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Esther "E.T." Franklin

Media and advertising executive Esther “E.T.” Franklin was born on July 21, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Dolores Johnson, was a teacher; her father, Leon Johnson, a teacher and minister. Raised in Wilberforce, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois, Franklin graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1975. She received her B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1979 and her M.M. degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School in 1993. Franklin has also completed certificate programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

In 1980, Franklin was hired as a field project director at Market Facts, Inc. in Chicago. From 1982 to 1993, she worked for Burrell Communications, first as a market research analyst, and later as vice president and associate research director. In 1984, Franklin took a brief hiatus from Burrell Communications to work as a research manager for the Johnson Publishing Company. She was hired by Leo Burnett Advertising in 1993 and worked on various Philip Morris brands as vice president and planning director for Marlboro USA until 2001. At Leo Burnett, Franklin was instrumental in launching several corporate trend initiatives, including LeoShe, Foresight Matters and 20Twenty Vision, focused on the female consumer and twenty-something audience. She also appeared on Oprah, where she discussed LeoShe's research on beauty myths.

In 2002, Franklin was named senior vice president, director of consumer context planning for Starcom USA, a Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) company. She was appointed as executive vice president, director of cultural identities of Starcom MediaVest Group in 2006, and was later promoted to executive vice president, head of SMG Americas Experience Strategy in 2011. During her time at SMG, Franklin pioneered Cultural Communication Anthropology and worked on Beyond Demographics, a research study exploring the vital role of culture and identity in reaching consumers.

Franklin has received numerous honors for her work. She was named an AdAge “Women to Watch” and received the “Changing the Game” honor from Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Franklin was honored with the prestigious “Legend Award” at the 2011 AdColor Ceremony, and was identified as one of the Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing by Black Enterprise in both 2012 and 2013. In addition, she has published several multicultural and subculture targeting pieces, and is sought out as a speaker and panelist on all topics related to the evolving consumer landscape.

Franklin has chaired The HistoryMakers National Advisory Board's Advertising/Marketing Committee and sat on the global advisory committee of the World Future Society. She has also served as a board member of the Family Institute at Northwestern University and the Chicago Urban League.

Esther Franklin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 21, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.257

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2014

Last Name

Franklin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Northwestern University

University of Chicago

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Evanston Township High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Esther

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

FRA12

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I'll Be Waiting For You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/21/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Frozen Custard, Jelly Belly's, Popcorn

Short Description

Media executive and advertising executive Esther "E.T." Franklin (1957 - ) was the executive vice president and director of Starcom MediaVest Group Americas Experience Strategy. She also served as a vice president at Burrell Communications and Leo Burnett Advertising.

Employment

Starcom MediaVest Group

Starcom

Leo Burnett

Burrell Advertising

Johnson Publishing Company

Market Facts, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Esther "E.T." Franklin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her family's trips to the segregated South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early social interactions in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her neighborhood in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her childhood in Wilberforce, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her commute to school in Xenia, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her father's illness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the development of her spirituality

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her employment after college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers joining the Burrell Advertising Agency in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls working for John H. Johnson at Johnson Publishing Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers her first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her second husband

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin remembers working for Philip Morris Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls the changing perception of tobacco products

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the LeoShe initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her work at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her decision to join Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her early career at Starcom Worldwide, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her position at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls her recognition as an Ad Age Woman to Watch

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about female advertising executives

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin recalls becoming the director of cultural identities at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her role as the director of cultural identities

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the female leadership at Starcom Worldwide

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the Beyond Demographics project

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her current position at Starcom Mediavest Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the impact of digital media

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the discrimination against African American consumers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Esther "E.T." Franklin talks about the future of advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Esther "E.T." Franklin shares a message to aspiring marketing professionals

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Esther "E.T." Franklin reflects upon her life and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Esther "E.T." Franklin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$3

DAStory

2$7

DATitle
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes her work on The History Channel's 'Band of Brothers'
Esther "E.T." Franklin describes the culture of the Burrell Advertising Agency
Transcript
Now while you're in this role I believe was when you worked on the project with The History Channel [History]?$$The HistoryMakers?$$History Channel's 'Band of Brothers.'$$Yes. Yes.$$Can you describe that project and what your role was?$$History Channel 'Band of Brothers.' That was--at that time we were trying to think about how we're going to innovate in the media space and how is that going to--how we are going to be bringing it closer to consumer experience. The industry had been growing driven by technology and we felt if we can bring the consumer perspective into the mix that it would distinguish us from our competition. So there was an opportunity by the-'Band of Brothers' was being developed and there was an opportunity to place that--I'm sorry that was being placed on The History Channel. The History Channel came to our media organization [at Starcom Worldwide] with a traditional package. For X amount of money you can have thirty second spots here, you can have integration in this way you know the traditional media package. What we said is we want to do it a little bit different, we don't want to just place advertising in the, in the programming. We want to create lead in and lead out interstitials if you will. So if the 'Band of Brothers' is a series of episodes people might not necessarily be able to be see every, every segment of the series. What if instead of taking the traditional media package we use that time and create summary vignettes of the previous episode. So that if a person missed the previous episode when they sit down to watch instead of seeing a commercial leading in they'll see the summary from the previous episode and at the end of the program they'll see a lead in into the next one. So we used our media dollars to create those interstitials and place them in that manner and that was new and innovative at the time. It was a way to think about placing and using media and programming in a way that was--reflected consumer behavior versus placing advertising in programming.$$And what year is this?$$That had to have been around 2003.$$So HBO [Home Box Office] at this point is huge. Right? HBO is one of the main players in creating new content and now you're using interstitials in a different way because interstitials are not new but this use of interstitial is new--$$Yes.$$--and how effective was it?$$That was very effective. People were writing in about--we were able to increase people's engagement, in other words, time spent. They were talking about these interstitials as a new way of seeing how media was being used. So the [U.S.] Army was very happy and The History Channel was happy so that was very effective for us.$$So was the Army the advertising end of this?$$No, not necessarily. I can't remember exactly the clients that were involved in advertising. I don't, I don't remember.$$Um-hm.$And Tom Burrell [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell], who's the leader of this organization that is in Chicago [Illinois]--most of advertising is in New York [New York] but Burrell is here in Chicago and he's quite a force. So you're a young woman working at this agency. Did you interface with them and what was your relationship like working with this powerhouse?$$It was great. I mean again my background--I come from a black family that was--I had a lot of exposure to black people that had a lot of power whether they were ministers or whatever. So it was--I was accustomed to that but Tom was great, he knew everyone and everyone knew him. At that time I think when I started at the agency maybe there were fifty people so I wasn't in the beginning but I was close to the beginning. There were some unique things that happened in those days. One of the things that happened was there was such a sense of camaraderie. And we had these talent shows. So I was there the year that the talent show started and I told you that I sew and I made my own--at that point I was making my own clothes. So I entered the talent show just like everyone else. It wasn't, it wasn't a big deal it was just fun you know do what you can do. We had it at [HistoryMaker] Howard Simmons' studio on Chicago Avenue. So my talent was the fact that I made my clothes so I found other women in the agency that were about my size and I put on a fashion show. So we're in the back, you know, drinking and eating and they're announcing the winner and somebody said well, "You've won," and I was like--I just kept eating and drinking, and they said, "No you won." So I won the first Burrell [Burrell Advertising Agency; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] talent show with my fashion show clothes that I had made. So that was something that--so Tom of course was giving the award so that happened. But again it was such a small environment and he was present all the time so I knew him just like other people.

Louis Dodd

Insurance executive Louis Price Dodd was born on February 15, 1944, in Winona, Mississippi, to Willie and Corene Dodd. Dodd graduated valedictorian from Chicago’s Dunbar Vocational High School in 1959. He received his B.A. degree in education from Chicago State University in 1963 and has also taken advanced courses at Northeastern Illinois University.

Dodd worked as a Language Arts teacher for the Chicago Board of Education from 1966 to 1971 and was the Director of General Education for Chicago Youth Centers from 1969 to 1971. During this same time period, he was also the Co-Owner and Vice President of Marketing for Bailey’s Stamp Works. Since 1971, Dodd has been in the insurance business as an independent agency affiliate of Allstate Insurance. Throughout this time, he has been president and CEO of Dodd’s Insurance Agency. Dodd has received numerous awards for his work in the insurance industry and has been Allstate’s leading sales agent for the Chicago Metro Region for over fifteen years. From 1977 through 2003, Dodd was the director of Highland Community Bank in Chicago. Building on his success in the insurance industry, Dodd entered the hotel business and is co-owner of three Chicago hotels, The Amber Inn, The Dew Central Motel, and the South Parkway Inn. He is also a partner in two other enterprises, the Rolls Royce Car Wash and Kermit Coleman Medical Center.

Dodd is married to fellow insurance agent Alma Dodd. They have three children: Robert Dodd, Kimberly Yelverton, and Courtney Dodd.

Accession Number

A2008.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/21/2008

Last Name

Dodd

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Price

Occupation
Schools

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School

Chicago State University

Edmund Burke Elementary School

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Winona High School

First Name

Louis

Birth City, State, Country

Winona

HM ID

DOD03

Favorite Season

Birthday

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Miami, Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is Not Easy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/15/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sole

Short Description

Insurance executive Louis Dodd (1944 - ) was president and CEO of Dodd’s Insurance Agency since 1971. A former teacher, Dodd was also co-owner in three Chicago hotels, and was the director of Highland Community Bank in Chicago from 1977 through 2003.

Employment

Allstate Corporation

Louis Dodd Insurance Agency

Bailey's Stamp Works

Forrestville Upper Grade Center

Montgomery Ward

Esquire Lounge

Rolls Royce Car Wash

The Amber Inn

Dew Central Motel

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Kermit Coleman Medical Center

Dodd's Insurance Agency

Highland Community Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:336,15:21694,354:24360,415:32784,495:38976,590:39320,595:40524,613:42158,643:42846,653:44394,677:47146,711:55634,753:60298,815:86383,1099:90002,1151:97240,1329:104848,1377:107170,1407:109578,1429:109922,1434:113050,1546:113690,1557:114090,1563:114570,1575:119405,1656:119713,1661:120021,1666:124333,1736:176095,2465:178687,2494:179497,2505:180955,2527:195626,2678:198958,2736:199230,2741:200250,2751:201542,2767:203038,2792:206310,2799$0,0:13650,195:15690,221:23880,280:24564,290:26502,312:27186,319:28212,328:33018,337:33846,347:35410,361:35910,366:37285,379:38035,386:38660,392:42910,432:62314,569:62682,574:63142,580:63602,586:74180,701:74596,706:75324,715:76156,723:80030,748:80302,753:83682,794:84540,811:85320,825:86178,842:87192,858:87972,871:88362,878:91092,932:103974,1055:123440,1242:126212,1264:140747,1454:141314,1470:141881,1481:143501,1505:144878,1524:146660,1554:149495,1602:149900,1608:153640,1618:154914,1635:157735,1674:158190,1680:158554,1685:160829,1718:161739,1741:162376,1751:163013,1760:163832,1770:166107,1805:168109,1839:182810,2037
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Louis Dodd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandparents, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandparents, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes his siblings and maternal aunt and uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd remembers his father's car

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his childhood home in Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd talks about his maternal grandfather's role as a pastor

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd recalls his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Louis Dodd remembers his first impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's career

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his father's occupation in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd remembers the death of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd recalls his return to Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers Winona High School in Winona, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes Edmund Burke Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd remembers Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd describes his mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd recalls his guidance counselor at Dunbar Vocational High School

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Louis Dodd describes his activities at Dunbar Vocational High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd recalls his interest in athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd remembers his scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd remembers the Chicago Teachers College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes the founding of Bailey's Stamp Works

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd talks about the Chicago Board of Education examinations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd remembers the Forrestville Upper Grade Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his students at the Forrestville Upper Grade Center

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd recalls the uprisings on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd talks about his rubber stamp business

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd remembers his introduction to the insurance industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd describes his position at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd recalls his experiences of discrimination at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes his work at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers moving to Matteson, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd describes the changes in the insurance industry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd talks about his role at the Highland Community Bank

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd talks about the practice of redlining

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd talks about the role of African American banks

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd describes his Rolls Royce Car Wash business

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his business partners

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd describes his mentorship at the Allstate Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd describes his advice to aspiring insurance agents

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd recalls his first venture in the hospitality industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd remembers the Kermit Coleman Medical Center

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd talks about the Michigan Plaza Hotel investment group, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd recalls his first investment in the hotel industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd talks about the Michigan Plaza Hotel investment group, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his land acquisitions

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Louis Dodd talks about the Amber Inn in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Louis Dodd talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Louis Dodd describes his activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Louis Dodd remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Louis Dodd talks about St. Ailbe Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Louis Dodd describes the South Loop Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Louis Dodd reflects upon his business philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Louis Dodd reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Louis Dodd describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Louis Dodd describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Louis Dodd describes his decision to share his story

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Louis Dodd recalls the uprisings on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois
Louis Dodd talks about the practice of redlining
Transcript
Now, this is a pretty exciting period, or a changing period in Chicago's [Chicago, Illinois] history during that time. You had--$$The riots.$$--the riots.$$Sure.$$Tell me what, what are your remembrances of that and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well--$$--if you had any involvement?$$The riots in '68 [1968] I remember vividly, I had just left the teaching situation, I had gone to Wards [Montgomery Ward] to work. And they made that announcement of what was taking place and the streets were, particularly downtown were shut down. The areas particularly on the immediate West Side were just being looted like you wouldn't believe and smoke and fire was everywhere and people were frightened and almost like panic throughout. And, and that had really certainly been fueled a lot by the frustrations of the inequities at the time and a, a numb realization of society of what was brewing as far as people being held back and the issues of what was impending in their minds and in their bodies.$$Now, when you say the inequities can you elaborate a little on that?$$Well, keep in mind even at that time in Chicago there was still areas that you could not live in, Bridgeport [Chicago, Illinois] was one and you knew not to go over there and that was where the mayor [Richard J. Daley] lived. There were other areas too by which you know you would not welcomed. Keep in mind too that during the time that I graduated from high school [Dunbar Vocational High School; Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois], it was only a few years before that that you could not have a prom in the Loop [Chicago, Illinois]. So those things were such that the disparities, the inequities, the prejudicial situations were such, were still perpetuated.$$Where was your prom?$$The prom that we had was on the North Side in a hotel that I, I, I can't recall but right on the lake [Lake Michigan].$$But it wasn't down, it was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) It was not downtown.$$--it was in an acceptable area?$$Yeah, right, on the Near North Side, right, uh-huh.$$So I'm sorry go ahead.$$No. But again, the riots were certainly a intimidating time and a time by which, you know, you recognized what was going on and you somewhat stayed close to home but the issue of the time though, I guess no one would ever condone that type of thing and certainly I wouldn't, but immediately afterwards there was change and you could see it. Not that it was a, a thing by which one could say tremendous progress was made but change was in the process of being made. In other words opportunities by Corporate America, you could see differences in terms of how they viewed the situation as far as opportunities were concerned and they were taking on minorities as a project to integrate the system.$Tell me about, if you don't mind, the situation with Highland Bank [Highland Community Bank, Chicago, Illinois] and Allstate [Allstate Corporation] with the redlining? Wasn't there a problem--$$Well--$$At--$$--insurance companies have been accused of redlining for a lot, a long number of years. And what that really means is that the companies have what has been described as unfair rules that not allows certain segments of the community to be insured. And that historically has been a problem. And the reconcilement of the problem today has been that they don't have these rules that you quote unquote, are out there, but they price you out. In other words, rather than to say there is a rule that will not allow a community to be insured, they will raise the price in that zip code by which you cannot afford or you will not pay, so indirectly they force you to make a decision as to whether you want to pay that price and stay with them or to get a, a better price and go to another suitor.$$And during this period though when there was a issue with Englewood [Chicago, Illinois], with the Englewood communities specifically, you were with Allstate as well as with the bank, so how did you, how did that, tell us a little bit about that?$$Well, with the bank that's the easy part in the sense that Highland is a black bank from the standpoint of ownership from the posture of Allstate, you don't make the rules, you interpret the rules and you work within the rules. So consequently one had to market the product that they put out there. The companies don't ask your opinion as to what you think about any situation. They explicitly describe what they have and under what circumstance they want to market this product. So, you know, you have two different hats. And when I'm in the banking industry have one hat, I'm in the insurance industry have on a different hat, so it, you, you separate the two and you move forward. And the issue is that you look for progress and accomplishments depending on what hat you have on.

Adrienne Bailey

Educational consultant Adrienne Yvonne Bailey was born on November 24, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois to Julia Spalding Bailey and Leroy Bailey. Bailey received her B.A. degree from Mundelein College in 1966 and her M.A. degree in education from Wayne State University in 1969. Bailey received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1973.

In Chicago, Bailey taught social studies, English, French and mathematics at Deneen Elementary School and was the neighborhood youth corps supervisor at the South Shore YMCA and the program coordinator for the Circle Maxwell YMCA in the late 1960s. Bailey then worked as the education coordinator at the Government Office of Human Resources from 1969 to 1971 and as the university coordinator of the Northwestern Community Education Project at Northwestern University from 1972 to 1973. In 1973, Bailey was appointed to a six-year term on the State Board of Education, and from 1973 to 1981, Bailey was a senior staff associate at Chicago Community Trust. She has also served as vice president of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Bailey was the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the College Board of New York in 1981 and on the Education and Career Development Advisory Committee of the Urban League in 1982. Bailey then served on the Government Educational Advancement Committee from 1983 through 1987, while also serving on the National Committee on Secondary Schooling for Hispanics from 1983 to 1985.

Bailey is currently serving as an ExEL (Executive Leadership Program for Urban Education) at Harvard University.

Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 4, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.121

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/4/2008

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Schools

Holy Cross Elementary School

St Dorothy Elementary School

Mercy High School

Northwestern University

Central State University

Wayne State University

Mundelein College

First Name

Adrienne

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BAI07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

It Is What You Get To Know, That's Where It Is At.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

11/24/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Education consultant Adrienne Bailey (1944 - ) dedicated her career to education, served as a teacher, education coordinator at the Government Office of Human Resources, and as the university coordinator of the Northwestern Community Education Project. Bailey also served a six-year appointment on State Board of Education, and served on the Government Educational Advancement Committee.

Employment

South Shore YMCA

Circle Maxwell YMCA

Detroit Board of Education

Illinois Board of Education

Governor's Office of Human Resources

The Chicago Community Trust

The College Board

Board of Education of the City of Chicago

Stupski Foundation

Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd.

Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:564,10:1034,16:1410,21:3745,39:4013,44:4415,52:7229,103:8301,126:8904,138:9239,144:10579,178:11517,193:17561,253:17845,258:18910,276:19762,289:20472,303:20756,308:22034,338:22815,351:23170,357:26365,427:27430,446:27927,454:29347,469:30980,494:31335,500:33181,533:33820,544:34317,552:36021,586:36731,598:37086,604:37583,613:38648,631:39287,641:48338,708:48626,713:50498,753:53234,811:54818,843:55826,866:56258,877:56690,884:57626,903:58058,910:58778,924:74059,1087:74929,1101:76147,1118:79366,1165:85673,1213:89980,1276:92973,1316:93557,1326:94068,1335:94871,1348:95163,1353:96112,1364:97134,1382:97718,1392:98010,1397:104318,1462:106478,1491:107486,1508:108062,1517:112741,1563:115009,1603:115414,1609:115819,1615:117115,1639:118573,1662:119788,1686:120112,1691:120760,1702:121732,1717:126434,1734:128436,1764:129129,1774:130669,1800:132363,1819:132748,1825:134981,1866:137291,1909:138523,1926:139062,1934:139601,1943:139986,1949:140833,1959:141372,1967:145432,1982:166567,2254:167257,2263:170293,2343:170569,2348:170845,2353:171328,2362:171880,2371:172156,2376:173053,2391:173329,2396:174157,2412:175054,2434:176640,2444$0,0:2418,47:2808,53:4680,81:9594,157:12860,181:19139,318:22589,377:23624,394:23900,399:28592,470:37130,647:38235,675:43630,785:44410,801:46230,844:46555,850:51430,971:58038,1013:58486,1036:59382,1070:60534,1097:61750,1120:62390,1132:62966,1143:64694,1179:65270,1190:68150,1253:70774,1321:71606,1336:72502,1352:79264,1397:80744,1420:81780,1434:83260,1449:84814,1472:87404,1534:96542,1634:97060,1643:99132,1677:100168,1693:101204,1710:101722,1719:102018,1724:104312,1779:108752,1880:111194,1907:111564,1913:112526,1928:112970,1935:117916,1946:118148,1951:119192,1980:119424,1985:119830,1993:120642,2012:122208,2059:122962,2081:123542,2098:124238,2106:125456,2139:125804,2147:132850,2244
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Adrienne Bailey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Adrienne Bailey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Adrienne Bailey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Adrienne Bailey describes her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Adrienne Bailey describes her mother's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Adrienne Bailey describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Adrienne Bailey describes her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Adrienne Bailey describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Adrienne Bailey describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Adrienne Bailey recalls the neighborhood of Woodlawn in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her move to Park Manor in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Adrienne Bailey describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Adrienne Bailey remembers Mercy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Adrienne Bailey recalls entertainment of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Adrienne Bailey remembers her summers in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Adrienne Bailey remembers Sister Mary Leonette

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Adrienne Bailey remembers studying the French language

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Adrienne Bailey recalls studying abroad in France, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Adrienne Bailey recalls studying abroad in France, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Adrienne Bailey describes her first teaching position

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Adrienne Bailey reflects upon her travels in France

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her work at the Circle Maxwell YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Adrienne Bailey describes her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Adrienne Bailey talks about the West Side and South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Adrienne Bailey remembers the riots after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Adrienne Bailey remembers Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Adrienne Bailey describes her experiences in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her Ph.D. program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Adrienne Bailey describes her experiences at Northwestern University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Adrienne Bailey remembers being hired at the Chicago Community Trust

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her appointment to the Illinois State Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Adrienne Bailey remembers leading a delegation to Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her presidency of the National Association of State Boards of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Adrienne Bailey talks about the national standards of education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her trip to China

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Adrienne Bailey describes her multicultural education policy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her position at the College Board

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Adrienne Bailey reflects upon her achievements at the College Board

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Adrienne Bailey describes her involvement on education advisory boards

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her appointment as Chicago Public Schools deputy superintendent

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Adrienne Bailey talks about the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Adrienne Bailey describes her work as an education consultant

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Adrienne Bailey describes her education initiatives in Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Adrienne Bailey describes her education initiatives in Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Adrienne Bailey describes her work with the U.S. Department of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Adrienne Bailey recalls her work for the United States Agency for International Development

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Adrienne Bailey describes her work for the Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Adrienne Bailey talks about notable activists in education

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Adrienne Bailey describes her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Adrienne Bailey describes her hopes and concerns for education in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Adrienne Bailey talks about the challenges in public education

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Adrienne Bailey talks about the future of public education in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Adrienne Bailey describes her philosophy of education

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Adrienne Bailey reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Adrienne Bailey reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Adrienne Bailey talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Adrienne Bailey describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Adrienne Bailey narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$11

DATitle
Adrienne Bailey recalls her appointment to the Illinois State Board of Education
Adrienne Bailey describes her education initiatives in Mississippi, pt. 1
Transcript
The other thing that came to me during that time is that we were moving away from, in Illinois from an elected constitutional officer and state superintendent. There had been a constitutional convention, none of like what's on the ballet today, to get away from that elected position and there was, at that time, Governor Dan Walker was creating the first appointed Illinois State Board of Education. It's interesting enough because it was the private sector and the legislation assigned the state board responsibilities over both public and private education. So, unbeknownst to me there was a group that had promoted my name, primarily because of my experience in private education, as a representative they wanted to advance to the government for appointment. Now part of the appointment criteria is you cannot be, you see, an employed educator, so you can't work for a school system, so I had a unique background in that I was trained as an educator, had a strong educational set of experiences, but I was, I fit the criteria so I was appointed then as one of, let's see, two or three African Americans to the first appointed Illinois Board of Education in about 1973 or 1974. I served on that board for eight years, leaving it in 1980 as its vice president. During that time my career also jettisoned. I would say that was probably the time that I was just on the move, thanks to many great advocates and supporters of me, but my career just kind of took off. I then became the president of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and became well acquainted, therefore, with state board members and chief state school officers in all fifty states and at the same time I was invited by the governor to be a commissioner, a member of the Education Commission of the States, which involves the fifty states but in each state it involves the governor, the heads of the two legislative parties, usually someone from the state board and someone from the state education leader side.$$Let us go back and get some dates. I don't want to mess up here.$$Okay.$$So you were appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education?$$Right, and probably in about 1973 or 1974.$$Seventy-four [1974], okay. And then you became president of the national state board of education.$$Probably about '78 [1978] or '79 [1979], because I'm just back from the fiftieth year anniversary of that organization in Washington [D.C.] two weeks ago.$I worked in Mississippi for a period of two or three years around the grassroots community initiative for, you know, focusing on academic rigor and training parents about you know, about what it meant to be able to look at quality and, as I recall, that was just so touching because we actually trained people who had never spoken in front of groups. They developed you know, preparations and note cards and they would begin their opening about, so we had decided that because we are doing this as a collaboration between this community organization [Mississippi Action for Community Education, Inc., Greenville, Mississippi] and parents and the state education department, that we didn't want the participants to listen to a group of talking heads about the state. Education people couldn't get up first, and so it was parents getting up to greet people in which they, opening comments were, "I want to tell you why quality education is important for your children in Mississippi," and they would use examples that were in their own life about how you judge quality, what is going to a grocery store, and had come to understand, therefore, about how having discernment around quality in their own children's education was an important attribute that they needed to acquire, so we did that in probably about twenty-two communities in preparation for Mississippi's subsequent accountability law, which was going to put pretty strict constraints on testing and eventually graduation requirements. So, I can remember that even though that was several years ago, that adage to the parents was don't worry, that's not going to catch up with you right now but guess what? Today, Mississippi has graduation tests that you must pass, so the whole ideal to parents was that you don't start at the ninth or the tenth grade to figure out that you've got to get over this hurdle, that it really begins back in your early elementary and middle school, to know whether or not there is this high quality instruction in the teaching and the learning that your student is getting, but not only from letting the schools define it for you, but you being able to capture this in terms of your own understanding of the kind of education your child is receiving.

Amy S. Hilliard

Comfort Cake founder and CEO Amy Sharmane Hilliard was born Audrey Sharmane Amy Hilliard on August 16, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. Hilliard received her B.S. degree (with honors) from Howard University in 1974 and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978.

After school, Hilliard went to work for Bloomingdale’s as a member of their buying team in New York. In 1981, Hilliard joined the Gillette Company in the Personal Care Division working in Product Management. She led the team that successfully created and launched White Rain Shampoo in six months. In addition, Hilliard managed the development and execution of the multiple brand Miss America promotion during this period. By 1985, Hilliard was promoted to Senior Product Manager for Gillette at Division Headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. She was responsible for the general management of Gillette’s largest personal care business, the $100 million White Rain hair care products franchise. In 1987, Hilliard became the Director of Marketing for the Lustrasilk Corporation (a Gillette subsidiary) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In Minneapolis, Hilliard left Gillette in 1990 to work for The Pillsbury Company where, as the Director of Market Development, Baked Goods Division, she helped create some of the first Pillsbury Doughboy advertisements that were targeted to people of color. In 1992, Hilliard began working for the Burrell Communications Group in Chicago, Illinois as Senior Vice President and Director of Integrated Marketing Services. Burrell Communications Group specializes in developing advertising and marketing campaigns targeting African American consumers and the urban market. Hilliard then founded The Hilliard Group, Inc. in 1995 and served as its President and CEO. The Hilliard Group specialized in developing multi-cultural marketing and sales strategies for Fortune 500 corporations. In 1999, Hilliard became Senior Vice President of Marketing for Soft Sheen Products, a Division of L’Oreal U.S.A. While still working at L’Oreal, Hilliard made the decision to go into business for herself. Hilliard founded The Comfort Cake Company on February 15, 2001 and serves as its president and CEO. By 2002, The Comfort Cake Company had expanded into the Chicago Public School system cafeterias, and by 2003, Comfort Cakes were being sold on Amazon.com and in 7-Eleven stores.

Formerly an adjunct professor at DePaul University’s business school, Hilliard has lectured at leading universities including Harvard, The University of Chicago, Northwestern, Duke and UCLA. She has consulted internationally in London and in South Africa, where she presented business development opportunities to President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet. Her work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, Business Week, Working Woman, Entrepreneur Magazine, Essence, Black Enterprise, and Ebony among others. In 2005, Hilliard published a book entitled, Tap Into Your Juice: Find Your Gifts, Lose Your Fears, Build Your Dreams.

Hilliard is the proud mother of two active teenagers, Angelica and Nicholas.

Hilliard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/14/2008 |and| 11/20/2008

Last Name

Hilliard

Maker Category
Schools

Roosevelt Elementary School

Ludington Magnet Middle and Honors School

Cass Technical High School

Harvard Business School

Howard University

First Name

Amy

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

HIL11

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

SuperValu

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Seek Progress, Not Perfection.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/16/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Corporate chief executive and marketing executive Amy S. Hilliard (1952 - ) was the founder and CEO of the Comfort Cake Company. She worked in multicultural marketing for the Pillsbury Company, The Gillette Company and L'Oreal, and founded a marketing firm called The Hilliard Group, Inc.

Employment

Joseph's

Polaroid Corporation

Bloomingdale's

The May Department Stores Company

Young & Rubicam

Gillette

Lustrasilk

Pillsbury Company

Burrell Communications Group

The Hilliard Group

L'Oreal

Comfort Cakes Co LLC

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Lime Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:31630,398:42067,466:42938,486:44345,523:47159,583:47695,594:50174,664:51514,758:54663,847:63086,950:63680,963:65594,1021:72194,1227:72656,1236:72986,1244:73448,1253:74438,1272:74702,1277:96300,1522:97350,1547:102600,1644:106310,1754:111250,1806:115150,1894:120175,1984:120925,1995:121225,2000:134204,2186:134796,2195:136350,2240:137978,2287:139088,2308:139902,2345:140642,2356:140938,2361:144690,2372$0,0:444,12:1850,64:2886,81:5476,122:11470,251:11840,257:12136,262:12432,273:20964,374:24017,448:25153,459:27354,530:27922,540:28206,545:29200,574:33389,671:36868,783:39424,849:46480,930:46760,935:50190,1035:50470,1040:50960,1049:61060,1218:61380,1226:61860,1233:62260,1239:63620,1263:65220,1310:66660,1334:67140,1341:67460,1346:77003,1461:77673,1473:82631,1562:82899,1567:83368,1575:85110,1594:85713,1606:89331,1679:89599,1684:89934,1690:90336,1698:92681,1758:94155,1785:94557,1792:95026,1801:95361,1807:95897,1818:96433,1828:104276,1918:104636,1924:107732,1987:109964,2031:110324,2037:111764,2064:112772,2085:119340,2142:119748,2147:121788,2175:124134,2203:124542,2208:124950,2213:129886,2280:132190,2309:134302,2347:135646,2374:135966,2380:136478,2391:137310,2405:138526,2429:139038,2440:141726,2530:144734,2616:154056,2728:155832,2772:160124,2854:160420,2859:161678,2883:167722,2910:168082,2916:168658,2926:171322,2985:172258,3005:173338,3041:174058,3053:174346,3058:176866,3127:177154,3132:177442,3137:182870,3166:183398,3177:183794,3194:185378,3234:185972,3244:190592,3351:190988,3362:191252,3367:191912,3380:192176,3385:193628,3420:195146,3467:195608,3477:195938,3486:198116,3555:198512,3572:198776,3577:199040,3582:201482,3662:208626,3706:209458,3722:211378,3773:212082,3787:212338,3792:212978,3805:213554,3818:214066,3829:214898,3848:215538,3860:215794,3865:216306,3874:216690,3884:223085,3971:223635,3983:224515,4010:224790,4016:226875,4036:227241,4047:227668,4055:228644,4081:229864,4122:236025,4303:237001,4332:237611,4344:238892,4380:243997,4417:244600,4429:245337,4441:247012,4464:248352,4479:248888,4487:254414,4570:255052,4594:255458,4604:256154,4630:256676,4642:256908,4647:257604,4664:260736,4773:267385,4837:267775,4845:271610,4906
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's upbringing during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her maternal great-grandmother and great-aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her maternal aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her great-aunts' catering business

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the death of her mother's oldest sister

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family's racial ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her parents' siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her earliest memory of school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the origin of her name

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the black business district in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard lists her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the holidays

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her father's occupation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the Grace Episcopal Church in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers integrating Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her social life at Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her experiences of integration busing

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her early interest in literature

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her graduation from Eugenia Mettetal Junior High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her early aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her college applications

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the cheerleading squad at Cass Technical High School

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her transition to Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the civil rights activities at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her mentors at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers a friend who was murdered by her fiance

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her start as a fashion buyer

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her career as a fashion buyer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the African American fashion buyers at Bloomingdale's

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her work at the May Merchandising Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her transition to the Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the start of her interest in advertising

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Amy S. Hilliard's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her decision to study at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about H. Naylor Fitzhugh

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls her mentors at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers becoming Bloomingdale's fashion buyer

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining The Gillette Company

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Miss America pageant of 1984

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers The Gillette Company's interest in the black hair care market

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the black hair industry's resistance to majority corporations

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls The Gillette Company's acquisition of the Lustrasilk Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls joining the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her multicultural education initiative at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the Pillsbury Company's first advertisement featuring people of color

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers her first day at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls hiring African Americans to work at the Pillsbury Company, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her role at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the advertising industry in South Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers founding the Hilliard Jones Marketing Group

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls managing Soft Sheen for L'Oreal S.A.

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the changes in the black hair care industry

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes the founding of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the support of her children

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the operations of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard remembers the first customer of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her search for a production bakery

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard recalls the bankruptcy of her production bakery

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her children's roles at the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the staff of the Comfort Cake Company, LLC

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her book, 'Tap Into Your Juice'

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her life

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Amy S. Hilliard reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her plans for the future of Comfort Cake Co LLC

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the impact of the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Amy S. Hilliard describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about her family

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Amy S. Hilliard talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Amy S. Hilliard describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$6

DAStory

6$10

DATitle
Amy S. Hilliard describes her early personality
Amy S. Hilliard recalls The Gillette Company's acquisition of the Lustrasilk Corporation
Transcript
So you were a good student. But what type of child were you?$$I think as a child, I was very inquisitive. I wanted to know how things worked. I wanted to know why. "Why is this this way?" And, "Why can't we do it that way?" I liked doing things my way, you know, finding ways to do it the way that I liked to do it. I liked to have things done right. I was, I liked my reports to be really, really well done. I liked to--when I would set the table at home I wanted it to be set just so. I liked cooking when I was very, at a very young age. In fact one of the things I did when I was growing up was, because my mother [Gwendolyn Russell Hilliard] was in school while I was in elementary school [Roosevelt Elementary School, Detroit, Michigan], she taught me how to cook. I guess she--since I learned how to cook, I used to have to cook dinner for my whole family, I think starting about the sixth grade. So, I learned how to cook for six people. And when I was out on my own, I only knew how to cook for six people. So (laughter) I had a lot of leftovers by the time I went out on my own. But I used to cook a lot. And I used to love to cook for my dad [Stratford Hilliard]. I used to love to make sandwiches, make his lunch. That was something that was very special for me. So, the napkin had to be folded very nicely. I would stick pickles on his sandwich on a toothpick, and I'd fold the napkin and I'd, you know, arrange his food. And he used to really love that. I remember making a pie for him when I was in elementary school. Because our neighbors next door to our home had fruit trees, and so I would go pick the cherries. And I made him--because cherry pie was his favorite. And I made him a cherry pie, and I forgot to take the pits out of the cherries. And the pie was delicious, and he broke into it and broke a tooth. But he was like, "Baby, this is the best pie anyone's ever made" (laughter). I broke his tooth. I was creative. I liked to experiment with food, and my mother always let me do it. One St. Patrick's Day I said, "I want to make green pancakes." And she said, she had food coloring, and she said, "Okay." And so I made green pancakes that looked horrible. Nobody would eat them because they looked bad. Green pancakes was a great idea, but they didn't look too good. So, I used to experiment with everything.$There was a company called Lustrasilk [Lustrasilk Corporation], which was owned, which was out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which had the, a product called Luster Curl, and Right On Curl maintenance products. All these products were doing very well in black hair care. The company was never owned by black people, it was owned by a German guy. The company was started by a Mexican guy who was a chemist for 3M, and found out that he had a product that would straighten sheep's hair. So he figured there're a lot of wooly headed people in this world, and a lot of them are black. So, let's use this product to straighten some black hair. And that's how Lustrasilk got started.$$I can't see the image of a sheep with straightened hair.$$Yeah. So that's, you know, that's how that company got started. But they're out in Minnesota, this is a $50 million company. And Gillette [The Gillette Company] sent me out to have dinner with this guy. Sitting across the table just like I'm sitting across from you, and said, "You know, how much would it take for us to buy your company? We can buy it for at least--you're doing 50 million, we can buy it for 50 million." And he took me on a tour of his plant at midnight that so nobody would know he was thinking of selling. And that's the company that Gillette ultimately bought. And that's what brought me out to Minnesota in 1989, well, actually 1987. They bought the company and asked me to go out there as director of marketing for Lustrasilk. And so that's what moved me to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had been married since 1982. I had just had my first child, Angelica [Angelica Jones]. She was born in 1986, and I was just going back to work when they asked me to go and move to Minnesota. So, I basically commuted for six months back and forth with a six month old daughter, who stayed in Boston [Massachusetts]. But I went ahead to Minneapolis to get a house ready for us, and commuted every two weeks. Sometimes my baby would come with me and stay with me for two weeks while I was learning a new company, getting the acquisition transitioned into Gillette. And then stayed with them, launched new products with Lustrasilk, and stayed with them through 1989, '90 [1990]. And that's when I left Gillette. And I left Gillette because at the time there were a lot of acquisitions starting, and Gillette was under fire to be acquired by a larger company. And so they had a plant in St. Paul [Minnesota], a big plant for Gillette in St. Paul, Lustrasilk had a big plant. They started consolidating, and they said "We're going to move the Lustrasilk operations back to Boston," and I didn't want to move back to Boston. I'd done, I'd moved my family across the country, I wasn't interested in moving them back. And that's when I said, "No, I'm going to resign and stay in Minnesota and stay here and find something else to do." And it was a tough decision, because, you know, Gillette wanted me to come back. But I stood my ground and said, "No, I'll take, you know, the package and stay here." But the saddest thing I ever had to do was when they--was to help them close the Lustrasilk plant. These were people who were, when we got there, they knew nothing of Corporate America, but yet they had built a $50 million business. The books were still kept by hand, and these were people who gave their all to this company. And when we got there, I just, I loved them all, you know. I had to go down many times to that plant floor when we were launching new products and say, "Look, guys, we need to make this happen. You know, who's got a new--I need a name for this new product, I don't have one." We'd have a contest. So, I had people who were workers in the plants submitting names for our new products, and they would get so excited. To have to go there and stand in line, shake each person's hand, and give them a mug that said, "Thank you for your work at Lustrasilk. We're sorry, we're closing the plant," was something I'll never forget. I'll never forget it, because that was their livelihood that they gave. And Gillette--you know, this is what big companies sometimes do, and they just closed the plant. And it taught me a very valuable lesson. I had tried actually to buy Lustrasilk from Gillette when I knew that they wanted to move the operations, because I didn't want to close that plant. I wanted to keep the company going as an independent company. I raised $75 million with a team of people who worked at Gillette. You know, the general manager for Lustrasilk was a black man. The head of sales was black. I was black. The three of us were together. And I went to a venture capitalist and we raised $75 million to buy it, and Gillette wouldn't sell it. And that's when I said, "I'm not going back to Boston." So they rolled it back to Boston and they did their thing, and I stayed in Minneapolis.

Michelle L. Collins

Michelle Lynn Collins was born on March 27, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1978, Collins graduated from the University of Chicago laboratory schools, where she attended since the first grade. She then went on to earn her undergraduate degree in economics from Yale University in 1982 and her M.B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1986.

Collins began her career in 1986 at William Blair & Company, a Chicago-based investment firm offering investment banking, asset management, equity research, institutional and private brokerage and private capital to individual, institutional, and issuing clients. Collins primarily advised clients on public equity offerings. Her clients were primarily in the direct marketing, distribution and retailing industries and included Henry Schein, Inc., CDW Corporation, Lands’ End, Inc., Coldwater Creek, Inc., and United Stationers, Inc., among other public and private companies. Collins also advised clients on mergers and acquisitions. In 1991, Collins advanced to become a Principal Partner in the Corporate Finance Department of William Blair & Company. In 1997, Collins left the company to start a private equity firm with John Svoboda, called Svoboda, Collins, L.L.C. From 1998 to 2006, Collins served as Managing Director of Svoboda Capital Partners, L.L.C. She was also an Advisory Board member and still serves in that capacity, although she no longer serves as the managing director. The firm focuses its investments on business service companies and value-added distribution businesses. It has over $250 million of capital under management which it invests in middle market companies either through management buyouts, leveraged recapitalizations, or growth equity investments. In addition, Collins was a board member and director of CDW Computer Centers, Inc., from 1996 to 2007. She served as CDW’s Audit Committee Chair for seven years and previously served on their Compensation Committee. From 1999 to 2004, Collins was a board member and a director of Coldwater Creek, Inc., a specialty retailer of women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, and gift items. Collins has been a board member and past president of Chicago Sinfonietta, helping to restructure the Sinfonietta’s business model and placing it on a more secure financial foundation. In 2003, Collins became a director and board member of Molex, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronics, electrical and fiber optic interconnection products and systems.

Collins is a trustee of The Field Museum, the Chicago Historical Society, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, the Erikson Institute, the Chicago Urban League, the YMCA, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Renaissance Schools Fund. Collins is also a member of several professional and civic organizations in Chicago, including The Chicago Network, The Chicago Finance Exchange, Women Corporate Directors, The Economic Club of Chicago, The Commercial Club of Chicago and the Henry Crown Fellows Program of Aspen Institute.

Accession Number

A2008.023

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2008

Last Name

Collins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lynn

Occupation
Schools

Isabelle O'Keeffe Elementary School

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Yale University

Harvard Business School

First Name

Michelle

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

COL17

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Happiness Is Self Sufficient And Thus The End Of Action.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/27/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French Fries

Short Description

Corporate financial consultant and investment chief executive Michelle L. Collins (1960 - ) co-founded a successful private equity firm, Svoboda, Collins, L.L.C., and served as managing director of the firm from 1998 to 2006.

Employment

Chase Manhattan Bank

William Blair & Company

Svoboda Collins, L.P.

MC Advisory Services, LLC

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michelle L. Collins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michelle L. Collins lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michelle L. Collins describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michelle L. Collins describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michelle L. Collins describes her mother's community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michelle L. Collins describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michelle L. Collins describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michelle L. Collins talks about her surname

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michelle L. Collins describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Michelle L. Collins describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Michelle L. Collins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michelle L. Collins recalls the role of music in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her parents' lessons about the importance of family

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michelle L. Collins describes her parents' role in the South Side community of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michelle L. Collins talks about the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michelle L. Collins remembers her early interest in mathematics

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her mentors at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michelle L. Collins remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michelle L. Collins describes her high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michelle L. Collins describes her social life

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Michelle L. Collins remembers her high school coursework at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Michelle L. Collins talks about her prom

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michelle L. Collins talks about the Jackson Park Highlands District of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michelle L. Collins remembers the activism in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michelle L. Collins recalls the notable residents of the Jackson Park Highlands District of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michelle L. Collins remembers Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her classmates at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michelle L. Collins describes her coursework at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michelle L. Collins recalls joining the men's squash team at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michelle L. Collins remembers Yale University President A. Bartlett Giamatti

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michelle L. Collins recalls the notable figures at Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michelle L. Collins describes her position at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Michelle L. Collins remembers her decision to attend the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her class at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michelle L. Collins describes her coursework at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michelle L. Collins remembers her professors at Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michelle L. Collins reflects upon the importance of networking in business school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michelle L. Collins recalls joining William Blair and Company, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michelle L. Collins describes her role at William Blair and Company, LLC, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michelle L. Collins describes her role at William Blair and Company, LLC, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her colleagues at William Blair and Company, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michelle L. Collins describes her clients at William Blair and Company, LLC

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Michelle L. Collins recalls her work with McWhorter Technologies, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Michelle L. Collins describes her work with CDW Computer Centers, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Michelle L. Collins remembers founding Svoboda Collins, L.P.

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Michelle L. Collins describes her work with Coldwater Creek, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Michelle L. Collins talks about her corporate board memberships

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Michelle L. Collins describes her investment philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Michelle L. Collins remembers founding MC Advisory LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michelle L. Collins describes her work with minority business clients

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michelle L. Collins talks about successful minority businesses

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michelle L. Collins shares her advice for business students

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michelle L. Collins reflects upon her career

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michelle L. Collins describes her role at the Chicago Sinfonietta

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michelle L. Collins describes her civic engagement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michelle L. Collins describes her involvement in professional organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michelle L. Collins reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Michelle L. Collins reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Michelle L. Collins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Michelle L. Collins talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Michelle L. Collins reflects upon the influence of her parents

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Michelle L. Collins describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

10$7

DATitle
Michelle L. Collins describes her position at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City
Michelle L. Collins describes her role at William Blair and Company, LLC, pt. 2
Transcript
Okay, so you graduated from Yale [Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut] in '82 [1982] (unclear)?$$In '82 [1982], um-hm.$$Eighty-two [1982], all right, okay, so, so, what did you do in '82 [1982]? What did you--did you go right to work (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) In 1982, in 1982, I--when I left Yale, I went to work at Chase Manhattan Bank [JPMorgan Chase and Co.], in a--initially in a credit training program they had and that was about a six month training program, and then I went into--you have a sort of avenues you can go to in the bank and I chose credit audit, and the significance of that was--were two things, one is that, it was a traveling job, you had to kind of go on assignment to different locations around the world, and also around the world, also, we were sort of selected based on how we did in the training program, to participate in this credit audit thing, and it was somewhat unusual at the time that Chase had a couple of credit issues, right before that, that caused them to take that action, so consequently, the people that I traveled with during that period, and, you know, that were in credit audit, also became fairly close people, because, you know, you're traveling in teams of twelve, or something for basically a year and a half, to two years. So, that was a--I really enjoyed that, you know, exposure, you know, first working at Chase, and making money, center bank, and I'm very loyal. I'm still a Chase customer. You know, the other thing was I got to that program, because I worked there in a minority program to some of the four, the guy named Davy Huddleston [ph.], who was in HR [human resources], kind of put this program together, and attracted a whole bunch of students, from not only Yale, and places like that, but a lot of the, you know, African American oriented universities [HBCUs]. And so you had this wonderfully good, you know, exposure, and it, those, pra- it made me realize, and even since then, just in my career just how important those kinds of programs actually are, to acclimating, 'cause here, I considered myself a person who didn't have, you know, a lot of hardships growing up, and had a lot of exposure, but I had no idea at all, what a commercial banker did, or what an investment banker did, or any of those kind of things that people sort of seem to take for granted, when I was coming up, as an option. And I never would have known about it, you know, had I not had that, that chance. And so you know, I pound that table whenever I can, you know, to create those programs and get that exposure for people so they can make educated decisions about their futures.$I just want to make sure we break this down to any students watching this--$$Okay, um-hm (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) so they'll have a real sense of what you do--$$Sure.$$--and, you know, how you do it.$$Well, I think a couple of things about the first years versus the later years, and it's very interesting that few of the skills that make you successful as a young person, are the skills that you need as a older person, so you establish yourself, in the before period on your analytics, on your ability, to work really hard, long, hours, to be accurate, do a lot of you know, sophisticated financial analyses, and things like that, present them verbally, you know, come up with the right conclusions, so it's kind of an apprenticeship, if you will, the way that business works and how you learn it. Later, knowing that you've had a grounding in this, you actually never have to touch a computer again, because you've got all the younger people working for you now, to do all that stuff, but you need to understand it, or you know otherwise, you're going to make a mistake, but the skills that make you successful as a partner are being able to present and find new clients and be able to mobilize the firm that you work for behind your particular project. So consequently, you're not hi- the main thing is that you're not hiding behind anyone now. You are on your own and so, if you have product that you are bringing to a salesforce, so you take a company public, you're offering shares to the public market, so you need a salesforce to do that, so you have to present something to your firm and you have to hope that your track record and the analyses that you've done on that deal, help your salesforce buy into wanting to sell it to their clients. So you kind of have an internal first cut, and that just comes with years of credibility of, you know, doing it day in and day out and not doing a lot of bad deals in the way things worked at William Blair [William Blair and Company, LLC, Chicago, Illinois], and subsequently, you had to find your own clients, whether you're pitching them, or you get a referral from somebody else. It's you know, knowing when to kind of--, "Okay, this is the perfect client to do my service for. You know, let's go after that one, and this one I'm not going to ever be able to do a great job on, so let's let them go to another firm," or something. So different sets of scales. I think that if you're a young person listening to me, you know, you gotta do one set of things really, really well early on. You hope you don't lose that, but you gotta be mindful that you gotta develop all of your presentation skills, with all of your ability to actually get business, and own that business, and fight for your numbers and do all those things, later on, and so then, the networks matter, all of your reputation matters, because basically when somebody hires you, they're like, well, "Who did you work for before?" And they call up that person and they say, well you know, "I got this Michelle Collins [HistoryMaker Michelle L. Collins] sitting here, and I heard she did a good job for you, and what did you like, what didn't you like," you know, so everything is based on your kind of word in the past, and you know, your reputation ultimately becomes paramount.

Maxine Duster

Civic leader and educator Maxine Duster was born on August 23, 1939, in the all black town of Pelham, Texas, which was founded by her newly freed ancestors in 1866. Graduating from Pelham High School in 1956, Duster earned her B.S. degree in education from Texas Southern University in 1961. She would go on to earn masters degrees from Governors State University and National Louis University, both in Illinois.

Duster taught in the Chicago Public School System from 1961 through 1979. From 1982 to 1989, she served as manager of community relations for Michael Reese Hospital. Duster served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Harold Washington Foundation for several years, starting in 1987. Duster was director of the Chicago Urban League’s education-focused Smart Program from 1989 to 1991. She also served as vice principal and principal of the Corporate Community School of America from 1991 to 1995. Duster directed the Working in the Schools (WITS) program from 1995 to 1996. From 1997 to 2006, she managed the Reach Out and Read pediatric literacy program for Illinois’ Cook County Hospitals.

Well-known for her civic involvement, Duster serves on the Leadership Advisory Committee board of the Chicago Art Institute, the Legacy Fund Board of Advisors of the Chicago Community Trust and is a past president of the Chicago Child Care Society. She has served for many years as a founding member of the Black Creativity celebration at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Duster is married to Donald Duster. They live in Chicago and have three grown children: one daughter, Michelle, and two sons, David and Daniel.

Accession Number

A2005.269

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/22/2005

Last Name

Duster

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Pelham School

Texas Southern University

Governors State University

National Louis University

First Name

Maxine

Birth City, State, Country

Pelham

HM ID

DUS01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

If You See It, Believe It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/23/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cookies (Cinnamon)

Short Description

High school teacher Maxine Duster (1939 - ) has contributed to many aspects of education and children's welfare in Chicago. A former teacher and principal, she also directed the Chicago Urban League’s education-focused Smart Program, and managed the Reach Out and Read pediatric literacy program for Illinois’ Cook County Hospitals.

Employment

Corporate Community School

Michael Reese Hospital

Morgan Park High School

Caldwell School

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3493,81:4546,96:13654,196:13978,201:16894,241:17785,256:21187,389:21754,397:23455,431:24913,450:25480,459:25804,464:26128,469:28234,496:32010,501:35430,578:36285,589:41670,610:43881,637:44752,657:46427,673:47231,687:47834,699:48973,717:49911,740:50246,747:52725,802:59754,892:61914,933:63426,963:64938,981:66522,1012:66954,1019:74697,1080:75775,1097:78239,1136:78932,1147:79471,1155:85441,1238:87132,1264:94783,1359:108788,1505:109164,1510:110728,1519:112039,1541:112315,1546:112660,1552:113143,1560:113833,1578:114385,1587:115420,1604:115696,1609:116179,1617:116662,1626:117490,1646:117766,1651:120485,1666:120777,1671:121288,1680:121945,1690:123770,1723:124792,1735:125303,1748:125887,1758:131946,1855:132238,1860:133479,1882:134428,1901:151350,2123:151758,2130:152030,2135:154002,2171:154274,2177:154546,2182:156450,2199:157130,2210:158218,2239:158898,2265:173240,2426:174608,2445:177290,2466$0,0:10488,222:11640,245:12000,251:14160,285:15168,303:17400,325:17760,332:19128,349:20208,369:21936,403:24168,475:24672,483:37560,663:50314,790:50818,799:51106,804:55210,890:56074,908:56938,921:59386,1027:59674,1032:59962,1037:63130,1084:64066,1099:64858,1112:69034,1177:76390,1204:77065,1215:88240,1394:89290,1412:89890,1422:90565,1432:91540,1449:100535,1523:100913,1531:101480,1541:101732,1546:102362,1561:103307,1574:105953,1622:107213,1635:107654,1643:112660,1684:113640,1704:115810,1719:116370,1728:117420,1740:117910,1748:121890,1790
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maxine Duster's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maxine Duster lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maxine Duster describes her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maxine Duster describes her family's community in Pelham, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maxine Duster describes her mother's education, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maxine Duster describes her mother's education, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maxine Duster describes her father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maxine Duster describes her family's community in Pelham, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maxine Duster describes Zeno Carroll's significance in Pelham, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maxine Duster describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her parents' upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Maxine Duster describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maxine Duster describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maxine Duster describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maxine Duster describes her paternal great-grandfather's storytelling

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maxine Duster remembers popular radio programs

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maxine Duster recalls segregation in Pelham, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maxine Duster reflects upon women's athletics from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maxine Duster describes her time at Pelham School in Pelham, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maxine Duster describes her time at Pelham School in Pelham, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maxine Duster describes Wesley United Methodist Church in Pelham, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maxine Duster recalls her decision to attend Texas Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maxine Duster remembers her time at Texas Southern University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maxine Duster remembers her time at Texas Southern University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maxine Duster recalls attending an event featuring the Kennedys in Houston

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maxine Duster recalls President Lyndon Baines Johnson's support for civil rights

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maxine Duster talks about her civil rights involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maxine Duster describes her year-long break from Texas Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maxine Duster remembers her teaching career in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maxine Duster describes her teaching experience in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Maxine Duster describes her family and volunteer activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maxine Duster describes Chicago Focus for Women: Black and White, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maxine Duster describes Chicago Focus for Women: Black and White, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maxine Duster remembers Chicago's Willis Wagons

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maxine Duster remembers civil rights activities in Chicago and Dallas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her volunteerism

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maxine Duster recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Maxine Duster remembers addressing curriculum challenges as a teacher

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Maxine Duster describes her volunteer activities in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Maxine Duster describes her graduate studies in communication science

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Maxine Duster describes becoming assistant principal at Chicago's Corporate Community School

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maxine Duster describes Chicago's Corporate Community School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maxine Duster describes Chicago's Corporate Community School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maxine Duster describes Working In The Schools and Cook County Health and Hospitals System

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maxine Duster remembers her involvement with the Harold Washington Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maxine Duster describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her family's relationship to Ida B. Wells

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Maxine Duster describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her identity as a former Pelham resident

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Maxine Duster reflects upon her educational experience in Pelham, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Maxine Duster remembers her father and uncle's deaths

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Maxine Duster narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Maxine Duster describes Working In The Schools and Cook County Health and Hospitals System
Maxine Duster remembers her involvement with the Harold Washington Foundation
Transcript
WITS? W-I-T-S (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) WITS, W-I-T-S, it's an acronym for Working In The Schools [Chicago, Illinois]. It was founded primarily by Joanne Alter [Joanne H. Alter], who was a very active politician, and she was involved with the Water Reclamation [Metropolitan Sanitary District; Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago] for a long time, so she and another person [Marion Stone] founded the organization. The idea was that they would engage volunteers to work primarily in the Cabrini [Cabrini-Green Homes, Chicago, Illinois] schools as tutors and mentors, and then it really grew beyond that so that, you know, the program for the volunteers as well as the students, changed dramatically. I mean, when I first got there, I really added a lot to it, you know, training for the volunteers by experts, you know, who knew how to deal with children both academically, emotionally, et cetera, so that was one of the principal things that I was able to do, and then move to a larger location, so, you know, but anyway, we--I guess we're not as compatible as we could have been in order to--for me to maintain a comfort level there. So, anyway, I stayed out for a few months and then ended up with the position that I have now, which is under the bureau of Cook County [Illinois], I should say Cook County--not Cook County Hospital [Cook County Health and Hospitals System], but so I run a pediatric literacy program there working with children ages six months through five years to introduce literacy to them while they're waiting for their doctors' appointments and also working with the parents during that same time period so that they can learn the importance of literacy by way of introducing books to the children, reading to the children, and so forth, and also model reading techniques to them and giving them some guidance as to how to choose appropriate books for their children and then how to manage their children while they're in the process of interacting with them, and so forth. It's a wonderful, wonderful program; it's very time-consuming, tiring energy-wise, but I really like working that program. It's kind of like, it's like maybe in my retirement phase, or whatever, but it's something I can do that I think is giving back to the community. I can contribute whatever expertise that I have in that area and then help somebody, you know, move along the way that's going to provide a better path for them.$Let me backtrack a little bit to the [Mayor] Harold Washington days. We didn't cover that and we didn't go back to that--$$No, we didn't.$$But 1983, now were you--how were you involved in the Harold Washington campaign?$$Just, you know, as any other person would be. I remember some friends and I got together and held the first, really official, gathering of Harold Washington in her house. She was living in the South Shore [Chicago, Illinois] and had one of those very sizable houses, so we called all of our friends and we pooled our money. We pooled our money to make that happen, and it was just overflowing, so that was one of the initial involvements that I had with Harold Washington, and it grew from there, just do little bits and pieces as a volunteer to make it happen, so that was very rewarding. As I said, I mentioned to you I had some interactions with him when I was working community relations at Michael Reese [Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois], and so, you know, we got to know each other really well through those encounters and then, when the decision was made to put a foundation together, which was following, well, it really became--well it was during his last months there when it was put together.$$In 1987?$$Yeah, um-hm, so it was working really well. It got a lot of recognition, you know, several events were held that were very successful, and I think the important thing for me was that, you know, when you're asked by the mayor, you know, to put--to be a part of something like that that's so significant, that is the reward in itself, and then you know exactly your purpose there, why it's, you--the purpose of the organization and an opportunity to generate revenue, to support activities that he felt so strongly about.

Reverend Joseph Evans

Reverend Joseph H. Evans, D.D., held the distinction of being the first and only African American to hold the positions of both Secretary and President of a mainline church denomination in the United States. Between 1967 and 1983, he was the national secretary of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Upon the sudden death of UCC president, Robert Moss, in 1976, Evans was named the third president of the UCC. He filled this position for one year, 1976 to 1977, and then returned to the secretariat position.

Evans was born on August 15, 1915 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The son of Etta Hill, a teacher, and Charles A. Evans, a postal worker, Evans grew up in Chicago and graduated from Englewood High School in 1933. During his youth, he was an active member of the Church of the Good Shepherd. In 1939, he received an A.B. degree from Western Michigan University and in 1942, a Masters of Divinity from Yale University’s Divinity School. He was ordained into the UCC that same year.

Following a brief period as the leader of a church mission serving immigrants from Barbados in Brooklyn, New York, Evans served as the pastor of Grace Congregational Church in Harlem, New York from 1942 to 1946. At Grace Congregational, he met Harriette Clark whom he married in 1944. From 1946 to 1947, he served as the Associate General Secretary for the Connecticut Council of Churches, where he ministered to migrant tobacco farm workers and youth. In 1947, he was called to Mount Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio, to serve as pastor until 1953. Then, he was called to his home church in Chicago to lead the Church of the Good Shepherd. While there, he earned his Doctorate of Divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary. From 1960 to 1964, he served as president of the Urban League of Chicago. After serving fourteen years as pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Evans was appointed secretary of the UCC. In 1983, Evans retired from the UCC but remained an active pastor for another five years, serving as interim pastor at churches in Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Maine; Amherst, New Hampshire; and Norwell, Massachusetts.

Evans passed away on April 12, 2008 at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife, Harriette, and their three daughters, Lesley, Harriette, and Barbara.

Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 10, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.195

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/10/2005

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Willard Elementary School

McCosh Elementary School

Lewis Institute

Western Michigan University

Yale Divinity School

Englewood High School

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Kalamazoo

HM ID

EVA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

8/15/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Death Date

4/12/2008

Short Description

Pastor Reverend Joseph Evans (1915 - 2008 ) is the first and only African American to hold the positions of both national secretary and president of a mainline church denomination in the United States, the United Church of Christ.

Employment

Grace Congregational Church

Connecticut Council of Churches

Mt. Zion Church

Church of the Good Shepherd

United Church of Christ

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Joseph Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Evans lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his career path

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Evans lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Evans talks about his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his early childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Evans recalls attending elementary school in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers attending Eighth Church of Christ, Scientist

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers joining the Church of the Good Shepherd

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes working in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers attending colleges in Chicago and Kalamazoo

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers attending Yale Divinity School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers important professors at Yale Divinity School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Evans recalls his early experiences as a pastor in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Evans talks about his wife, Harrriette Clark Evans

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his daughters and his work with the Connecticut Council of Churches

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers his hiring at Cleveland's Mount Zion Congregational Church

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes pastoring at Chicago's Church of the Good Shepherd

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers making changes at Church of the Good Shepherd

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his daughters

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his wife, Harriette Clark Evans

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers being selected as the United Church of Christ's secretary

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers his duties as president of the Chicago Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers serving as secretary for the United Church of Christ

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Evans recalls being elected president of the United Church of Christ

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his position as secretary for the United Church of Christ

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers his first three positions as an interim minister

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Joseph Evans remembers his final two positions as an interim minister

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes retiring to Sarasota, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Joseph Evans recalls being hired at Hartford Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes teaching at Hartford Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes the history of the United Church of Christ

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes attending the General Synod of the United Church of Christ

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Joseph Evans reflects upon his ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his goals for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Joseph Evans describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Joseph Evans narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Reverend Joseph Evans describes pastoring at Chicago's Church of the Good Shepherd
Reverend Joseph Evans recalls being elected president of the United Church of Christ
Transcript
Then in 1953 I got a call, I came home one night about ten o'clock, the phone rang and I happened to be right at it and I picked it up this is Samuel Stratton of the Church of the Good Shepherd [Church of the Good Shepherd Congregational United Church of Christ] in Chicago, Illinois and I said, "Yes." "We have just voted to call you as our pastor." I said, "What? Let me sit down, say that again--you don't do that." That's what he said. I said, "Now wait a minute I think that you should see the real article as it is now and we need to talk about a few things." Salary, living blah, blah moving expenses all the stuff that goes with it. So I went over to Chicago, met with the committee and we settled on everything. Of course that ten room parsonage next door, marvelous building, long story short we moved there in 1953 and that's where my family and I really got back together again. And I had fourteen wonderful years in my own church pastoring to contemporaries of my parents [Etta Hill Evans and Charles Evans, Sr.] and my contemporaries it was not easy. "You know who is coming to Good Shepherd? Joe Evans [HistoryMaker Reverend Joseph Evans]." "Who?" I had that kind of thing to face. But I had enough experience and enough training and enough gumption and get up and go and learning in those years from '42 [1942] to that date so that I was able to handle myself without--one thing you don't ever do in the local church is to get angry. Never lose your temper.$$How had the neighborhood and the church community changed over the years?$$Well then it hadn't changed it was still a fairly new community as far as we were concerned, we were new residents. It was a substantial community; it's not as it is now. The 5600 block south of the church on the east side it's not hardly a building standing it's all gone, demolished, rotted, gone. I understand across the street from the church there was a grocery store, a drugstore and another store, they're all gone, it's terrible. I haven't seen it but that's what I understand that's happened.$$What I meant how it had changed from your earlier years as a younger person there and going back, going back (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) Oh by then it had not changed that much, it hadn't changed that much. It was a pretty solid middle class community with pockets of ghetto. You have some--there are the folks who buy building and make tenements out of them and therefore they become down ridden and break down because of over use. We had a little girl who would come in with one of my daughters once and she stood in our living room and she said, "How many people live in this house?" and she told her just five of us she couldn't believe it 'cause she lived a couple of doors down. She and her mother and two other children lived in two rooms. So you had that kind of thing and in many of those buildings you see. So all right, excuse me.$In 1976 I came upon one of the most difficult years of my life. Our president [of the United Church of Christ] became ill in office Bob Moss [Robert Moss] who was the second president, came out of Lancaster Theological Seminary [Lancaster, Pennsylvania] as the president, was a former E and R, Evangelical and Reformed person was called, to make a long story short he died in office in 1976. We were scheduled to meet as an executive council in October. We went to the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland and after his death from his funeral at Montclair, New Jersey at Union Church [Union Congregational Church United Church of Christ] after going through the procedure I think I spoke a little about it earlier. To make a long story short the executive council elected me the third president. I'm the only person in the denomination that has served in both offices. I've served as secretary for sixteen years with a year out to be the president of the church and I'm glad I did because the job is a killer. It killed the president; it killed Ben [M.] Herbster (background noise) who was the first president. He died as a sickly old man and I'm glad I went back to being secretary and I served out my four year term-four four-year terms in '83 [1983].$$But that elevation for that one year serving as the president made you the first--$$Of our race to be in that position. I was the first as the secretary and first as the president of the church and there have been no others.$$But you made a point to me earlier of mainline churches and that's important too.$$Of mainline churches, yes. Now of some of the Pentecostal churches I cannot say that, I do not know I just don't have the information.$$But for mainline churches across America you were the first.$$Then it happened back there in '68 [1968] and '69 [1969] it was happening all over the place. I remember the Episcopalians called Tollie Caution, knew him well as a staff officer. The Methodists called a dear friend of mine whom I knew very well, and I've lost his name and some of the others but I think I was the first in the Congregational Christian Churches to elect--no we were then in the United Church of Christ excuse me, an officer of the church. There were three, president, secretary, treasurer.

Geraldine D. Brownlee

Geraldine Brownlee has spent most of her life as an educator. Born in East Chicago, Indiana, Brownlee’s father was a skilled worker for Inland Steel and both her mother and her stepmother were homemakers. Brownlee attended West Virginia State College, where she graduated cum laude in 1947 with degrees in biology and Spanish. Brownlee earned an M.S.T. in urban education from the University of Chicago in 1967, and completed her Ph.D. there in 1975. She also spent time at both the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan graduate schools of social work.

In 1947, Brownlee took a job with the Cook County Department of Public Welfare, where she worked as a caseworker from 1948 until 1955 when she began a career in teaching. She taught elementary school for eleven years in the Chicago public schools. From 1967 until 1970, Brownlee worked with the University of Chicago graduate school of education as a staff associate, becoming assistant director of teacher training in 1970. The following year, Brownlee was made an assistant professor and assistant dean of student services in the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) College of Education. During 1975-1976, Brownlee served as director of Title VII desegregation projects for Illinois School District 163. She continued as an assistant professor with UIC until her retirement in 1990, teaching curriculum and instruction within the school of education to both undergraduate and graduate students. During that time, she worked as a visiting professor to Indiana University Northwest and was active evaluating programs within the Chicago public school system. In 1995, Brownlee became a consultant to the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University in Chicago, where she remained for a year.

Brownlee has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career. She has also been active both in professional and civic organizations. Some of her honors include the 1990 YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Outstanding Achievement Award in the field of education; selection as a member of the Chicago Presbyterian Delegation to Cuba in 1998; and election as a commissioner to the 2000 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America. She has served on the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of Directors, the Chicago Urban League Education Advisory Committee and Links, Inc. Brownlee and her husband Brady live in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2003.302

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/17/2003

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Benjamin Franklin Elem School

East Chicago Central High Sch

West Virginia State University

University of Michigan

University of Chicago

First Name

Keronn

Birth City, State, Country

East Chicago

HM ID

BRO17

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Will send VITAE to Crystal. She's an Elder in Presbyterian Church - lc; Charles Branham

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Georgia

Favorite Quote

The Truth Of The Matter Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/13/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Education professor Geraldine D. Brownlee (1925 - ) has taught for many years at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Employment

Cook County Department of Public Welfare

Chicago Public Schools

University of Chicago

University of Illinois, Chicago

Illinois School District 163

Indiana University Northwest

Center for Urban Education at DePaul University

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:1230,16:2400,36:4194,72:30140,490:33200,562:43667,687:45494,737:46799,754:48278,774:49148,785:54520,824:55510,837:56500,850:72510,941:75570,979:82900,1064:86892,1103:87396,1110:91596,1185:92604,1201:93192,1209:94620,1229:96048,1248:105096,1348:107500,1363:111260,1446:113100,1475:113500,1481:116173,1489:119890,1519:120210,1524:124158,1559:129138,1598:139103,1667:142183,1727:143261,1743:151170,1793:151758,1899:152430,1909:153522,1930:154110,1938:160312,1997:160844,2005:164644,2086:164948,2091:165784,2110:190446,2470:198976,2623:200488,2662:205326,2701:213508,2831:213938,2837:228622,3003:244210,3177:244738,3184:254890,3308$0,0:1414,25:3874,64:9450,165:11828,200:19250,336:45435,731:46245,742:51348,825:52401,838:53535,856:55155,880:68242,1029:68710,1036:69022,1041:72970,1060:78005,1103:78345,1108:78685,1113:79110,1119:80385,1139:89466,1236:94510,1259:95734,1269:101670,1309:107240,1351:122779,1549:123609,1563:124273,1573:125020,1583:136595,1685:139583,1716:141658,1742:145604,1759:152176,1813:172040,1966:173570,1987:185195,2082:190601,2125:191006,2131:191573,2140:199106,2258:203966,2356:213786,2492:217002,2562:224650,2636:233830,2747:234630,2755:235110,2762:235430,2767:236870,2781:239270,2819:244390,2893:244870,2905:245830,2923:262030,3041:264764,3049:265340,3058:265916,3067:266276,3073:266924,3084:267860,3099:269516,3120:271560,3133
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Geraldine D. Brownlee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her stepmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her birth mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes the culture of reading in her household as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers her neighborhood growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes herself as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Geraldine D. Brownlee lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about a racist experience at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her favorite subjects at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about encountering racism at George Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how discrimination kept her from entering the National Honor Society

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how she decided to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her experience at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her extracurricular activities at West Virginia State College, Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her studies at West Virginia State College, Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls President John W. Davis at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her interest in the Quakers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes the speaker series at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers learning about black history in her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the impact of World War II on West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains how she entered the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for special training in administering to the blind

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about encountering racism in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers declining a job with the W.C. Handy Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee recalls her experience as a social worker in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her early teaching experience

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains her motivation for pursuing graduate studies in education

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her philosophy of curriculum development

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Geraldine D. Brownlee discusses the challenges facing contemporary education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the work of HistoryMaker Dr. James Comer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee philosophizes about leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her dissertation research on teacher leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee details her work with various community and social organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her work as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about black studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her work as principal evaluator for the Chicago Public School system

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about her work as a director of a desegregation program

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the importance of setting expectations in education

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Geraldine D. Brownlee explains the lack of pro-union sentiment in her family

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Geraldine D. Brownlee reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Geraldine D. Brownlee considers what she would do differently

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Geraldine D. Brownlee remembers her mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Geraldine D. Brownlee talks about the challenges of implementing affirmative action effectively

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Geraldine D. Brownlee describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Geraldine D. Brownlee narrates her photographs pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Geraldine D. Brownlee narrates her photographs pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her experience at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia
Geraldine D. Brownlee describes her work as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Transcript
Okay. What was West Virginia State like? I mean, who were some of the teachers and personalities that you met there?$$Well, West Virginia State College [West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia] is a--on its sign it says, a liberal education, and I always knew from my mother that that was the best kind of education one could get. And when I went there, the dean of the college was Dr. Harrison Ferrell, who was from Chicago [Illinois] and had finished his doctorate at Northwestern [University, Evanston, Illinois]. And he greeted me right away, because you had to send in your picture with your application. And when I walked into the administration building, he said, "Hi, Gerri [HM Geraldine D. Brownlee]," the first day when I registered. And my psychology teacher was Dr. Herman Canady, who had received his doctorate at Northwestern. And I really have never regretted that decision. My whole life changed. I just felt as if I were just liberated from all of the racism, whether it was subtle or not, that I could go--belong to any organization I wanted to belong to. I wasn't afraid of failing, because I knew I had the ability to learn. And then it would put me in contact with my own people, because I was very limited in East Chicago [Indiana] in knowing people, black people--we were colored then--except for church and the limited number who went to school with me, 'cause there were only twenty-six in my graduation class out of over three hundred blacks. And so it was--I was very impressed with the faculty. I was impressed with the students. I didn't like the dorm. I thought the dorms were crummy. But it just made a different person out of me in my life.$$Were there a lot of restrictions on students at West Virginia, West Virginia State at that point (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh, yeah. Yes. In those days you couldn't get in a car. One could not leave campus without written permission from your parents. We had to be in the dorm at certain hours of night. You know, yes. There were a lot of restrictions. But I didn't mind that because I had restrictions at home. And then we--as we learned, we could do everything we wanted to do within a certain--anyway, within a certain time.$$(Laughter) Once you figured out the system.$$That's right.$$That's right.$$But then, I also didn't know, until I got to West Virginia State, and Dr. Canady gave everyone--now that I look back on it, it may have been the Stanford Binet test [Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales]; it was an I.Q. test, and then told us, you know, who did well and who did this. And I was the highest one in the class, and it was a very high I.Q. And he said--told them that. And I was so pleased, because I knew I had a good I.Q., but I didn't know how high it was or how good it was, because they never told me in high school. So with Dean--Dr. Canady and Dr. Ferrell, I could take as many--you know, how a load could be, like, sixteen hours? I was permitted to take twenty, twenty-two, twenty-four. You know, I could--they gave me a lot of privileges, because they said I could do it. And that's how I got the double major, 'cause with a double major, one has to have a double minor, which means you have to have certain courses in two dif- four areas. I had to do it.$Okay. Well, speaking of professing, you've been a professor at University of Illinois of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois] for a number of years. Right? And you're now professor emeritus. Right, or--?$$From the University of Illinois.$$Yeah.$$Um-hm.$$University of Illinois at Chicago.$$At Chicago.$$Yeah. Right.$$Um-hm.$$Right. Okay.$$That was an experience.$$Okay.$$That was truly an experience (laughter).$$Well, I can, you know, I see a balloon above your head, but you got to fill in the blanks. Now, what happened at the University of Illinois at Chicago?$$Well, because it is a large institution. And to leave a college like West Virginia State [College; West Virginia University, Institute, West Virginia] and to go to a university like the University of Chicago, where there are small populations and to go into a public urban university, where there are thousands and thousands of faculty and student is quite a challenge--students. It's quite a challenge. And it was an eyeopener because I went there because I've always been committed to urban education. And I got there and found that they were still searching for their urban mission. And it was very difficult because there's such a mix there of Hispanics, blacks, Indians, and whites of different origins. And there are very relatively speaking, very few tenured black faculty, which puts the burden on those of us who are tenured to meet the needs of the black students, and I--which even though there may not be more than 15 percent, to meet their needs. Because if one is there, one is likely to come to a person who is of, you know, of the same origin. And it was very, very difficult for white faculty to understand the demands made on black faculty in terms of publications and research and funding, when we have these other issues that have to do with race and our students. That was one eyeopener for, you know, for me. The fact that it's a revolving door for black professors was another issue. As a matter of fact, the chancellor asked me to serve as a--to chair his committee on the status of blacks at UIC, which I did for a couple of years before I left, and it was most challenging. I don't--but, I did get in to know a couple of other black faculties from what we call the other campus, the west campus, the medical science campus, who were most supportive, for example, [HM] Dr. [Maurice F.] Rabb, I don't know whether you know him.$$Maurice Rabb?$$Maur- that's how I got to know him. When I was president he was very, very supportive. There were other faculties I would not have gotten to know if I had not had that post. But it was--it also was at the expense of getting my own work done. I was not given off--you know, time off to do this. But that's, that's what happens to us when we are in certain positions. We have to take on certain responsibilities, because--not only because we're needed, but because we have a commitment to do so.$$Okay.$$So it was--there were--I guess I've touched on the primary problems, trying to serve and support minority students while doing what professors are expected to do was a real problem.

Lucky Cordell

Disc jockey Moses “Lucky” Cordell, affectionately known as “The Baron of Bounce,” was born in Grenada, Mississippi, on July 28, 1928, to Grace and Moses Cordell. At age three, his mother died unexpectedly and his family moved to Chicago. Cordell attended Chicago Public Schools and graduated from Dunbar Technical High School in 1946. Shortly after graduation, Cordell joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Special Services Branch. While in the military, Cordell developed his theatrical ability. He received an honorable discharge in 1948. He was hired at WGES as a disk jockey in 1952 to work under Al Benson.

While working at WGRY in Gary, Indiana, Cordell hosted the popular show House of Hits. The show was well known for its audience participation and became a community favorite among African Americans in Gary. In 1956, local newspapers held an election for the “Honorary Mayor of the Negro Community” and Cordell won unanimously (beating four other radio personalities, religious leaders and political leaders). He held this honor for four years, until he decided not to run in 1960.

Cordell worked at several other radio stations in the Chicago area before taking a position as a disc jockey at WVON in Chicago. WVON, owned and operated by Chess Records, would become one of the most influential radio stations in United States history. Cordell became WVON’s program and music director in 1965, and in 1968 he was promoted to assistant general manager. After a change in station ownership in late 1970, Cordell became general manager. Under his leadership, the station increased its ratings and almost doubled the income received from advertising.

In the late 1960s, Cordell joined the Chicago Urban League. After retiring from the radio business, Cordell remained an active member of Chicago’s African American community.

Cordell passed away on September 6, 2015.

Accession Number

A2001.017

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

1/16/2002

Last Name

Cordell

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School

Radio Institute of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Lucky

Birth City, State, Country

Grenada

HM ID

COR01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/28/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili, Chicken

Death Date

7/7/2015

Short Description

Radio personality Lucky Cordell (1928 - 2015 ) , affectionately known as “The Baron of Bounce,” Cordell was a disc jockey at WVON in Chicago becoming the program and music director in 1965 and the general manager in the late 1970s. Under his leadership, the station increased its ratings and almost doubled the income received from advertising.

Employment

United States Army

WGES Radio

WGRY radio station

WVON Radio

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:735,2:4051,24:8090,60:12065,130:12590,138:20540,247:22500,255:22880,260:23640,275:24420,280:24900,290:26280,314:30212,357:31868,387:32420,395:33524,422:34352,432:36100,467:36836,476:38032,493:39136,510:48043,534:51806,589:55924,677:60258,714:60906,725:65154,817:70720,846:73950,894:83302,972:83686,979:84262,991:84518,996:88205,1032:92546,1112:92954,1119:93498,1129:97380,1187:104469,1249:106795,1268:108329,1318:108565,1323:109627,1354:112604,1377:113000,1389:113330,1398:113924,1410:114518,1422:117300,1439:122396,1465:122918,1477:123440,1492:124136,1509:125412,1540:125818,1549:127740,1556:129780,1600:132230,1611:133930,1626:135178,1641:137685,1655:139020,1671:139310,1677:140412,1700:140934,1711:141282,1723:141746,1733:142906,1763:143312,1771:143776,1782:144124,1789:149144,1834:149436,1839:151042,1865:153757,1896:154436,1906:155503,1919:155891,1924:160050,1942:160314,1947:160908,1959:161700,1975:162096,1984:162426,1991:162888,2000:163350,2008:170200,2101:175838,2202:180900,2264:183584,2295:183832,2300:187170,2361:192510,2424:193115,2442:193390,2448:193775,2457:198193,2482:198715,2490:200107,2519:204218,2557:207981,2611:211610,2637:215110,2704:215510,2709:218660,2723:219180,2734:221195,2776:222105,2796:222365,2801:227988,2850:228212,2855:228548,2862:228996,2876:232940,2906:233245,2912:234343,2939:235807,2978:236417,2992:236844,3001:237088,3006:237515,3014:241042,3051:241662,3064:246707,3150:249102,3167:250347,3188:252388,3218:252955,3229:253207,3234:253900,3249:254152,3254:254467,3260:254845,3268:258783,3320:259118,3326:262724,3361:263428,3376:264708,3405:267588,3475:268100,3485:268484,3493:273875,3534:274205,3542:279311,3613:279950,3623:280660,3635:285300,3687:287160,3735:287580,3743:292112,3782:295831,3822:296059,3827:296572,3837:298866,3857:299186,3863:300210,3887:302258,3924:302514,3929:302962,3937:308446,4001:309414,4028:310684,4046:311360,4064:313596,4118:313804,4123:316790,4135:320800,4210:321220,4217:326428,4273:326823,4279:327139,4284:328008,4300:331405,4371:333918,4384:334454,4394:334856,4402:335258,4409:335794,4419:336732,4440:337134,4450:337402,4455:337804,4464:338474,4477:338742,4482:346720,4559:348701,4571:351995,4624:353964,4649:354480,4657:355942,4689:356286,4696:362684,4748:364630,4768:364990,4779:365350,4786:365770,4794:369000,4828:369360,4836:369900,4847:374192,4889:375272,4918:375650,4927:376028,4936:378415,4973:378965,4988:379515,5000:380010,5011:380395,5025:380615,5030:380835,5035:382476,5052:383764,5083:384212,5094:384660,5105:387125,5124:387692,5132:388502,5146:390205,5156:390465,5161:391310,5179:391960,5191:392220,5196:393715,5233:394170,5241:395080,5258:395340,5263:398855,5289:400675,5329:401000,5337:401520,5347:403096,5363:403993,5381:404683,5396:409820,5465:415098,5543:419668,5606:419900,5612:420248,5619:420886,5634:421234,5641:421524,5647:421756,5652:422046,5658:422278,5663:423902,5706:426942,5716:428007,5739:429214,5756:429498,5762:429995,5781:430492,5789:434440,5809:434848,5817:435120,5822:435392,5827:436140,5841:439404,5875:445460,5942:450102,5997:456120,6046:456620,6054:457320,6063:457720,6071:458420,6079:460580,6087:461012,6094:461372,6101:462884,6125:463676,6140:465019,6145$0,0:2025,54:2850,69:3450,80:3975,128:6643,179:6935,184:7227,189:8322,209:10530,217:11125,227:13581,246:16595,283:18675,319:18935,324:19195,329:19650,338:21340,388:22185,418:27620,460:28400,476:28820,486:29060,491:29480,500:35119,549:36526,575:40460,602:41090,611:46634,649:47318,658:49294,690:50814,718:58150,753:60061,782:60880,804:63050,820:63694,829:66286,854:68771,917:71043,970:75830,988:76310,994:76694,999:79000,1011:79275,1018:79880,1030:93146,1148:98010,1172:100985,1214:102685,1239:103025,1244:108040,1347:113148,1367:114160,1372:122836,1420:123312,1429:125654,1440:138574,1530:140250,1549:143610,1564:145690,1585:152860,1646:153260,1651:154060,1661:157210,1682:160995,1724:161464,1732:161866,1739:167118,1804:167528,1810:169004,1844:171382,1886:171874,1895:172448,1902:175680,1910:175916,1915:176388,1925:177745,1958:178099,1965:178925,1988:179279,1998:180046,2035:180341,2041:187560,2061:188440,2078:188760,2085:191522,2113:191698,2119:192094,2130:192754,2157:194680,2183:196079,2203
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lucky Cordell interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell remembers his father

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell recounts an accident in his family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell discusses his upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell remembers his childhood friends

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell shares memories from his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell recalls a dangerous encounter from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lucky Cordell explains his nickname

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lucky Cordell remembers inspirational figures from his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lucky Cordell explains choosing a vocational education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell details his service in the U.S. military

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell describes his pursuit of a career in radio broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell details his business relationship with radio personality Al Benson

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell explains his interest in radio broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell remembers radio personality Al Benson

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell discusses radio personality Al Benson's career ascent

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell describes the radio industry in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell details the end of radio personality Al Benson's career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses his radio career at WGRY in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell recalls his participation in the Skyloft Players theater troupe during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell describes his popularity in Gary, Indiana in the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell talks about establishing his reputation as the 'Baron of Bounce' at WGRY in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell explains his transition from WGRY in Gary, Indiana to WGES in Chicago, Illinois in 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell talks about the music and the disc jockeys on WGES in Chicago circa 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell discusses leaving Chicago's WGES for Chicago's WVON in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell dicusses his relationship with Leonard Chess, owner of WVON and Chess Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell addresses the subject of working for a radio station owned by a record company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell shares an anecdote about a disc jockey named The Magnificent Montague

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell discusses his alliance with the disc jockeys during changes in WVON's ownership

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell talks about running afoul of advertisers at WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lucky Cordell describes the office environment during his stint as general manager at WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lucky Cordell explains why he was chosen to be general manager of WVON

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Lucky Cordell dicusses the Black History Week programming that he produced at WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lucky Cordell describes WVON station politics surrounding the management shift and disc jockey Joe Cobb

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lucky Cordell talks about WVON disc jockey Herb Kent's personality

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lucky Cordell relates an anecdote about WVON disc jockeys Herb Kent and E. Rodney Jones

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lucky Cordell talks about some of the WVON disc jockeys during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lucky Cordell talks about the nicknames used by the disc jockeys at WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lucky Cordell discusses 'The Black History Series' he produced

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lucky Cordell discusses a CHA radio project he worked on with Chicago Mayor Harold Washington after leaving WVON

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lucky Cordell talks about his affiliation with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Operation PUSH

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lucky Cordell discusses changes in black radio from his career through the present

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Lucky Cordell details his business relationship with radio personality Al Benson
Lucky Cordell relates an anecdote about WVON disc jockeys Herb Kent and E. Rodney Jones
Transcript
I went to Al Benson who gave me a job. It was an Al Benson production and Lucky Cordell show. And I started with I think it was fifteen minutes, or half-hour or something. It was a short amount of time. And he put Tom Duncan--Tom Duncan and I like at each other. It was like these two young men wanna be disk jockeys on the Al Benson program. Now you send in, I don't know, bottle caps or something. I think it was Budweiser beer or something. But he had the audience voting for us by sending in these labels. And so now the thing is the label of the beer, whatever it was wasn't selling good. So he was very smart. He was smart enough to say, how can I jack up the sales? So he didn't care if I had my family and friends go out and buy tons of the stuff. You know, he didn't care. All he wanted was the response. So I won that. I became the disk jockey. Then I got a half-hour with him. Finally got an hour with him. And I'd say to him, "Mr. Benson I'd really like to get some sponsors." So he says, "You're not ready yet." So I was asking, "Can I go out and sell." You know. 'Cause I knew that's where the money was. Every time I'd ask him, he'd say, "You're not ready." I saying to myself, how do I get ready? So he had a newspaper. And he said to me, "Well you know, I'm not gonna pay you this money for you to do an hour at night." I said, "Well what--" He said, "I want you to work at the newspaper office during the day." Okay so there I was working in the newspaper office during the day and working the radio at night, which meant I had no time to go and get any sponsors. Benson was not selling at the time. And he used me and the other young fellow to say to ownership, look, I got these two hotshots in here. They're not selling anything. Better than me not selling, you know. So the break came when I--one day I went to work and on my lunch period, I went to a cleaners and sold them an account. Came back to the newspaper. And this was when I began to realize what was happening. I said, "Mr. Benson, good news. I just sold my first account." And he went off. "You did what? I didn't tell you were ready! You're not--" He says, "You know, you can't sign any contracts because I work for the radio station. You work for me." I said, "Yeah I know that. I didn't sign it." Then the--you see the light go on over his head. He said, "Oh maybe you are ready." He put his signature on it. Which means he sold it. Okay? Then he gave me free reign. You know, like, you're ready now. You can go out and sell whatever you want to." And I must have sold six accounts. And an account called in. 'Cause one of the accounts that I sold said, "I'll buy this time. But you must do my commercial. I don't want Benson doing my commercial." There were some who, because he talked, you know, very--and they wanted somebody that spoke better. He came in one night feeling good. He had some guests with him. He said, "Lucky," he says, "Listen I've got some friends here and you take the night off. I'm gonna do the show." So he's gonna do my show. "Okay Mr. Benson." He did the show and he did the commercial. The people called up the next day infuriated. "I'm not paying for that commercial. I told Lucky when he sold me that I was only gonna do--" Dr. Dyer. The light went on in his head. He called me upstairs. Now this was--he said--sent me a message. Lucky, Dr. Dyer wants to see you." Benson had threatened me within an inch by saying, "Don't you ever go upstairs. You have no business up there. Because you work for me." 'Cause he didn't want a closeness between the owners and me. So here I am. What do I do now? He said don't go up there and the man who owns the station says he wants to see me. So I took the shot and went on up to see him. And it went something like, "Lucky you're doing good and I just want to congratulate you. And listen you've sold several accounts haven't you?" I said, "Yes sir." He said, "About how many?" "Well I don't know five or six." He said, "Listen I'm looking for my list around here. Can you remember who they were?" I'm innocent. I started naming the accounts. 'Cause I didn't know Benson was taking credit and not telling the man that I was involved. So after that meeting, when I came in that night--I still got the letter. There was a letter. Dear Lucky: As of tonight I will no longer need your services. I will be doing the show myself. Maybe we can work together in the future. Signed Al Benson. 'Cause I'd gone upstairs. So the next day, I went up to see Dr. Dyer. And I said, "Dr. Dyer." I said, "Is there any time that is available that I can get my own time? Because Mr. Benson just fired me." He said, "He did what?" I said, "He said he no longer need my services." He said, "Well I--you come in tonight to work. I'll speak with Mr. Benson." They tell me he cursed him up one wall and down the other. "You're trying to get rid of this kid whose selling and you're not selling." And blah blah blah. So then I came in the next night as if I came in to pick up my things. There was another letter. Dear Lucky: I have reconsidered your position as disc jockey and you will continue in your present position for the time being or something. So I stayed there with him like I say for at least a couple of years. Finally realizing I can't progress under this man. Everything I do he's gonna take credit for. So I put the word out that I was looking. And it was Leonard Chess who said to me one day when I visited him in his office--Because who would hear about jobs. Record people. Music people would hear about jobs available. I was about ready to go out of town. He said, "Lucky there's a position open in Gary, Indiana. A little station called WGRY." Well Gary at that time sounded to me like going to the moon. I didn't realize it was a stone's throw. So I thanked him and I did go out there. I took the audition. The man liked me. And I stayed out there for eight years. And finally I said, I wanna go back to Chicago radio. That's when I went to Dr. Dyer and he gave me my own show.$[E.] Rodney [Jones] and Herb [Kent] were in a contest together. Now this was a station [WVON radio station, Chicago, Illinois] promotion. It was the same kind of thing that had been done many stations--many times. Send in a label and vote for your favorite DJ [disc jockey]. Now this was all the disc jockeys. And that gave them the opportunity of hyping saying, "Vote for me." You know. "Hey, you know, I'm in this contest. Vote for me." So Herb and Rodney were the closest. They were the leaders. Everybody else had fallen behind. And there was a guy who was a sponsor of Herb Kent's who pulled a truck. He owned a grocery store. He pulled a truck up in the lot and had two people in there ripping off labels, gonna vote for Herb Kent. Well Herb Kent won it thumbs down. I mean the man unloaded half a truck of labels. To show you how people get involved. Here he is a sponsor. He wanted the one that he was pulling for to win. 'Cause Herb did his commercials. The story goes that he was like a lightweight gangster. And one day Rodney was called into the office. And this guy had--he was a little guy. But he had two big guys with him. Oh--the reason he wanted to see Rodney was Rodney jokingly made fun of the fact that Herb Kent had stolen the, you know. "He didn't really beat me. But he stole the election. " You know. And that was like calling this guy's representatives a thief. He came out there. He said, "And don't you ever call me--say I'm crooked!" Pow! Fired on him. And Leonard was there. And it was hushed up. It never was, you know, never known. I'll tell you who the guy was. He was the guy that later was busted for--he had a plant. And they were wrapping--they were putting butter wrappers on margarine. It was really margarine. And they had a plant doing it. So naturally, he could undersell any store in town. Butter, you know, so much a pound. They caught up with him in his operation. They busted that. So there were a couple of things that, you know, were a little shady about the boy. And nobody ever knew that. That's really--because, you know, that's the kind of story--who's gonna tell it? Have him coming after you, you know.