The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dinizulu Gene Tinnie

Professor and artist Dinizulu Gene Tinnie was born Gene Sinclair Tinnie on February 25, 1942, in the South Bronx, New York. Tinnie attended Suffolk County Community College, earning his A.A. degree, with Science Emphasis, in 1962. He continued his studies at the State University of New York-Stony Brook, with a B.A. degree in French in 1965, minoring in education and Spanish. In 1966, Tinnie earned a Fulbright scholarship to study French language, history and culture at the Université de Caen, France, receiving a Diplôme supérieur d'études françaises in 1967, and, in 1968, his Licence ès Lettres degree from the Université de Nancy. He would go on to earn his M.A. degree in French literature and linguistics from Queens College, City University of New York, in 1970.

Following his graduation, Tinnie worked as a linguist for the Black Dialect Project at the Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development in Los Angeles, California, while also continuing graduate studies in linguistics at UCLA.

Relocating to Boston, Massachusetts, he served as a project coordinator and artist-in- residence at Circle Associates educational consulting firm, and would be featured in his first exhibition, entitled “Black Artists,” in 1974 at Horticultural Hall, the same year he designed the inaugural museum space and exhibition of the new Boston African American Museum.

Subsequently moving to Miami, Florida, he joined the Miami Black Arts Workshop as an artist, designer, and project coordinator, serving in that position until 1983, and would become a founding member of the Kuumba Artists Collective of South Florida. Tinnie was an adjunct professor of English, humanities, and art appreciation at Miami-Dade Community College from 1975 to 1995, and joined Florida Memorial College in 1982, going on to serve in several positions that included art department chair. He also designed exhibitions for the Old Dillard Museum in Fort Lauderdale, and supplemental “After the Henrietta Marie” historical exhibitions in conjunction with the touring “A Slave Ship Speaks: The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie” exhibition, created by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society in 1995.

Tinnie’s public art commissions in South Florida include “Remembrance of the Way,” “Trilogy for Dr. King,” “The World is a Garden in which All Are One,” “A Gathering of Spirits,” the Richmond Heights Pioneers Monument, and the artwork on the Key West African Cemetery memorial monument. Major exhibitions include “I Remember the March on Washington,” (DC and Houston) and “Dinizulu Gene Tinnie: an Overview” (Miami).

Tinnie is the founder and co-director of the Dos Amigos/Fair Rosamond Slave Ship Replica Project. Publications discussing Tinnie’s research on the history of the Middle Passage have appeared in publications such as the Journal of African American History, Florida History, FlaVour magazine, and Islas bilingual quarterly. 

In addition, he is chair of the City of Miami Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, and serves on several other boards related to historic preservation.

Tinnie and his wife, Dr. Wallis Hamm Tinnie, have two daughters.

Dinizulu Gene Tinnie was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.018

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/23/2017

3/6/2017

Last Name

Tinnie

Maker Category
Middle Name

Gene

Occupation
Schools

Ps/Is 54

St. Anthony School

Bishop Dubois High School

Earl L Vandermeulen High School

Suffolk County Community College

State University of New York at Stony Brook

University of Caen Normandy

University of Lorraine

Queens College, City University of New York

First Name

Dinizulu

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

TIN02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Better To Light A Lamp Than Curse The Darkness.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/25/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Conch and Others

Short Description

Professor and artist Dinizulu Gene Tinnie (1942 - ) designed the inaugural museum space of the Boston African American Museum in 1974, and also designed exhibitions and installations at the Old Dillard Museum in Fort Lauderdale. His works can be seen in numerous locations around Miami and Boston.

Employment

Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development

The Circle, Inc.

Museum of African American History

Horticultural Hall

Opportunities Industrialization Center of Miami

Miami Black Arts Workshop

Favorite Color

Blue Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2288,353:5310,824:11805,1003:43580,1052:82740,1301:120520,1517:138360,1690:143920,1757:153930,1846$0,0:644,186:34250,418:34700,428:75966,1280:90900,1376:124390,1601:159960,1904:175230,1967:193444,2195:200230,2320:221045,2538:242337,2674:254980,2883:258650,2919:266530,3013:268050,3041:270540,3063:272060,3068:272505,3074:274107,3102:292600,3284:302114,3452:312380,3516
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637627">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dinizulu Gene Tinnie's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637628">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637629">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637630">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Marcus Garvey movement, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637631">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Marcus Garvey movement, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637632">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his mother's high school experiences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637633">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his father's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637634">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his father's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637635">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his father's move to New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637636">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his father's experience of racial discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637637">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his father's work as an elevator operator</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637638">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his father's acquaintance with businessmen in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637639">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his parents' immigration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637640">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637641">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after most</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637642">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls moving to Long Island, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637643">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637644">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his sisters</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637645">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his family's height</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637646">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637647">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his neighborhood in the Bronx, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637648">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls growing up as a New York Yankees fan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637649">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his family's conversion to Catholicism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637650">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his experience in Catholic schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637651">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his early interest in art</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637652">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers his classmate, John Jackson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637653">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637654">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the Civil Rights Movement, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637655">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his Catholic schools' racial demographics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637656">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the history of Long Island, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637657">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers Long Island's Earl L. Vandermeulen High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637658">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his experiences as a Fulbright Scholar</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637659">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his artistic interests in high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637660">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his interest in basketball</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637661">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls playing basketball with the Harlem Wizards</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637662">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers quitting basketball</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637663">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers Suffolk County Community College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637664">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his decision to study the French language</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637665">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his professors at Suffolk County Community College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637666">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637667">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637668">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Freedom Rider bus fire in Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637669">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the assassination of Malcolm X</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637670">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his experiences at Stony Brook University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637671">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls applying for the Fulbright Program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637672">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the University of Caen Normandy in France</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637673">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his experiences in France</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637674">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about playing basketball in France</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637675">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the First World Festival of Black Arts in Senegal</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637676">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his experiences in Normandy, France</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637677">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the French culture</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637678">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637679">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637680">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers returning to the United States</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637681">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls the student protests of the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637682">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about protests in France</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637683">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his dissertation on poet Francois Villon</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637684">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about African American dialects</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637685">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls conducting research on African American dialects</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637686">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the Black Panther Party and US Organization</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637687">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the US Organization</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637688">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about African American culture in the late 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637689">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls his coworkers at Circle Associates in Boston, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637690">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his projects at Circle Associates</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637691">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls remodeling the American Museum of Negro History</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637692">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the African Liberation Support Committee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637693">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the African Liberation Support Committee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637694">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about African American culture in the 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637695">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes African American music in the 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637696">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his wood sculpture, 'Remembrance of The Way'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637697">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about Miami's Overtown neighborhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637698">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Miami Black Arts Workshop</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637699">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the McDuffie riots in Miami, Florida, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637700">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon modern acts of racial violence</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/637701">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers the McDuffie riots in Miami, Florida, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645938">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dinizulu Gene Tinnie's interview, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645939">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the Miami Black Arts Workshop in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645940">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the mission and activities of the Miami Black Arts Workshop</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645941">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the political differences between metropolitan cities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645942">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the preservation of Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645943">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the early history of Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645944">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Bahamian community in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645945">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers Marcus Garvey's hundredth birthday celebration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645946">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls the popularity of the Garvey movement in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645947">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon the importance of social activism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645948">Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the art of woodcarving</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645949">Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his woodwork sculptures</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645950">Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls carving 'Remembrance of The Way'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645951">Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the process of creating 'Remembrance of the Way'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645952">Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls the community's response to 'Remembrance of The Way'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645953">Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the importance of public art</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645954">Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the benefits of public art</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645955">Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Sherdavia Jenkins Peace Park in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645956">Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the Kuumba Artists Association of Florida, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645957">Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his membership in arts organizations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645958">Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the potential development of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645959">Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the influence of public art</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645960">Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie shares his views on graffiti</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645961">Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about neighborhood violence</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645962">Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his teaching experiences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645963">Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers his colleagues at Florida Memorial College in Miami Gardens, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645964">Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon his teaching career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645965">Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the Free South Africa Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645966">Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the perception of Cuba in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645967">Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his support of Nelson Mandela</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645968">Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie shares his spiritual philosophy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645969">Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his initial interest in the Henrietta Marie slave ship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645970">Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the Henrietta Marie slave ship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645971">Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the history of the 19th century slave trade</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645972">Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls seeing the artifacts of the Henrietta Marie</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645973">Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach in Key West, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645974">Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls being selected to design the monument at the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645975">Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the memorial at African Cemetery at Higgs Beach</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645976">Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his gallery exhibitions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645977">Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his artwork</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645978">Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his board memberships, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645979">Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie remembers Howard Thurman</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645980">Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his board memberships, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645981">Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about the changes to the art community in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645982">Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon the art scene in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645983">Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645984">Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645985">Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645986">Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie talks about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645987">Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Florida, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645988">Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Florida, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/645989">Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$13

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Dinizulu Gene Tinnie recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination, pt. 2
Dinizulu Gene Tinnie describes the memorial at African Cemetery at Higgs Beach
Transcript
And it was actually an interesting day too, because by the time I got home, I had a cousin who--he just recently passed this year, or last year--who at the time was with the, he was a member of Dallas Philharmonic Orchestra. They were waiting at the end of the pala- parade route to play the anthem ['The Star Spangled Banner']. And they were kind of among some, the, the, the later ones to get the word as to what, what had happened. And it was really kind of interesting because he called--you know, back in those days you didn't--you had to get an operator long distance. He calls his mom in New York [New York]. Of all the telephone operators in New York, he gets his sister, you know. "Katie [ph.], is that you?" (Laughter) So she hooks up this guy in a three or four-way conversation, you know, with, with oth- other family members. And so, folk were able to kind of get a, you know, on-the-spot kind of report from, from him. And, but that whole--I mean, the, the, the--everything about that, 'cause you've got, you know, of course got more surreal because, you know, you know, we're riding in the car, and we hear that, okay, they're bringing Jack Ruby out. Then you hear the pow. You know, Jack Ruby's--you know, Lee Harvey Oswald has been just shot, you know. And my cousin, you know, he was always known for these little quips, you know, his--he's driving the car (unclear) "Hm, any witnesses (laughter)," you know like wow. But it was, yeah, it, it, it was, it was, it was that surreal. But then, you know, in, in another way I think it was, it had all the shock value because of who it was and you know, the circumstances around it. But then at the same time, I mean, all this violence against the Civil Rights Movement that was going on all the--it was like, what, what country are we in here, I mean. I think the--$So with that, it was already poured, so, but the columns hadn't been poured. And I said well, okay, this is good. That means, like, before you pour any concrete, let's, we can come up with some designs, where we can just cast into the concrete and that, that, that'll help, you know, on, on the columns. The columns were, was like ten of them with slanted tops that were supposed to have bronze plaques. So, I was fortunate enough to be able to come up with designs for the columns, for the fencing, you know, like, this, do some decorative fencing. And the design of the fence kind of evokes the, the lyric out of Lift Every Voice and thing--'Lift Every Voice and Sing'; it says, "Facing the rising sun of our new be- new day begun as we look out over the ocean" [sic.]. And--$$A song that was actually written in Florida, too, right?$$Yes, yes.$$By James Weldon Johnson.$$Right, right. And kind of--and then Johnson Odibi, he came up with the idea of a, a kind of a running tile mural along the platform riser and abstract family design, like symbolizing the future, to go on the outside of the columns. And we were able to create a, a kind of a map and a, you know, artwork for the surface, write the text for the, the bronze plaques using a, a, a kind of a map and you know, artwork for the surface, write the text for the, the bronze plaques using Adinkra symbols from Ghana to kind of tell the story of the saga. So you know, starts with Sankofa, where we have to go back and get the history to, you know, get by the handcuffs is a symbol called Wawa Aba, the, the seed of the wawa tree that the symbol of hardness and toughness, ako- Akoma Ntoso is the linked hearts, this, the, the symbol for agreement and accord. And then the three famous ones, the Nkonsonkonson, the links of the chain, Gye Nyame, the symbol of the omnipotence of God, Mate Masie, the symbol of knowledge. There's a corner column that just explains the whole thing. And then we have two more, the Osram, the moon, the idea that, you know, the moon doesn't go around the earth in a day. This has to run its course; this too will pass. And then it ends up with the one that kind of affirms that, you know, there is a god in heaven; you know, we know this. And it, it relates to--there's a spiritual, I hear--what is it--, "I hear music in the air. I know there's a God somewhere," that--$$Yeah.$$--that--$$"Above my head," and--$$That's the one, yes. And I also on the plaque related it to this great proverb from Brazil that says--and you know, this is what would have fortified those people as well. But it says, "Don't tell God that you have a great problem. Tell your problem that you have a great God," you know. It's just--so, oh, and then the other feature we were able to put in was at the top rail of the fences, we actually have 295 solid iron pyramids, so there's one for each person, you know, so that as you go there, especially you know that, you know that, okay, these are, you know. And there are two additional ones for the two people who, when they were being taken out to the ship to be returned to Africa, two--one, one of the boats capsized, and two people died, was just swept away. So they're remembered there as well. And so that's the--and the whole, the whole overall theme of the monument [African Cemetery at Higgs Beach, Key West, Florida] sort of suggests that, as you look out over the water, you see water. But below the water there's this whole story that, that you know, lives there.

William Pajaud

Artist and insurance executive William Etienne Pajaud, Jr. was born on August 3, 1925 in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Etienne Pajaud, Sr., was a trumpet player and bandleader; his mother, Audrey DuCongé, a college professor of social work. Pajaud and his mother moved around in his youth, from Nashville to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then to Tyler, Texas. He returned to New Orleans to attend Xavier University, where he graduated with his B.F.A. degree in 1946.

Upon graduation, Pajaud moved to Chicago, Illinois and worked as a sign artist and a freelance designer. In 1949, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute and earned a certificate in advertising and design while working as a postal clerk. Pajaud was the first African American to be admitted to Chouinard’s day school and to complete a degree.

In 1957, Pajaud was hired at the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles, California, where he later became vice president of public relations and advertising. At Golden State, he developed and was curator of the company’s African American art collection, which was considered one of the most important in the world. In his free time, Pajaud painted and exhibited his own artwork in Los Angeles at places such as the Heritage Art Gallery, black-owned Brockman Gallery, and later at the M. Hanks Gallery in Santa Monica, California. He retired from the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1987, but continued to paint and exhibit his art widely in museums and galleries throughout the United States.

Pajaud was a member of the Society of Graphic Designers, the Los Angeles County Art Association, and the National Watercolor Society, of which he served as president from 1974 to 1975. His honors include the 1969 PRSA Art Exhibition Award of Merit, the 1971 National Association of Media Women Communications Award, the 1975 University of the Pacific Honor, the 1978 Paul Robeson Special Award for Contribution to the Arts, the 1981 PR News Gold Key Award, the 1981 League of Allied Arts Corporation Artists of Achievement Award, and the 2004 Samella Award.

Pajaud passed away on June 16, 2015 at the age of 89.

William Pajaud was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.231

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/1/2014

Last Name

Pajaud

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Etienne

Schools

Corpus Christi Catholic School

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

Xavier University of Louisiana

Chouinard Art Institute

First Name

June

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

PAJ01

State

Louisiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/3/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Death Date

6/16/2015

Short Description

Artist and insurance executive William Pajaud (1925 - 2015 ) developed and was curator of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company’s famous African American art collection. He was also an accomplished painter and exhibited his own artwork in Los Angeles, California and across the United States.

Employment

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company

U.S. Postal Service

Stephanie of _______