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Robert T. Starks

Educator, political consultant and activist professor, Robert Terry Starks was born on January 24, 1944 in Grenada, Mississippi. He earned his B.S. degree from Chicago’s Loyola University in 1968. He earned his M.A. degree in political science also from Loyola in 1971. In 1968, Starks served as a management consultant for Booze Allen Hamilton and a research specialist for the Chicago Urban League. From 1970 to 1972, Starks served as Director of Black Studies at Northern Illinois University and associate professor of political science. He joined the faculty of Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies (NEIU CICS) in 1976 where he is associate professor of political science.

Starks served as an issues advisor to Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and political advisor to the late Chicago mayor, Harold Washington. He was the founding chair of the Task Force for Black Political Empowerment and has been the local chair of the Free South Africa Movement. In 2001, Starks founded the Harold Washington Institute for Research and Policy Studies at NEIU CICS. Since 1991, Starks has contributed a weekly column to N’Digo news magazine and hosted a show on WVON Radio in the early 1990s. He also was a contributing editor to Urban Affairs Quarterly.

Starks has appeared on WVON Radio’s On Target and on ABC-TV’s Nightline, the Today Show, C-SPAN, CNN News and CNN’s Crossfire television programs. His article “Harold Washington and the Politics of Reform” appeared in Racial Politics in American Cities by Rufus Browning. Starks is chairperson of the board of the Illinois Black United Fund and a member of innumerable civic committees. The recipient of a treasure of community award, he lives in the Woodlawn community with his wife, Judith and his children, Kenya and Robert. Starks has also authored a book on the political life of Harold Washington.

Starks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 15, 2009.

Accession Number

A2009.147

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/15/2009

Last Name

Starks

Maker Category
Schools

Academy Of St Benedict The African-Stewart Campus

Carey Dodson High School

Loyola University Chicago

University of Chicago

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Grenada

HM ID

STA05

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

You May Not Get Everything That You Pay For In This World, But You Most Certainly Will Pay For Everything That You Get.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/24/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Social activist and professor Robert T. Starks (1944 - ) served as an associate professor of political science at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies, as an issues advisor to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and political advisor to the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington. He was the founder and chair of the Task Force for Black Political Empowerment, and has been the local chair of the Free South Africa Movement.

Employment

Urban Education Center

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc

Northern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert T. Starks' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks talks about the South and West Sides of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks describes his father's family background in Grenada County, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert T. Starks recalls visiting his extended family in Mississippi and working on the farm

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert T. Starks explains how his parents met at Camp McCain in Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert T. Starks describes his brothers, his parents, and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks recalls his favorite childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks remembers the 1955 murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks describes growing up in Mississippi and in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks talks about the schools he attended in Mississippi, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the Hungarian Uprising

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks recalls the African American community's reception of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and learning about communism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks describes his interests while at Carey Dodson High School in Grenada County, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks describes growing up on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks recounts his decision to attend Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois and how he avoided the Vietnam War draft

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks recalls his teachers at Carey Dodson High School in Grenada County, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks describes the academic environment at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks talks about athletics at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois and about college sports teams during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert T. Starks talks about his civil right activism while at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert T. Starks recounts his student activism in Chicago, Illinois with HistoryMakers Fannie Rushing, Timuel Black, Kwame John R. Porter and others

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks describes planning a 1967 conference at HistoryMaker Kwame John R. Porter's Christ United Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks talks about fellow activists in 1960s Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks talks about meeting SNCC leaders and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s influence in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks talks about pursuing a graduate degree in urban studies at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks talks about working at Booz Allen Hamilton consulting and the Urban Education Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks interprets public-choice economist Anthony Downs' explanation for urban decay

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks recounts working in East St. Louis, Illinois for Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks describes cultural programs he created as director of the Black Studies Program at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks recounts how he got his teaching job at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks talks about the faculty at the Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks recalls the aftermath of Black Panther Fred Hampton's killing by police

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert T. Starks lists people he worked with at the National Urban League and the Black Strategy Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert T. Starks lists prominent black nationalists affiliated with the African American Studies Program at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks lists prominent Chicago, Illinois black cultural figures like HistoryMakers Maulana Karenga, Phil Cohran, and Abena Joan P. Brown

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks recalls African Liberation Day in 1972 and boycotting the South African Springboks rugby team in 1981

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks recalls artists and activists in Chicago, Illinois like Anas Lukeman and Sister Christine Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks talks about Communist activist Ishmael Flory, HistoryMaker Margaret Burroughs, and scholar F.H. Hammurabi

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks recalls the 1972 National Black Political Assembly in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks talks about poet Amiri Baraka and HistoryMaker Jorja Palmer

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks describes the relationship between Chicago mayor Harold Washington and HistoryMaker Gus Savage

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks recounts the decision to have HistoryMaker Jesse L. Jackson run for President of the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks describes working on Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks describes working on Harold Washington's campaign for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks describes working for Chicago mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks recalls the 1984 Democratic National Convention where HistoryMaker Jesse L. Jackson conceded to Walter Mondale

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks describes the mayoral tenure of Harold Washington in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks talks about conflicts after Chicago mayor Harold Washington's death, and about his successor, HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks talks about HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer's election as mayor by the Chicago City Council

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks reflects upon the Harold Washington administration and the Free South Africa movement

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert T. Starks names world leaders he met as a local leader of the Free South Africa movement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert T. Starks talks about the Million Man March in 1995

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert T. Starks reflects upon working with HistoryMakers Louis Farrakhan, James Bevel, Maulana Karenga and others on the 1995 Million Man March

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert T. Starks recounts how he first met HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert T. Starks recalls HistoryMaker Barack Obama's senatorial and presidential campaigns

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert T. Starks analyzes HistoryMaker Barack Obama's past successes and continuing political prospects

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert T. Starks reflects upon the lessons from Harold Washington's administration

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert T. Starks analyzes HistoryMaker Barack Obama's political prospects at the time of the interview

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert T. Starks describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Robert T. Starks reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Robert T. Starks reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Robert T. Starks talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Robert T. Starks describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$8

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Robert T. Starks talks about his civil right activism while at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois
Robert T. Starks reflects upon the Harold Washington administration and the Free South Africa movement
Transcript
Now, okay so were, were you involved in any political activities at Loyola [University, Chicago, Illinois]?$$Yeah, that's interesting, very interesting. I was one of the founders of the Loyola Friends of SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], and also LAASA, which is Loyola Afro-American Students Association. And I never will forget this was when we had the Selma [Alabama], the march in Selma. Some friends of mine and I were going around--cause I was down on, on the downtown campus, 800 North Wabash [Avenue, Chicago, Illinois] in the lounge, student lounge. And we were running around collecting money to help send money to the, to SNCC and to the, the marches in Selma. So I went up to this one white kid at this table, a white kid and said give some money to help Selma. So this one little smart-ass white kid said I didn't know she was sick, ha, ha, ha. And what did he say that for? We had a fight in the cafeteria. We swung at, we beat--but anyway, the--you know the dean called us in and you know, what are you doing? We explained the situation. He said you know, we're going to forget about this. But it was--I mean they, they were smart alecks at that time. Later of course, well yeah it was later, the--we had [Reverend] Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] came to Chicago. And of course--$$This was '64 [1964]?$$No, no, '66 [1966].$$Sixty-six [1966], yeah when he came to stay.$$And his buddy on the--one of his lead people was of course Jim Bevel [HM James Bevel]. And we loved Bevel. Bevel was one of the most--I can't tell you how--I mean Bevel was one of the smartest guys you ever want to meet. He was in fact, he was Dr. King, one of Dr. King's best strategists. And Bevel was like the guy who took the SNCC kids and CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] kids and college kids and he would give us workshops on how to be nonviolent and all this. And so we had this--our little SNCC group. We would go out on protests with them. We would march against the Board of Education because they were, you know we had to fight over integration of Chicago public schools. We did all kinds of little, little demonstrations and stuff. And it was integrated of course. This was before the black power move. And we hosted over at the Packing House, Stokley Carmichael when he came to Chicago. And this time, this is when I met Fannie Rushing and of course--now let's go back to '63 [1963]. The March on Washington [D.C.]. And of course the, the March on Washington headquarters in Chicago was at the Packing House and that's where I met Lawrence Landry. And Lawrence would--you came in and Lawrence would give you an assignment. My assignment was to go around and collect money to help send people to the March on Washington. So we went door-to-door. And then secondly, to set, to set up support and set up the Freedom Schools because we took kids out of schools cause we had the, the so-called Freedom Schools. And we were in contact at that time with students up at Northwestern [University, Evanston, Illinois], DePaul [University, Chicago, Illinois] and the city colleges. So at that time that's when we met people like Stan Willis, Earl Jones who was Amiri Baraka's cousin. Cause he was at Loyola. He had come in--he was from the East Coast and he was Baraka's cousin. And we--he was a part of our little group. We, we had--I mean just, just a bunch of really enthusiastic young people who thought everything was you know, gung-ho.$(Laughter)$$Now what, what's your assessment of Harold Washington years and what do you make of his--did we make any gains?$$We had made tremendous gains. But the problem was we were unable to sustain the gains because I think we spent too much time investing too much energy into one person rather than sustaining the organizational, institutional support that we had built up. Because as soon as he came into office, many of the organizations and the institutions that we had built up to that point to bring him to, into office, started retracting. 'Cause I remember clearly the, the number of organizations that we had on the list that supported Harold exceeded fifty organizations in the city. West Side, South Side, North Side, southeast side, these were black organizations. But as soon as Harold came into office, many of those organizations began to diminish in their influence because you know the idea was why should we have all these organizations, we got a black mayor, right? And that was the, the key fault. Now in the meantime in '84 [1984], we--[HM] Buzz Palmer, [HM] Alice Palmer, myself, Mark Durham sit down and then later we bring in [HM] Conrad [Walter Worrill]. And we formed the Free South Africa Movement. We got arrested in the consulate office in--and this was around the same time that they began the Free South African arrest and, and movement in Washington [D.C.], right. When Transafrica with Randall Robinson had begun the whole thing, right. So we formed--I became the, the Chairman of that group and we used to meet right up in the, in, on--in Room 408 in this building. I think it was every Thursday night we met. And we, we had every Thursday without a, a--without a doubt, we marched in front of the consulate on North Michigan Avenue. And I--believe it or not, some of the same people who were jumping up and down once [Nelson] Mandela was released, used to walk past us when we were demonstrating, and we would ask them to join the demonstration. They'd look at us like we were crazy, right. And some of those same people once Mandela was elected President, were the first to get on the plane and go to South Africa and, and you know. Interesting, very interesting dynamic. So in '91 [1991], it was '93 [1993] when Mandela came to Chicago [Illinois], well we held, held rallies, Free South Africa Movement had rallies in downtown Chicago, the whole bit. So when he was preparing to come to Chicago, [HM] Jesse [L. Jackson, Sr.] asked me to head up the committee to, to, to plan for the, the, the--his introduction in Chicago. So we put that together. And of course it was held--the main thing was at, at PUSH and that's when all these people who had, who had not participated in the marches all show up, want to have a picture with Mandela. And I just, I was just--I just shook my head; I was just absolutely--but that's, that's, that's the nature of the game. You know you have to get over it. But these were the same people, we begged them to join the line and help us march on those cold, cold days when we were being arrested, when we were being--we were sitting in, we were marching, wouldn't have anything to do with us.

The Honorable Constance "Connie" Howard

Constance “Connie” Arlene Howard was born on December 14, 1942 on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. The daughter of Henry and Thelma Bozeman, she was the second of four children. Howard attended James Wadsworth Elementary School and Hyde Park High School before enrolling at Chicago Teacher’s College, now Chicago State University. In 1963, Howard married Phillip Howard, Jr. and the following year a son, Phillip III, was born. Howard spent much of her time over the next decade actively participating in the political campaigns of former Illinois Attorney General and State Comptroller Roland Burris and others. In 1983, Howard decided to run for office herself.

Howard was elected Democratic State Central Committeeperson from the 1st Congressional District, a position she still holds today. In 1994, while campaigning for re-election, Howard also decided to run for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. She won both races.

As a State Representative, Howard serves as Chairperson of the Committees on Computer Technology and Children & Youth. She also serves on the Committees of Appropriations-Higher Education, Labor & Commerce and Higher Education. A member of the Chicago Urban League, Operation PUSH and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Howard has been honored by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Chicago Teacher’s Union and numerous other organizations.

Howard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 20, 2000.

Accession Number

A2000.052

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/20/2000

Last Name

Howard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Hyde Park Academy High School

James Wadsworth Elementary School

Chicago State University

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Constance "Connie"

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

PITS011

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/14/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Strawberry Shortcake), Pork Chops

Short Description

State representative The Honorable Constance "Connie" Howard (1942 - ) was the Democratic State Central Committeeperson from the 1st Congressional District, and held a seat in the Illinois General Assembly.

Employment

Illinois General Assembly

Illinois Department of Human Rights

TCI of Illinois

Favorite Color

Blue, Green, Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Constance Howard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Constance Howard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Constance Howard talks about her family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Constance Howard describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Constance Howard talks about her parents' jobs

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Constance Howard talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Constance Howard describes her grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Constance Howard shares about her grandmother's political activity

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Constance Howard recalls her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Constance Howard talks about her grade school years in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Constance Howard talks about her high school years at Hyde Park High School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Constance Howard talks about her social life and her desire to become a teacher in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Constance Howard reflects on her college years at Chicago Teachers College

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Constance Howard remembers protesting in a march to Chicago's Marquette Park

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Constance Howard talks about meeting her husband and her son's birth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Constance Howard describes her political start in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Constance Howard talks about working on the campaigns of Roland Burris and Carol Moseley Braun

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Constance Howard describes how she became a Democratic state central committeeman in 1983

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Constance Howard talks about her campaign for Illinois State Representative

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Constance Howard describes the challenge of passing a bill on expungement

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Constance Howard talks about reforming Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Constance Howard describes the general population's disregard for state government

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Constance Howard talks about the factors impacting school funding

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Constance Howard talks about her work with the parole board and prisoners on death row

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Constance Howard talks about colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly including William B. Black, HistoryMaker Emil Jones, and Wyvetter Young

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Constance Howard continues to talk about colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly including HistoryMaker Arthur Turner and Michael Madigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Constance Howard talks about addressing the digital divide

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Constance Howard talks about overcoming Republican opposition and the prison-industrial complex

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Constance Howard reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Constance Howard talks about what she values

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Constance Howard outlines the legislative process, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Constance Howard outlines the legislative process, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Constance Howard shares her memories of being elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Constance Howard talks about her early days in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Constance Howard talks about the impact of public office on her personal life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Constance Howard describes how she has distributed funds to improve her district

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Constance Howard talks about her grandchildren and her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Constance Howard talks about using technology to save paper

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Constance Howard talks about her administrative staff and funding

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Constance Howard describes the need for civically-minded youth, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Constance Howard describes the need for civically-minded youth, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Constance Howard narrates her photos, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Constance Howard narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Constance Howard narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Constance Howard remembers protesting in a march to Chicago's Marquette Park
Constance Howard shares her memories of being elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1995
Transcript
Were you aware of the broader community as far--broader I'm meaning, in citywide, statewide, countrywide, civil rights, political maze that was--$$--I was aware. I was aware of what was going on. We just never got involved in that. Never got involved in any of that. Saw it on television, heard about it, met people like Adam Clayton Powell. You know, but I never actually made a decision to get into any kind of march or protest. It was just not something that I thought was some--that I wanted to do. Other people were doing it. I think it was in the '70s [1970s] when I actually got involved in a march, where I marched into Marquette Park [Chicago, Illinois], and-and I think I was almost killed because the people were so violent and, and so insensitive--they threw things at us. M80s--that's when I first learned what an M80 was. They were throwing those things at us. They were explosives--and rocks and bricks. And we were just going to try to go into a park that was a public park. So I can imagine I probably would have, had I been a little bit more in-in tune to doing things like that, I might have gotten in-involved in the '60s [1960s]. And, I guess, I was involved in--later on, I was involved in a lot of community organization work attempting to, improve the quality of life for people.$$What years were those in Marquette Park?$$I went to Marquette Park, I think it was in '7--was it '73 [1973]. I think it was '73 or so because I was working with the Kenwood Community Organization at the time. And, I got involved with some--with a group that said that they were gonna march to Marquette Park, and I said okay, fine. And, my husband [Phillip Howard] said, "You wanna do that?" And I said, yeah. We gotta do this. And then afterwards he said, "You know, you shouldn't have gone." As he was helping me to deal with all this bruises and scars that I had all over me. And what was so t--so interesting when--went into the organization--that was on Saturdaywent into the organization on the following Monday and talked to the young people about what I had done, and they said, "You shouldn't have gone." (Laughter) It was as if they-they were feeling nothing at all, and-and probably one of the things that we have not done appropriately or sufficiently is let our young people know what has gone on for them to be where they are today. Because too many of them don't understand, and they don't, they don't appreciate the kinds of things that have gone on before them. They think that the freedoms that they have, have just fallen out of the sky. So that's sort of sad, but I suppose that it's our fault for not having made certain that they understood from whence they came and from whence we came.$What did it feel like when you won--actually won the election on election night (unclear) next morning. And then, what did you feel like when you went to Springfield as an elected official for the first time.$$On the night of election, I was just it was--it was, I was unbelieving. It was something that I just never thought would happen. And the reason is because I think I told you earlier, I didn't have the support of some heavy hitters. And I, and I just, just felt that, because some other people were in the race that had more support that I saw, than I did, that it was not gonna happen and so when the results started coming in precinct by precinct, and I had real good numbers, then you know, I began to become a little bit more enthused and then finally there was, there was enough in to say that I had won and I said well great. It was--I walked around sort of like in a daze for a while though because I just couldn't believe it. I thought I was dreaming. In fact, like you know, as they say. I anticipated, going to Springfield [Illinois]. When I went for the orientation, I was just--there was so much information. I just couldn't understand how I was gonna learn all this stuff, because they gave you a real intense orientation. I-I-I said, well am I doing the right thing? You know you, you sort of wonder what have I gotten myself into? And so I went through the orientation and finally January 11th of 1995, I was actually sworn in. Now that was a very exciting day because that was the day when everybody who was a part of the--was a part of the--of each of the houses, we all get sworn in on the same day, and you're sworn in for that term and there were people everywhere. There were just so many people and I, I had brought people in to witness that for me. The next day after that was over, we sent our people home, and we had to stay, and they said, now you get down to business.