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The Honorable Johnny Ford

Political leader Johnny Ford was born on August 23, 1942 in Midway, Alabama to Bertha and Willie Patterson, and was raised by his Aunt Tennessee Ford and Uncle Charlie Benjamin Ford. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School and received his B.A. degree from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1964. Later, Ford received his M.P.A. degree from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama in 1977.

After graduation, Ford moved to New York City and worked for the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, where he served as a recruiter in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn and later became director of all Boy Scout activities in the South Bronx. In 1967, Ford worked as a strategist on the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. After Kennedy’s assassination in 1968, Ford returned to Tuskegee, Alabama and began working as director of the Model Cities Program. From 1970 to 1972, he served as assistant director of the Multi-Racial Corporation and managed Fred Gray’s campaign for the Alabama House of Representatives. During this period, Ford also worked in the Montgomery office of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure compliance with the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1972, Ford was elected Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama as its first black mayor. That same year, Ford co-founded the Southern Conference of Black Mayors, which later evolved into the National Conference of Black Mayors, incorporated in 1974. Ford later established the World Conference of Mayors, Inc. in 1984, which convened mayors from the U.S., Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Ford was unseated by Ronald D. Williams in the 1996 Tuskegee mayoral election; and, in 1998, he was elected state representative of the 82nd District from Macon County, Alabama. In 2004, Ford resigned from the state legislature and was re-elected as Mayor of Tuskegee. He was later defeated by Omar Neal in the 2008 mayoral election in Tuskegee. In 2012, Ford was then re-elected Mayor of Tuskegee and was sworn into an eighth non-consecutive term as mayor. In 2016, Lawrence Tony Haygood unseated Ford and was elected Mayor of Tuskegee.

Ford served as president of the Alabama League of Municipalities and president of the National Conference of Black Mayors. He was also a member of the Alabama Foreign Trade Commission, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church. Ford was a former chair of the National Unity Alliance and was founding president of the Tuskegee Optimist Club. He also received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Alabama A&M University in 2004.

Johnny Ford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/25/2019

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Auburn University

Knoxville College

Washington Public Elementary School

Tuskegee Institute High School

First Name

Johnny

Birth City, State, Country

Midway

HM ID

FOR18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Destin, Florida

Favorite Quote

We Are Together

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

8/23/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Favorite Food

Pecan Pie and Fish

Short Description

Political leader Johnny Ford (1942 - ) served eight non-consecutive terms as mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama between 1972 and 2016. He also co-founded the National Conference of Black Mayors and served as state representative of the 82nd District of Alabama from 1998 to 2004.

Employment

City of Tuskegee

Alabama House of Representatives

Multi Racial Corporation

United States Department of Justice

Model Cities Program

Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America

Fred Gray Campaign for AL House of Representatives

Robert Kennedy Senatorial Campaign

Favorite Color

Red, White, and Blue

The Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2010.085

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2010

Last Name

Hilliard

Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Jo

Schools

Whittier ECE-8 School

Cole Junior High School

Manual High School

San Francisco State University

Colorado State University

California State University, Los Angeles

First Name

Patsy

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

HIL13

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, Ghana, Liberia

Favorite Quote

Be True To Thyself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/20/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken, Ice Cream

Short Description

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

Employment

Denver Public Schools

Los Angeles Public Schools

Bright Functions School

South San Francisco Unified School District

City of East Point, Georgia

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

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

A. J. Cooper, Jr.

Attorney and founder of the National Black Law Students Association, Inc., and the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc., Algernon (‘Jay’) Johnson Cooper, Jr. was born on May 30, 1944, in Mobile, Alabama. Cooper’s parents were Gladys Catherine Mouton Cooper and Algernon Johnson Cooper, Sr., both graduates of Hampton University; he was also a descendent of the Seminole Chief Osceola. Cooper’s father ran the family-owned Christian Burial Insurance Company. Cooper attended St. Peter Claver Elementary School in Mobile and subsequently went on to the Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois, in 1958, where he was the first African American student to attend. Cooper graduated in 1962 and followed his two older brothers to the University of Notre Dame to continue his education; there, he majored in Latin American history and earned his B.A. degree. In 1966, Cooper was accepted into New York University’s Law School, at a time where there were only nine African American students enrolled out of six hundred. In the summers, Cooper worked as a summer associate at the law firm of Strasser, Spiegelburg, Freid & Frank. While at New York University Law School, Cooper founded the National Black Law Students Association in 1967.

In late 1967, Cooper joined Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s U.S. Senate staff as an aide in New York. One year later, Cooper joined Senator Kennedy’s presidential campaign, managed the Watts campaign headquarters, and was with Kennedy when he was assassinated. Cooper escorted Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Mays to the funeral ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and later escorted Coretta Scott King on the funeral train from New York to Washington, D.C. for the senator’s burial at Arlington Cemetery. After earning his law degree in 1969, Cooper moved to Alabama where he became a successful civil rights lawyer and litigator. In 1972, Cooper was elected mayor of Prichard, Alabama, a city of some 50,000 citizens; he was the first African American to defeat a white incumbent in the state of Alabama. As mayor, Cooper founded and served as the first president of the National Conference of Black Mayors.

After serving two terms as mayor, Cooper joined the staff of Moon Landrieu, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business. After that, Cooper became executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Cooper became a member of the professional staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, and then subsequently became the Chief of Staff and Tax Counsel to Congressman Harold Ford, Sr. In 1988, Cooper left the Hill and became a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Ginsburg, Feldman, and Bress, Chartered. Cooper’s legal specialties included litigation, legislative and administrative law, tax policy, and finance. Cooper was a member of the bars of Alabama and the District of Columbia and resided in Atlanta, Georgia.

Accession Number

A2005.140

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/21/2005

Last Name

Cooper

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Johnson

Schools

Marmion Military Academy

St. Peter Claver Elementary School

University of Notre Dame

New York University

First Name

Algernon "A.J."

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

COO09

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Fairhope, Alabama

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/30/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue Ribs

Short Description

Association chief executive, lawyer, mayor, and nonprofit chief executive A. J. Cooper, Jr. (1944 - ) founded the National Black Law Students Association, Inc. and the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc.

Employment

Strasser, Spiegelburg, Freid & Frank

Senator Robert Kennedy

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Crawford, Fields and Cooper

Prichard, Alabama

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Congressional Black Caucus

Congressman Harold Ford, Sr.

Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of A. J. Cooper, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes religious and racial conflicts in the American South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in Lafayette, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his father's career in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood activities in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls choosing to attend Marmion Military Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes school desegregation in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on civil rights struggles in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on civil rights struggles in Mobile, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at Marmion Military Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls choosing to attend the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on racism within the Catholic Church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his political activities at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his studies at the University of Notre Dame

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls his interest in civil rights during the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his experiences at New York University School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes founding the National Black Law Students Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes civil rights work at NYU School of Law

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes the activities of the National Black Law Students Association

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls political battles at New York University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his law practice in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recounts becoming mayor of Prichard, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. recalls founding the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects on the work of the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. talks about political concerns in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his tenure as mayor of Prichard, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes receiving an award from the National Conference of Black Mayors

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his government work in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his future plans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his battle with acute depression

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - A. J. Cooper, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

The Honorable Marion Barry

Marion Barry was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi on March 6, 1936. From an impoverished family, he went on to become a vigorous civil rights activist and served four terms as Mayor of the District of Columbia. Barry grew up in Memphis, where he attended Booker T. Washington High School. During the City's 1958 bus desegregation drive, Barry received his first taste of public confrontation and media notoriety. Subsequently, he abandoned his doctoral studies in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee to join the civil rights movement full-time. Barry was elected the first chairman of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1965 to open a local chapter. He never left.

Barry quickly became a formidable politician in the nation's capital. In 1971, he was elected to serve on the city's first school board. Three years later, when Congress allowed local elections, Barry won a seat on the District of Columbia City Council. As the second elected mayor of Washington, D.C., Barry was known for building coalitions with marginalized populations, including African Americans, women and the LGBT community. Barry held that office for twelve years, until a misdemeanor drug conviction forced him to step down. After a brief hiatus, Barry made a triumphant return to political office when he won back a seat on the City Council. In 1994, enthusiastic supporters reelected Barry as mayor in a landslide victory. Barry resided in Washington, D.C. with his wife Cora.

Barry passed away on November 23, 2014 at age 78.

Accession Number

A2000.005

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

8/7/2000

Last Name

Barry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

LeMoyne-Owen College

Fisk University

University of Tennesee

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Marion

Birth City, State, Country

Itta Bena

HM ID

BAR04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/6/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

11/23/2014

Short Description

Mayor Marion Barry (1936 - 2014 ) was a Mayor of Washington D.C., a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, and the first chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Employment

District of Columbia Government

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

District of Columbia

Favorite Color

Burgundy

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marion Barry interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marion Barry's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marion Barry describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marion Barry talks about his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marion Barry talks about losing touch with his father at an early age

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marion Barry talks about his siblings and their families

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marion Barry describes growing up in Itta Bena, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marion Barry explains why he moved to Memphis as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marion Barry describes living in Memphis as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marion Barry talks about odd jobs he worked in his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marion Barry talks about how his personality changed as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marion Barry talks about how Scouting influenced him as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marion Barry describes his educational experience

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Marion Barry says his mother complained about her domestic work

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Marion Barry talks about some of his friends from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marion Barry describes his leisure time during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marion Barry talks about his decision to attend LeMoyne College

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marion Barry says his family supported his decision to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marion Barry recalls becoming an activist at LeMoyne College

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marion Barry describes the segregation in Memphis, Tennesse during the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marion Barry is unsure why he became active at LeMoyne College

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marion Barry describes speaking at a rally headed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marion Barry talks about his admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marion Barry talks about the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marion Barry describes working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marion Barry discusses the philosophy and strategies of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marion Barry gives his first impression of Washington, D.C. on his arrival in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marion Barry talks about his social work with African American youth in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marion Barry talks about his work as president of Washington, D.C.'s Board of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marion Barry talks about making social improvements while serving on the City Council of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marion Barry talks about appointing minorities to city government positions when he was mayor of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marion Barry explains why he ran for the Washington, D.C. school board

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marion Barry says that his mathematical aptitude and good memory helped him as a politician

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marion Barry describes how his belief in the political system changed over time

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marion Barry talks about being shot in the chest in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marion Barry talks about his past endorsements from the 'Washington Post'

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Marion Barry describes his first successful mayoral campaign

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Marion Barry explains that his politics are based on empowerment

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Marion Barry talks about his relationship with the black middle class

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Marion Barry talks about coping with the difficult nature of political office

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marion Barry talks about his relationship with white voters

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marion Barry talks about the influence of African American politicians

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marion Barry shares some regrets about his time as Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marion Barry discusses Washington D.C's relationship with the federal government

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marion Barry says he never stopped working hard as Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marion Barry discusses the Ivanhoe Donaldson embezzlement scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marion Barry reflects on sex and drug scandals during his time as Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marion Barry describes how incarceration helped him overcome his drug problems and continue in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marion Barry talks about his last term as Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marion Barry talks about his future career plans

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Marion Barry discusses political and economic empowerment for African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marion Barry talks about his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marion Barry does not regret his decision not to pursue a career in science

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marion Barry disagrees with those who have called him an embarrassment

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marion Barry sympathizes with President Bill Clinton

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marion Barry discusses his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marion Barry says what it means to be black in America

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marion Barry explains the uniqueness of African Americans

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marion Barry explains why he favors reparations for slavery

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marion Barry talks about the importance of the HistoryMakers project

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Marion Barry at his mayoral inauguration parade in Washington D.C., January, 1979

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Marion Barry's mother, Mattie Cummings, 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - A young Marion Barry supporter, 1992-1994

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Marion Barry in a Martin Luther King Day parade, Washington, D.C., January, 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Marion Barry at a rally in Nigeria, 1992-1993

Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Marion Barry with firefighters at his city council inauguration, Washington, D.C., January, 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Marion Barry with son Christopher and friends

Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Marion Barry with fellow city council members, Washington, D.C., January, 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Marion Barry with his son Christopher with rap artist M.C. Hammer, ca. 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Marion Barry, his wife, Cora, and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Marion Barry with President Bill Clinton at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Marion Barry meeting with local businessmen Washington, D.C., 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Collage made by a neighborhood group of Marion Barry with his son, Christopher Barry, Washington, D.C., ca. 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Marion Barry, Jerry Rawlings, President of Ghana, and their spouses, Washington, D.C., 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Marion Barry shaking hands with Judge Eugene Hamilton at his mayoral inauguration breakfast, Washington, D.C., 1995

Tape: 5 Story: 25 - Photo - Marion Barry presenting Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women with a key to the city, Washington, D.C., 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 26 - Photo - Dorothy Height speaking at the opening of the National Council of Negro Women headquarters, Washington, D.C., 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 27 - Photo - Marion Barry and his wife attend a luncheon at the South African Embassy with Nelson Mandela, Washington, D.C., 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 28 - Photo - Marion Barry is sworn in as a member of the City Council, Washington, D.C., January, 1993

Tape: 5 Story: 29 - Photo - Marion Barry interviewed by radio host Tom Joyner, 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 30 - Photo - Marion Barry being greeted during his visit to the Ivory Coast, 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 31 - Photo - Marion Barry being greeted during his visit to Guinea, 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 32 - Photo - Marion Barry speaks while his mother, Mattie Cummings, and sister Gloria look on, 1995