also was to put a bad in guy in jail, but I had tried everything else that I could because I know that a lot of young soldiers--are followers and if you can cut the head off and keep these young people from running out there getting in trouble, they won't go to jail. That's why I didn't have anybody in jail. I had--actually had a period of time--I had--out of 15,000 soldiers--I didn't one person in the stockade.$$But anyway, going back to the race relations and so forth--I [as U.S. Army Director of Race Relations and Equal Opportunity ] organized a general officers' committee consisting of the general officers from each of the staff sections of the Army General Staff. I'm still a colonel. So I was the executive director, and my boss who was the three-star general, would get the information. This committee met and started looking at what policies did we have that's causing this problem? One of the policies that we had was that we were sending these soldiers--black soldiers--into soft-skill jobs. And so you tell the computer--"Where are the black soldiers?" And you look over there and you see truck drivers and ditch diggers and labor-type things and they're massed up there. We said, well, "Tell me about what's going on over here in the hard skills." And you have computers, survey, things of that nature. Then you tell the computer, "Based upon the requirements and the qualifications, are there enough black soldiers in the Army to fill those slots?" Run the computer, and you know what the computer said? "They're there. You're just not doing something right." And so we started changing policy [in May, 1971] to move black soldiers--qualifying black soldiers into those jobs. And we did something that somebody would say was wrong. For example, if there was a requirement for eleven to go into one of those jobs, we would arbitrarily tell the computer, "The first eight that are assigned are black. Find people with high scores--good records and put them in those jobs." And that goes on. But you see, the soldier doesn't know that we're doing all that. He's still restless out there. He doesn't know, that's the equal opportunity side of the house. Then--now they've got this race relations, and then you've got these noncommissioned officers who had no idea what they're doing--we had these general officers and these other officers who don't really understand the--the phenomenon and dynamics of what's going on. So we had to set up training for them to understand the race relation problem. And we established--the DOD [Department of Defense] established a race relations institute down in Florida and started sending people down there to get training. We required that each brigade-level unit have a race relations person, preferably a rather senior NCO [noncommissioned officer] or officer to advise the commander on how to deal with dynamics of what was going on in that unit. And so we did that throughout the Army.