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The Honorable Kenneth Gibson

Political leader Kenneth Gibson was born on May 15, 1932 in Enterprise, Alabama to Willie Gibson and Daisy Gibson. In 1940, his family migrated to Newark, New Jersey. He attended Monmouth Street School, Cleveland Junior High School and graduated with honors from Newark’s Central High School. Gibson served in the United States Army in the 65th Engineering Battalion from 1956 to 1958. He continued his education after leaving the army, and received his B.S. degree in structural engineering in 1962 from the Newark College of Engineering in Newark, New Jersey.

From 1950 to 1960, he worked as an engineer for the New Jersey Highway Department. Then in 1960, he was hired as the chief engineer for the Newark Housing Authority and was promoted to the position of New Jersey State Official Chief Structural Engineer for the City of Newark in 1966. In this role, Gibson held several community administration and management roles for the City of Newark and the Office of Mayor Hugh J. Addonizio. In 1970, Gibson was elected to the position of Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and served four consecutive terms from 1970 to 1986 – he was the first African American Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Gibson also ran unsuccessfully for governor of New Jersey in 1981 and 1985.

During his career, he received numerous recognitions and awards for his public and government service. In 1964, Newark’s Junior Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year. In 1976, Gibson was elected president of the United States Conference of Mayors, as the first African American to hold this position. In 1979, Gibson received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards Foundation.

Gibson was active in the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the YMCA and the YWCA. He headed Newark’s Business and Industry Coordinating Council, a job-finding organization, and served as vice-president of the United Community Corporation, an antipoverty agency.

Gibson passed away on March 29, 2019.

Kenneth Gibson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 31, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.042

Sex

Male

Interview Date

01/31/2017

Last Name

Gibson

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Occupation
Schools

Central High School

Cleveland Junior High School

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Monmouth Street School

First Name

Kenneth

Birth City, State, Country

Enterprise

HM ID

GIB08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Wherever American Cities Are Going, Newark Will Get There First.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

5/15/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

3/29/2019

Short Description

Political leader Kenneth Gibson (1932 - 2019) was elected as the 34th Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and was the first African American elected mayor of any major Northeastern United States city. He served from 1970 to 1986.

Employment

Gibson Associates

City of Newark, New Jersey

Newark Housing Authority

New Jersey State Highway Department

Favorite Color

Dark colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Kenneth Gibson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about racial discrimination in Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his family's move to Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his community in Enterprise, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about the Newark Public Schools

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his community in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about growing up in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers playing the saxophone

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the economic impact of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the treatment of African American soldiers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his experiences in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers working for the Newark Housing Authority

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes the racial demographics of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his career at the Newark Housing Authority

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his civil rights activities in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson recalls his early political influences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the riots of 1967 in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his children

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the riots of 1967 in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about the state of public education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about the criminal justice system

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his election as mayor of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson recalls the start of his mayoral term in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about the healthcare and insurance industries in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his administrative appointments in the City of Newark

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson describes his hiring strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his crime reduction programs

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson recalls his presidency of the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his relationships with other mayors

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his affirmative action program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers the tax crisis in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson shares his views on taxation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about the discriminatory sentencing practices in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his gubernatorial campaigns

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson reflects upon his experiences as the first black mayor of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers Amiri Baraka

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his successor, Mayor Sharpe James

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson talks about his engineering consulting firm

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his indictment

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers Ras Baraka

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson reflects upon the treatment of African American politicians

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson shares his advice to aspiring African American politicians

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Kenneth Gibson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
The Honorable Kenneth Gibson recalls the start of his mayoral term in Newark, New Jersey
The Honorable Kenneth Gibson remembers his administrative appointments in the City of Newark
Transcript
When you come into office, this is historic. You become the first African American mayor of Newark [New Jersey], one of the largest cities in the United States, after a mayor [Hugh Addonizio] who's been in there for a long time who has fallen from grace. But you're dealing with some, some big issues for your city that you've run on. What are, what are some of the things that you were able to implement in this first term?$$You know, it's very hard for me to separate the terms now because--$$Okay. Well, you just tell me what you remember.$$The things that I can--$$Let me ask you this differently. You are, you are mayor from when to when?$$From 1970 to 1986.$$And so, there're several elections in between there?$$Yeah, four elections.$$Four elections. So, you don't have to limit it to the time period, let me know some of the accomplishments you feel that you were able to make.$$Well, when I took office, Newark had some of the worse health statistics in the country. We had the highest tuberculosis rate, the highest venereal disease rate, the highest infant mortality rate.$$In the whole country?$$In the whole country. The highest maternal mortality rate, and I can go on and on.$$Why do you think the highest?$$Only because healthcare and health conditions are symptomatic of life experiences and the quality of life. If the housing is poor and lead paint is all over the place; if your healthcare system is poor and people are not able to go to the doctor as much as they should; if pregnant women are not able to get care during pregnancy, then you end up with these kind of problems. I was able to put together a healthcare network, and we had the major healthcare providers join in with preventive medical care, and we were in, within one to two years, able to improve all of those statistics. So, there were children being born then that are now still alive because of that system. So, how much is a human life worth? I think that we saved lives; and that, to me, is a better statistic than anything that we were able to do otherwise.$So, I'd like to learn more about the relationship that you built with Newark [New Jersey] that--excuse me--with Prudential [Prudential Life Insurance Company of America; Prudential Financial, Inc.] and other businesses, because that's part of what you are known for; helping to bring more businesses into Newark, to bring more money into the city.$$Well, you know, I'd like to take credit for all of that. But the point is that it makes good sense, business sense, to be where people and businesses are, because they provide a service. The guys that I made friends with in downtown Newark, they laughed at me at first when I said I was going to be the mayor; they didn't believe it. I convinced them to do some special things in Newark. Before I was elected, I went to every major business in downtown Newark. And I told them, I said, "I'm going to be the mayor, and I just want one commitment from you. Once I become mayor, then you help me." I said, "Because I realize who actually has the power in town." After they got finished laughing, then I got elected and I called them all back up. I said, "Okay, I'm here now." They gave me, without cost to the city, a senior vice president of every business in downtown Newark. The guy who chaired the committee was a senior vice president for Prudential; his name was Bob Smith [ph.]. I made him the business administrator for the City of Newark, at no cost to the city, and he stayed for three months and they gave him another three months. They were able to help me change the way the city operated, just based on their experience and knowledge about how to get things done. It didn't cost the city any money.$$So this was a relationship that you had planned that you had planted the seed when you were running?$$Oh, yeah.$$And then they all agreed to help?$$That's right, they all came.$$And over what period of time were they helping you?$$It was six months, officially. It was more than that, but actually I made him business administrator for six months.$$Okay, so I have to break the timeline for a moment, since we're having this particular topic. So, do you see value in the current presidential administration [President Donald John Trump] bringing these businesspeople in to do these jobs?$$It depends on what they're doing. You can't--just because these guys are businessmen don't mean they're smart. (Laughter) The people that I brought in were people who actually had the power in Newark; they were already here.$$Okay.$$I didn't resurrect--I didn't bring in new people. Prudential was the home base in Newark, and had been for a hundred years. These guys that we read about nowadays, they, in most cases, have no commitment to improving the quality of life of the normal citizen; they have no real interest in doing it. So, I don't know what's going to happen. Getting back to my pet peeve, how can a person run in charge of public education who doesn't believe in public education? The guy [Rick Perry] who's in charge of environmental protection [United States Department of Energy] said that that was one of the departments he was going to eliminate when he was running for office. Are these the kind of people you should put in charge? It's a like a person who tells you that, "I don't like children," and you put them in charge of child welfare. There's something wrong with that.

The Honorable C. Jack Ellis

Mayor C. Jack Ellis was born on January 6, 1946 in Macon, Georgia to William Claude Ellis and Willie Mae Glover. Ellis was one of thirteen children. Ellis attended public schools in Macon, Georgia and earned his B.A. degree at St. Leo College in St. Leo, Florida.

Ellis enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a combat soldier and paratrooper in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, three Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism and the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. Ellis worked with Reverend Jesse Jackson’s second presidential campaign in 1988, and then went to work for the Census Bureau in from 1988 to January of 1991, and managed a cable television system on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He also hosted a public access television show focusing on public and political affairs. In 1988, Ellis helped to manage Reverend Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign for the State of Georgia.

In 1999, Ellis was elected the 40th mayor of Macon, Georgia, becoming the first African American Mayor in the City’s 176-year history. He was then re-elected In 2003. During his tenure as Mayor, Ellis’s administration was responsible for approximately $1 million in loans to disadvantaged businesses. Under Ellis’s leadership, the City successfully won a federal Hope VI grant to improve public housing, in addition to other grants and federal aid. His administration constructed over 300 new affordable housing units and eliminated over 2000 sub-standard houses. Also, during Ellis’s administration, the City of Macon was designated as a city of excellence by the Georgia Municipal Association and awarded the City Livability Award by the
U.S. Conference of Mayors. First Lady Laura Bush designated Macon as a “Preserve American Community.” Ellis also created the C. Jack Ellis Youth Foundation which assisted underprivileged and special needs children in America, the Caribbean and Africa. After Ellis left office in 2007, he was appointed honorary consul for Uganda to promote the country in the southeastern United States. Three years later, Ellis announced that he would seek a third term as Mayor of Macon. In 2011, Ellis officially began his mayoral campaign.

Ellis has received many distinctions and honors, including being named one of the top leaders in the State of Georgia. As Mayor, Ellis served as vice president for the World Conference of Mayors for Tourism and Investment and chairman of the International Affairs Committee for the National Conference of Black Mayors. Ellis is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the NAACP and a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. His is the father of five children, and lives in Atlanta Georgia.

Clarence Jack Ellis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 22, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/22/2011

Last Name

Ellis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Jack

Occupation
Schools

Eugenia Hamilton Elementary School

Ballard Hudson High School

Saint Leo University

Michigan State University

Lansing Community College

Georgia Perimeter College

New Ballard Hudson Middle School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

C.

Birth City, State, Country

Macon

HM ID

ELL03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

People Always Try To Give You A Six For A Nine.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable C. Jack Ellis (1946 - ) was elected the 40th Mayor of Macon, Georgia, becoming the first African American mayor in the City’s 176-year history.

Employment

United States Army

St. Croix Cable TV

United States Census Bureau

City Of Macon, Georgia

Chester Engineers

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable C. Jack Ellis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his father's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about his father's siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about his father's siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis lists his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis lists his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his first experience of racism

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers his family's first farm

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers his favorite elementary school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his influences at Ballad Hudson Junior High School in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers Ballard Hudson Senior High School in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers completing his high school diploma

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remember segregation in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about race relations in the U.S. Army and in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his decision to become a paratrooper

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his role in the Detroit riots of 1967

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers serving in the Vietnam War

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis reflects upon his transition to civilian life

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers becoming a U.S. Army recruiter

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his three children

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about the effects of Agent Orange

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers developing an interest in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his experiences as a U.S. Army recruiter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers working at St. Croix Cable TV

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his role in Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign in 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls working for the U.S. Census Bureau

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers his return to Macon, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers his early political involvement in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his unsuccessful political campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his mayoral campaign platform

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his efforts to improving relations between police and the community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls securing a Hope VI grant for the City of Macon, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls establishing a sister city in Ghana

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls the Safe School Initiative

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls the election for his second term as mayor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes the C. Jack Ellis Youth Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes partnerships with African leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis reflects upon his second term as mayor

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis explains his solidarity with Hugo Chavez

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes the racism he faced as the mayor of Macon, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about the discrimination against Muslim Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes his campaign for a third mayoral term

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis describes the demographic changes in Macon, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable C. Jack Ellis narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

11$5

DATitle
The Honorable C. Jack Ellis remembers completing his high school diploma
The Honorable C. Jack Ellis recalls his role in the Detroit riots of 1967
Transcript
So this guy [R.J. Martin] never allowed me to come back to school [Ballard Hudson Senior High School, Macon, Georgia]. I joined the [U.S.] Army instead. Joined the Army, became a paratrooper and of course with, in mind of finishing high school. And let me tell you how small the world is and how good God is. I wound up being stationed in Paris, France, right outside of Paris. And I had, I was stationed at NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] headquarters. I was at, this time I'm--this is a year and a half, I'm almost nineteen years old. My commanding officer, captain of mine was a gentleman from Macon, Georgia named Arthur Rich, a white guy. Now the black man put me out of school, he was a black--Dr. Martin. And my father [William Ellis] worked at Mercer University [Macon, Georgia] and worked for his father, Dr. Rich, Arthur Rich, Sr. I'm in Arthur Rich, Jr.'s command in Paris. He came to--Arthur Rich, Sr. came to visit his son at Christmas of '64 [1964], '65 [1965], I can't recall. Had to be '64 [1964], Christmas of '64 [1964], came to visit his son and said that, "You know there's a--." My name happened to come up. I was from Macon. And he said, "Well his father works at Mercer University," where he was a professor of music and my father also did work at his house as a groundskeeper, took care of his lawn and all of this and he wanted to meet me. So they sent for me to go to the captain's house for dinner which I was a private first class. Private first class, we don't get invited to captains' houses for dinner as a rule. And I went and it was--wanted to introduce me to his father who knew my father. The next day or shortly thereafter when we were back to work, it was during the Christmas holidays and we were back to work, he looked at my file and said, "I notice that you didn't finish high school before you joined the Army." I said, "No, that's why I joined the Army." I gave him the story about how I wanted to finish high school and what had happened. And he says, "I will make a deal with you. If you can think you can finish in one year, I will arrange for you to go to the American overseas dependent school and you'll get a high school diploma." And that's how I finished high school. Finished high school there and started taking college courses at the University of Maryland overseas branch [University of Maryland University College]. And Arthur Rich, Jr. and I today are very good friends. He, when I ran for mayor the first time, my first check came from him. He's a retired colonel now living in Alexandria, Virginia, went on to be a real estate mogul.$And then shortly after, Charles de Gaulle, the former president, the late president of France decided he would withdraw from NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], so, which meant that we had to leave all the military, all the U.S. military personnel had to leave France and I was transferred, transferred to Germany and this would have been in 1966. So I was transferred to a paratrooper outfit in Germany and had a great time in Europe. I, matter of fact I was having so much fun that I wanted to stay and I--this is '67 [1967]. The war in Vietnam [Vietnam War] was raging at that time. Now I know about the war, you know but I'm in Europe. The war is in Vietnam and now I'm a staff sergeant and I attempted to extend my stay in Europe for at least another two years. I had had a sports car. I was having fun running up and down the autobahns in Germany from Frankfurt [Frankfurt am Main, Germany] to Wiesbaden [Germany] where I was stationed. But when I requested this extension, not only did they deny it but they sent me orders telling me that I had been reassigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky for further shipment to Vietnam. This would have been in the spring of 2007 [sic.] so I came back to the states and wound up in Fort Campbell and became a member of the one 'o--101st Airborne Division and started out training. And we were--what I remember about that period is that at that time Detroit [Michigan] was burning. Detroit had the big riots in Detroit in August of sixty (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Sixty-seven [1967].$$--August of '67 [1967]. So here I am in Fort Campbell training to go to Vietnam to fight the enemy, the Communist quote, unquote, enemy and we were diverted to Detroit to help put down an urban riot and, and to kill young boys and girls in the inner city of Detroit which didn't register well with me. And, but as a soldier you do what you're told. So we stayed there for a few weeks and when that was over, went back to Fort Campbell and got on a plane, went to--shipped out to Vietnam. And let me, now--$$Well you have to tell me more about the riot in Detroit.$$Yeah. Yeah.$$Okay, about, you know, how--what happened and how--$$Well what was happening if you recall, I don't know whether you remember this in this era. The Michigan National Guard [Michigan Army National Guard] had been called in to--the governor of Michigan [George W. Romney] had called the National Guard and I think Governor Romney [Mitt Romney], the guy that's running for president, I think his father was the governor of Michigan at that time. I know it was a Republican if I'm not mistaken. They had called the National Guard and the National Guard didn't deal softly if you will with the rioters. They were shooting to kill, you know. They had shoot to kill orders. Well that just kind of you know made things worse. So they called and they said, "Hey these guys are not trained to do this and they are really going to make things worth here--worse." So they pulled the National Guard back and they asked for the 101st Airborne Division to come in and help maintain order. And I recall I was a young staff sergeant, reconnaissance platoon sergeant training to go to Vietnam to do this and I remember a captain telling me to use a flamethrower to burn down a building where a couple--we had received a couple of sniper rounds, probably someone from--had a .22 caliber rifle and I refused the order. I refused to do it. I refused to do it because I thought it was overwhelming force that we would be using on maybe a seventeen, eighteen, a twenty year old black kid with a rifle, with a .22 caliber rifle. And he wanted me to use a flamethrower to just burn the building down and it was a two story building. There could have very well been on the top floor and I refused that order. And nothing ever became of it but I did refuse a direct order to do that and I told him it wasn't necessary. I thought we could cordon this area off and bring some sense to it without burning down an entire building.

The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard

Mayor Patsy Jo Hilliard was born on August 20, 1937 in Denver, Colorado. Her father, Elmer Dudley Morrison II, was a chair car attendant, while her mother, Jessie Morrison, was a model. In 1955, Hilliard graduated from Manual High School in Denver, which she attended with her future husband, Asa Hilliard, III. She took classes at Los Angeles State College and worked as a playground supervisor for the Los Angeles public schools in 1956. Hilliard received her B.A. degree in interdisciplinary social sciences from San Francisco State University in 1976. In 2008, Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore, Maryland presented her with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Hilliard has a decades-long career working in schools. From 1956 to 1961, she was a summer playground supervisor for the Denver Public School System. In 1964, Hilliard taught first grade at Bright Functions School in Monrovia, Liberia. While in Liberia, she also served as volunteer coordinator for the organization American Women in Liberia. In 1975, Hilliard became the first African American and the first woman board member of the South San Francisco Unified School District, a position she filled until 1980. Hilliard made history again in 1993 when she was elected mayor of East Point, Georgia. She was both the first woman and the first African American ever elected to that position. Hilliard remained mayor until 2006, longer than any other East Point mayor. In 2007, Hilliard hosted a television talk show entitled “In the Know with Patsy Jo.” She now serves as CEO of Waset Educational Production Company, which she founded in collaboration with her husband, and leads educational tours to Egypt with the organization Ancient African Study Tours.

Throughout her career, Hilliard has worked with many organizations, including the East Point Business Association, the Fulton County School District’s Superintendents Advisory Board, the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club, the Atlanta High Museum of Art, and the DeYoung Museum of Art. She has served on the Executive Board for the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, and has served as President for the Atlanta chapter of Links, Inc. and the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Hilliard has received dozens of awards, including the Drum Major for Justice Award from the SCLC, the Torch Award from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and a Public Service Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha. In addition to being counted one of the 100 Most Influential Black Women for six years, she has been inducted into the Atlanta Business League Women’s Hall of Fame.

Hilliard has four children and is the widow of famous historian and EducationMaker Asa G. Hilliard III.

Patsy Jo Hilliard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.085

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2010

Last Name

Hilliard

Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Jo

Schools

Whittier ECE-8 School

Cole Junior High School

Manual High School

San Francisco State University

Colorado State University

California State University, Los Angeles

First Name

Patsy

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

HIL13

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, Ghana, Liberia

Favorite Quote

Be True To Thyself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken, Ice Cream

Short Description

Education administrator and mayor The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard (1937 - ) was the first African American and the first female mayor of East Point, Georgia. She served on the Executive Board of the Atlanta NAACP and as President of the Atlanta chapters of The Links, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Employment

Denver Public Schools

Los Angeles Public Schools

Bright Functions School

South San Francisco Unified School District

City of East Point, Georgia

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her paternal grandmother and step-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her paternal grandfather and step-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her mother's personality and profession, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her mother's personality and profession, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about playing bridge

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her mother's charm school in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her experiences at Whittier Elementary School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers Cole Junior High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her neighborhood in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about integration in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls her classmates and teachers at Manual High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her college and professional aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls meeting her husband, Asa Hilliard, III

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her experiences at Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls her introduction to Denver's city politics

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her husband's teaching career and research

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls her family life in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her experiences in Liberia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her civic involvement in Liberia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls founding the Liberian chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her election to the South San Francisco Unified School District board

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her involvement with The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard describes her civic activities upon moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls her mayoral campaign in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her accomplishments as mayor of East Point, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her accomplishments as mayor of East Point, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about the development of the Camp Creek Marketplace in East Point, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her travels with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her travels with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her work with the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard recalls her trips to Egypt

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her radio show, 'In the Know with Patsy Jo'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her husband's death

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard shares her advice for future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard talks about her civic involvement in Liberia
The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard remembers her accomplishments as mayor of East Point, Georgia, pt. 1
Transcript
While you're there, you become a part of the American Women in Liberia. What is that that organization does (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Laughter) I had to laugh about that. I just did it because they asked me to. But I thought you know why do we need American Women in Liberia? But what happened--I would go to these parties and people would say, "Well, when I was in London [England], we used to do so and so." "When I was in Paris [France], we did so and so." So their whole idea is that there's nothing to do in Liberia. I mean you know there's nothing. These people don't know what they're doing and we can't help out at all. So I thought okay. And that's why I joined the American Women in Liberia 'cause I thought this is what I can add, this whole volunteer thing. So I went to several agencies in Monrovia [Liberia]. And I said, "There's a possibility that you'll get a volunteer," I said, "because you know there are a lot of Americans who are here with their husbands, and they're here for like one or two years. And they're professional. So they wanna do something to enhance their profession, and they want it to be stimulating, and at the same time to help you. So what is it that we can do in your agency that will be helpful to you?" And I wanted to make sure it was their choice because I also found that many of us will go into a situation and say this is what we're going to do whether they want you to do it or not. And I had observed that. So I had lists of things of what agencies wanted us to do. So then I made up the list and I took it back to the organization and so they agreed that we'd circulate this list. So then I was happy to go to cocktail parties and I'd hear that conversation, I'd say, "Well here, it's something right here. Why don't you check on--let me know what you wanna do and I'll get in touch with them." That was really rewarding to me because I didn't have many people complaining about what there was not--what they were not able to do in Liberia. 'Cause I think one of the first things I did is work at a hospital. And I was filling mayonnaise jars with St. Joseph baby aspirins. Now you know I mean I'm sure that's necessary, but surely there's something else I can do that, you know and that's kind--so we changed that whole thing, and I think it was really good and many of the people in Liberia were very happy for that.$$Now--how, how many years did you stay in Liberia?$$Six years, just before I came home, I became a member of the Eastern Star [Order of the Eastern Star]. And that was exciting because I--well I, yeah I was able to go to--they have a temple there. I was in the Queen Esther Chapter [Queen Esther Chapter No. 1] of Eastern Star, and so the temple in Liberia we actually met in. And I think it's been destroyed now you know because of the war [Liberian Civil War]. But it just happened that Mrs. Tubman [Antoinette Tubman] was in our same chapter. And so I had a couple of opportunities to actually go to the mansion and speak with her personally, and that was just a thrill. I tell you it was a thrill of a lifetime.$$Tell me who Mrs. Tubman is.$$She was the wife of President W.V.S. Tubman [William Tubman], who was the president of the country when we got there. He passed away I think in 1970, either '70 [1970] or '71 [1971], but he had been president for some time. And you know they often talk about, you know, how African government should be. But it was in a sen- it was not a totalitarian government, but he had a way with his paramount chiefs. If there was a dispute, he would get together with all the chiefs and they'd settle it. Now how, how they did it, they did it. But it may not be our way, but it was their way. And we need to be respectful of the way other people do things and not insist that they do it our way 'cause it doesn't always work. And I think we're learning that now with some of the confrontations that we're in presently. But it was, it was--I went back for the inauguration two or three years ago with the first president [first female president], Ellen [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf], and that was exciting because I remember President Sirleaf used to come to our house a lot and say what should be happening in Liberia. And she and my husband [HistoryMaker Asa Hilliard, III] would have these long conversations. So when I got a chance to see her when I went back for the inauguration, I said, "Okay, remember all those things that you said? Okay it's your turn to do it." 'Course it's, you know, certainly not that easy and it's difficult as a woman to do things. And she's had to really kind of make some changes in the government. And I think they're having a hard time accepting a female. But I just love that country. We're--I'm an honorary Liberian.$And what were some of the things that you accomplished your first term [as mayor of East Point, Georgia]?$$Well I feel good about, one thing is the library [East Point Branch, East Point, Georgia]. Because we've always had a library, it sits right behind city hall [East Point City Hall, East Point, Georgia], but it really did not have the kind of books that we needed. And we didn't have like where you can go in and read the newspaper or read Ebony magazine or something. It didn't represent the community as it had changed. And so I found out when I first moved here that the county put a library in every city. There were six, six cities in Fulton County [Georgia]. And the, the--and so but on the headlines of the newspaper it said, "East Point says no to Fulton County library." And I could never understand that. So one of the first things I did is meet with the county manager. We had a meeting at my office. And I said, "What can we do to get a library here?" So we started that process. And you know I had some people who didn't want it--but--and that just shows you how people work together because there was a minister, Reverend Fordsman [ph.] at an A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal] church came to my office one day and had a big pack of flyers because we had to get people to vote. See what I, what I did is I said let the citizens decide then, you know if we can't decide among ourselves, let's vote. We put--let everybody vote. So then we had to let people know about it. And so you know I had no money, the city didn't have money for this. And he brought this big box of flyers. Then I--there's another man who had an organization of young people in the projects. And I--he had this big bus. And I said, "Reverend, if you'll please bring some of the parents to the board meeting, the board of trustees meeting at the library." 'Cause see they had a board of trustees, both those members were wives of former council members. Nobody even really knew about the meetings, you know they just gonna have their little--and decide what was gone happen with the library. So of course I knew when the meeting was. I said, "I want you to take the people and make a presentation." And they said they, they were so surprised (laughter) when those people got off the bus and went in. So I mean that just shows you, you know if there's some direction, people are willing to do. You know they're willing to do. I mean that's--that was just so gratifying to me. And so we got out the vote and I mean like three to one, people wanted a library. And so they built the library. And we have a--they built a new library. So we were even able to keep the old building, and we have a brand new library. Then the other thing I was able to do is we have a clinic, Grady clinic [East Point Grady Health Center, East Point, Georgia], which--now that's the first time I ever--myself saw people picketing because there was some people who did not want the clinic. They didn't want it there and they were actually walking around the city hall. And I thought what is going on? But you know for some reason or another they didn't want the clinic. And I knew that clinics were now coming to communities rather than you having to go downtown or try to find 'em, and we needed it. So we built it, and it's there. And it just makes me--every time I see it (laughter), I'm happy it's there.

The Honorable Norman Rice

Norman Blann Rice, born on May 4, 1943 in Denver, Colorado, was the 49th mayor of Seattle, Washington. Rice was Seattle’s first and only African American mayor. Rice is the youngest son of Irene Hazel Johnson (1913-1993) and Otha Patrick Rice (1916-1993). Rice’s father worked as a porter on the railroads and for the United States Postal Service. He was also the owner and operator of Rice’s Tap Room and Oven in Denver. Rice’s mother was a caterer and a bank clerk. Rice’s parents divorced when he was a teenager. His grandmother, Reverend Susie Whitman (1895-1989), Assistant Pastor at Seattle’s First A.M.E. Church, was one of the first western women ministers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After graduating from Denver’s Manual High School in 1961, Rice attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. Distressed by the segregated housing and meal facilities and frustrated by the work load, he dropped out in his second year and went to work. Between 1963 and 1969, Rice held jobs as a hospital orderly, a meter reader and an engineer’s assistant. Rice arrived in Seattle in 1969 and restarted his education at Highline Community College and received his A.A. degree in 1970. Then, he attended the University of Washington through the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP). By 1972, Rice had earned his B.A. degree in communications and in 1974 his M.A. degree in public administration at the University of Washington.

Before entering city government, Rice worked as a reporter at KOMO-TV News and KIXI Radio, served as Assistant Director of the Seattle Urban League, was Executive Assistant and Director of Government Services for the Puget Sound Council of Governments and was employed as the Manager of Corporate Contributions and Social Policy at Rainier National Bank. Rice was first elected to the Seattle City Council in 1978 and reelected in 1979, 1983 and 1987, serving eleven years in all. Rice served as Mayor of Seattle from 1990 to 1997. Because of his warm personality and easy smile, he was affectionately known as “Mayor Nice.” From 1995 to 1996, Mayor Rice served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, an association of more than a thousand of America’s largest cities.

After nineteen years of public service in Seattle city government, Rice served as president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle from 1998 to 2004. Rice was also Vice Chairman of Capital Access, LLC. Rice returned to academia in 2007 as a visiting professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, where he is to lead a series of public seminars on Civic Engagement for the 21st Century.

Rice married Constance Williams on February 15, 1973. They have one adult son, Mian Rice, and one grandchild, Sekoy Elliott Rice.

Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.300

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2007

Last Name

Rice

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Manual High School

University of Washington

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington

Wyman Elementary School

Morey Middle School

University of Colorado Boulder

First Name

Norman

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

RIC15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The Best Is Yet To Come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

5/4/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Mayor The Honorable Norman Rice (1943 - ) was the first African American elected as the mayor of Seattle, Washington. Rice also served eleven years on the Seattle City Council and as a visiting professor at the University of Washington.

Employment

Denver General Hospital

Public Service Company of Colorado

International Business Machines (IBM)

KIXI Radio

J.C. Penney Company

KOMO-TV

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

KCTS-TV

Puget Sound Council of Governments

Rainier National Bank

Seattle City Council

Seattle Office of the Mayor

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:333,2:1554,16:5772,99:9324,211:12654,249:13320,256:14097,264:20011,279:20620,287:21490,300:24187,339:25753,365:28798,469:45114,605:45682,610:47244,622:49920,639:53348,675:53996,684:54563,693:55373,706:56588,736:60152,792:63554,847:64202,856:73166,964:73496,970:75476,1018:76994,1060:77456,1072:78908,1115:79436,1123:80162,1137:83660,1216:85508,1270:87620,1319:88082,1327:94335,1375:94595,1381:94855,1386:103630,1570:113186,1748:115232,1797:117014,1837:117278,1842:117740,1850:118136,1858:120644,1924:121238,1934:124440,1939$0,0:15229,216:26017,414:26761,423:33697,496:34061,501:34516,507:37246,551:38793,572:43525,647:43980,653:44344,658:47668,682:48053,688:48900,700:49285,707:49747,714:52082,735:53442,764:53714,769:57454,853:57726,858:59834,919:61194,945:61602,952:62622,969:63166,979:72668,1088:73242,1096:74718,1123:76522,1155:77096,1164:80849,1181:84065,1248:84936,1264:85472,1274:85874,1281:86142,1286:86611,1294:87080,1305:90430,1382:95254,1509:99700,1524:100720,1552:104330,1618
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Norman Rice's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his parents' restaurant

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his neighborhood in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interests

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the influence of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the importance of storytelling

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the television programs of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Wyman Elementary School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his early interest in politics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes Morey Junior High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers Manual High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his experiences at Manual High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the aftermath of his parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his experiences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers a patient at the Denver General Hospital in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working for the Public Service Company of Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as an engineer's assistant at IBM

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his internship at KIXI Radio in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as a news editor at KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his studies at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls becoming assistant director of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the civil rights issues in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the protests at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his study for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes the 'Thursday Forum' on KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his role at the Puget Sound Council of Governments

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his decision to run for the Seattle City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Norman Rice describes his campaign for the Seattle City Council

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his unsuccessful political campaigns

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls his election as the mayor of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about mandatory busing in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the support for his mayoral campaign in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Norman Rice recalls the Rainbow Coalition's support for his mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Norman Rice talks about his appeal to voters

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his educational summit

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his civic career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Norman Rice reflects upon his educational achievements as mayor of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Norman Rice narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
The Honorable Norman Rice recalls working as a news editor at KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington
The Honorable Norman Rice remembers his educational summit
Transcript
I stayed out of work for about a quarter, which actually helped me 'cause it kept me on track with school [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington]. And then, I got a job at KOMO-TV [Seattle, Washington] writing news and editing film for the eleven o'clock news, and also keeping track of the film library, taking the news and, and documenting it. Had some amazing days when it used to have tape--makes you go look for tape--I, I mean, film, rather--and you go look for a roll to use, and the film would emulsify, you know what I mean, it just, oh, it was fun. But, anyway, I worked there, had a very interesting time to, uh, and learning experience also. The most profound time was when, at the time, there were a lot of the black contractors, and the whole issue was getting high about hiring blacks on construction type sites. And I remember once the--I looked at a show. I was editing the film, and they were showing the white contractors fighting black contractors, and I kept saying, "That's not the story." I kept saying, "Why don't you go down to the union hall and say, 'Why aren't you hiring African American, you know, workers?'" And the guy, who was writing the story said, "That's not the story." And it was kind of at that point, I realized that, you know, I don't think I'll be a reporter because that's what the editor is going to tell me, you know, that when the truth of what you want to get to as a reporter, may not ever manifest itself in, in a news story. And the news story's always going to be for this moment and this time.$$The sensational aspect (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yep, and unless you're in control, as the editor or you're--own the station, you're not going to make change. And I realized that if I was going to come into that station, I would either--gonna be spending all my time arguing with my colleagues for why they aren't telling the truth, or I need to do something else.$You were talking about the educational summit, then, the--now how, how soon after you were elected [mayor of Seattle, Washington] that you (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The--we assembled, we, the summit came about--I, I took, like office in, how we say, '90 [1990], January '90 [1990]. The summit took place in April of '90 [1990]. We planned for, on a wonderful day in April, we assembled some two thousand people. What we did is we asked them to state for us, if you could look five years beyond today, what kind of, what would be a positive educational system? And we took those values that they used. We hooked up thirty-six sites with computers, inputted all their information into a single computer, calibrated that, and collated that, and came back the next day with, here's what we think you said. And then, we got validation that people agreed that's what they said. And then, we developed action plans where we got people involved on task forces to come up with three recommendations to achieve those goals. So, it was interactive, it was dynamic, it was a process that said, we asked you to tell us what you want. We came back and said, showed you that we had listened. And then, we asked you to come back, and be involved in the solution, rather than walking away. And that really set the tone for my administration on everything I did. And so, that was the civic engagement and the openness of the Rice [HistoryMaker Norman Rice] administration. And I think, made us so successful, so that by the time, I ran for reelection, I think I got elected with 60 something, plus percent.

The Honorable Marc H. Morial

Chief executive officer and politician Marc Haydel Morial was born on January 3, 1958, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the son of Sybil Haydel Morial, a teacher and university administrator, and the late Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, who was the first African American Mayor of New Orleans. Morial attended a Jesuit high school, receiving his diploma in 1976. He earned his B.A. degree in economics and African American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1983.

In 1992, Morial served two years in the Louisiana State Senate, where he was recognized as Legislative Rookie of the Year. Prior to his elected service, Morial worked as a private practice lawyer at Adams and Reese, one of the Gulf South’s leading law firms. One of his most noteworthy U.S. Supreme Court cases - Chisom v. Roemer - established that the Voting Rights Act be applied to the election of judges. This led to the election of the first African American judge in Louisiana.

Morial served two terms as mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. Many improvements were made during his terms as mayor including crime reduction, police reform and the passing of a significant bond issue. In addition, during his last two years in office, Morial served as president of the United States Conference of Mayors. The Morials, father and son, have the distinction of being one of the first African American political dynasties.

In May 2003, Morial was appointed president and CEO of The National Urban League, a revered civil rights organization. Since that appointment, Morial’s Empowerment Agenda has worked to reenergize the League’s diverse constituencies; to build on the strength of its nearly one hundred year old legacy; and to increase its profile both locally and nationally.

Morial has been recognized by Non-Profit Times as one of America's top 50 non-profit executives, and was named one of the "100 Most Influential Blacks in America" by Ebony magazine. In June 2009, Morial was appointed chair of the 2010 Census Advisory Committee.

Morial is married to news anchor Michelle Miller and has two children.

Accession Number

A2006.045

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/21/2006 |and| 4/4/2006 |and| 5/2/2006 |and| 11/29/2006

11/29/2006

Last Name

Morial

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Schools

St. Gabriel the Archangel School

Christian Brothers School

Jesuit High School

University of Pennsylvania

Georgetown University Law Center

First Name

Marc

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MOR11

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Galapagos Island

Favorite Quote

Keep The Faith.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/3/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive and mayor The Honorable Marc H. Morial (1958 - ) served two terms as mayor of New Orleans, and was appointed president and CEO of the National Urban League in 2003.

Employment

New Orleans City Government

Louisiana Legislature

Xavier University of Louisiana

U.S. Senate

National Urban League

Barham and Churchill

Marc Morial, Attorney At Law

Louisiana Senate

Adams and Reese LLP

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Pontchartrain Park in New Orleans

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his Creole family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his parents' civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the religious leaders of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's judicial campaigns

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mother's civic involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers New Orleans' Christian Brothers School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls playing on New Orleans' all-star basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers his disinterest in music lessons

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the importance of sports in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his father's inauguration to Louisiana's legislature

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's tenure in the Louisiana House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers meeting legislators as a page

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers playing sports in Pontchartrain Park, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers working on his father's campaigns

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls creating signage for his father's mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's mayoral campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the wards of New Orleans

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial reflects upon how his parents raised him

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his experience at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his social life at Jesuit High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes the New Orleans police strike of 1979, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial describes his decision to study economics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc. H. Morial recalls his experience at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 3

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his arrival at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial explains his decision to attend a majority school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the diversity of the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his organizational involvement in college

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls how his political aspirations developed

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his role in the Louisiana legislature

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role models at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his mentors at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls graduating from the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers hearing Reverend Jesse L. Jackson speak

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his role in Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's impact on New Orleans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his position at Barham and Churchill

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his aspirations as a young lawyer

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marc H. Morial's interview, session 4

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his early business ventures

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial remembers State of Louisiana v. Shropshire

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls founding his private law practice

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial lists his organizational involvements

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his interest in running for a political office

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his campaign for the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about David Duke's campaigns

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes David Duke's impact on Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his time in the Louisiana State Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his politics and ideology

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes New Orleans' public safety package

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his accomplishments as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his and his father's mayoral terms

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes how he continued his father's mayoral legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his first campaign for mayor of New Orleans, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his second term as mayor of New Orleans

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his National Urban League interview, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his National Urban League presidency, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marc H. Morial talks about his wife and children

DASession

1$4

DATape

1$8

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
The Honorable Marc H. Morial describes his father's political campaigns
The Honorable Marc H. Morial recalls his decision to run for mayor of New Orleans
Transcript
So, I know you were just, really first grade when he [Morial's father, Ernest Morial] became a lawyer. Is it, was he the first black lawyer (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) My father was the first black to finish from the Louisiana State University Law School [Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana]. There were a handful of black lawyers in Louisiana before he became a lawyer, the late great A.P. Tureaud, to name, most of them had attended Howard University [Washington, D.C.]. I think a few had gone to a school in Missouri, Lincoln--there was a Lincoln Law School [Lincoln University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri], I believe, at one time, but many of them had attended Howard. My father attended LSU [Louisiana State University]. He became the first black student to attend LSU--the second black student to attend LSU, and the first black to graduate from LSU Law School in 1954. So, so that was an accomplishment in and of itself and he began practicing law in 1957 with A.P. Tureaud who was the dean of civil rights lawyers, so my father became a civil rights lawyer. So, he was co-counsel on every major civil rights case, desegregation of schools, desegregation of all public facilities. His name is on the pleadings. He was involved in all those case. It really defined the course of his life, what he did in the late 1950s as an understudy to A.P. Tureaud. So, he got involved in the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and in 1962 became president of the NAACP New Orleans [Louisiana] branch and remained there for three years and then became an assistant U.S. attorney and through the intervention of people like Hale Boggs and others and I, I remember him saying he was really reluctant to take the job as an assistant U.S. attorney because it meant being a government employee. It meant sacrificing and giving up most of his law practice. But, he did it because A.P. Tureaud and a fellow by the name of Arthur Chapital who were his mentors. Arthur Chapital had been the president of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP and later became the chairman of the NAACP state conference. Arthur Chapital, A.P. Tureaud and then my father's older brother, Walter Morial [Walter Morial, Jr.], were really his mentors in life and they convinced him that because of the opportunity to open a door and make history he should take this job as an assistant U.S. attorney because there had never been a black in a position like that ever in the history of Louisiana. So, he did that and then he in 1967 he ran for the state house of representatives and was elected. There had never been an African American elected to the legislature [Louisiana State Legislature] in the 20th century when he got elected in 1967 and he ran against an entrenched incumbent white legislature by the name of Stephen Daley, interesting, and won the race in the first primary without the need for a runoff. And you know I remember this, my father's first campaign I remember vividly I was only nine years old, I would go Uptown [New Orleans, Louisiana], we get on the back of his sound truck with a band and ride around the neighborhoods and campaign on Saturday and go to churches and rallies and I think my father brought to campaigning something that was a hallmark of every campaign he ever ran and it certainly became a hallmark of mine and that is it was the organizing methods of the Civil Rights Movement, two political campaigns, very grassroots oriented, very community oriented, a lot of volunteers, a lot of phone banking, a lot of knocking on doors, a lot of working in the churches, which in those days was not, not all that common in New Orleans politics. So, people got an opportunity to see a candidate who had never seen candidates before, and so it was, that race was, was historic and, and so he went to the legislature and got seated in 1968.$So I had two years and a little bit more in the Senate [Louisiana State Senate] and after my second year in the Senate I started entertaining the thoughts of running for mayor [of New Orleans, Louisiana]. And it's funny because I, I sort of vowed at the time that I didn't want to run for mayor, that I was gonna stay in the Senate because I liked the Senate. Really being in the Senate is probably the single best political job I ever had. I mean, I enjoyed being mayor. It, it trumps everything, but the Senate was a place where you had colleagues. The Senate was a place of collegiality. The Senate was a place in those days where we could get something done. The Senate was a place where we had a nice coalition. The Senate was a place that I learned a lot, and you know then I decided and it was in effect--$$Who convinced you that you should run?$$I don't really know who convinced me. It's almost like it was spontaneous combustion. I was very peaked, upset, not happy about the direction of the city. Crime had gotten out of control. There seem to be just complete lethargy in the government. I went to a meeting in City Hall [New Orleans, Louisiana] and it looked like they hadn't polished the floors. The bathrooms were dirty, you know, and you see these sorts of things and I think something went off in me and said you know what I can do a better job. The other thing is there were a number of people running for mayor. I call it, it was four people running, five people running, all of them were fifty and over and I was thirty-five and I'm, I sort of remember reading the paper, you know, and saying you know what are we gonna get if any of these guys win? It's gonna be more of the same, the same old things, no fire, no change, no nothing. And I decided to run very late. I remember I announced my candidacy on November 10th, 1993. The final deadline was December 1st, and got out there and just put the old grassroots Morial coalition together and we stormed the barracks. And it was, you know, I got in the race and several of the candidates, particularly some of the African American candidates were cross with me. They were mad with me. Why am I running?$$Why were they?$$Well they were jealous because they knew that my presence in the race meant that they, it made their job much more difficult. You know I had a--$$How much did the legacy play into your running?$$I think the legacy played a lot into the idea that at thirty-five and with two years in the Senate I can be a credible candidate. I think that the brand name, the Morial name in New Orleans [Louisiana] represents probably progressive effective leadership, effective leadership. The idea of getting things done, making things happen, and the idea of strength and the idea of you know multiracial coalitions. I think that's what the Morial political brand represents in New Orleans.