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

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

U. Lawrence Boze

Houston attorney U. Lawrence Bozé, was born November 1, 1949, in Houston, Texas; his mother Iva Stewart Bozé's family operated Stewart’s Grocery, and his father, U.L. Bozé, founded Riverside Bank, Houston’s first African American controlled bank. Bozé graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1967. From there, Bozé went on to attend the University of Houston on a football scholarship, where he earned his B.S. degree in 1973. In 1978, Bozé became the first student to receive a master’s in finance degree and a J.D. degree from Texas Southern University in their joint degree program; he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was valedictorian of both programs.

Bozé served as the bankruptcy counsel for Chevron U.S.A./Gulf Oil Corporation from 1978 to 1987. As vice president/bankruptcy counsel for Allied Bankshares, Inc., Bozé formulated the bankruptcy section of Allied Banks of Texas, which consisted of fifty-two banks and handled a docket of over 700 pre-bankruptcy cases. Later, Bozé founded U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates, which specialized in environmental law, real estate, and commerce litigation. In addition, Bozé served as a closing attorney and tort litigator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is an AMI certified mediator. In 1994, Bozé became the first black fee attorney for Fidelity National Title.

Active in the National Bar Association (NBA) since 1987, Bozé served as the president of the affiliate, Houston Lawyers Association, in 1987. In 1991, Bozé founded and became the first president of the Texas Association of African American Lawyers. Bozé was elected the NBA’s 54th president in 1996; he served as a State Bar Examiner for the Texas Board of Law Examiners from 1997 on. Bozé is a recipient of the NAACP Distinguished Service to the Houston Community Award.

U. Lawrence Boze was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November, 3, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.225

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/3/2004

Last Name

Boze

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lawrence

Occupation
Schools

Phillis Wheatley High School

University of Houston

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

U.

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

BOZ01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean; Jamaica

Favorite Quote

The Good Life.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/1/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Lawyer U. Lawrence Boze (1949 - ) founded U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates, a firm which specializes in environmental law, real estate, and commerce litigation. In addition, Bozé served as a closing attorney and tort litigator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is an AMI certified mediator.

Employment

Chevron U.S.A./Gulf Oil Corporation

Allied Bankshares, Inc.

U. Lawrence Bozé and Associates

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Fidelity National Title

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:7128,154:7920,167:8536,175:11616,231:18953,310:23930,425:26142,468:36119,656:38225,710:40088,759:40736,769:45353,872:51509,982:51914,988:52643,998:57503,1101:58070,1109:58637,1117:69662,1303:79202,1442:98221,1736:107854,1821:108249,1827:112436,2094:135556,2338:136336,2475:136804,2497:147548,2684:149030,2719:155114,2867:156362,2883:156752,2889:175662,3247:178450,3297:199738,3625:211150,3848:223820,4040:224180,4045:233478,4181:233958,4187:240730,4305$0,0:8337,162:20834,449:37804,642:39960,686:58813,965:66618,1095:66978,1101:73089,1162:76827,1244:77717,1269:80387,1309:83057,1357:95530,1563:108552,1766:108868,1771:115432,1869:116450,1878
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251684">Tape: 1 Slating for U. Lawrence Boze's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251685">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251686">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze describes his maternal family lineage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251687">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze talks about his maternal ancestors' migration from Haiti to the United States</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251688">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze describes his mother's upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251689">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze talks about his paternal family and his father's career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251690">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251691">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze recalls his mother's inspirational success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251692">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze remembers the sights, sounds and smells of family trips growing up</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251693">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze describes himself as a young boy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251694">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his parent's divorce</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251695">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze speaks about his family's support for him and their religious affiliations while he was growing up</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251696">Tape: 1 U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251697">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze reminisces about his commitment to music as a young man</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251698">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his experience at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251699">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his mother's death when he was sixteen</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251700">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze recalls his decision to attend the University of Houston in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251701">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze remembers touring the Chitlin' Circuit as a performer in college</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251702">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze talks about his experience on the football team at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251703">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze shares memories of playing high school and college football in Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251704">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze talks about the exploitation of college athletes and the football culture in Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251705">Tape: 2 U. Lawrence Boze remembers how his football demotion led to his focus on academics at the University of Texas in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251706">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze explains how he decided to enter a joint law and business program at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251707">Tape: 3 U. Patrick Boze remembers renting out the Astrodome for a black college All-Star game in the early 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251708">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze recalls his time at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251709">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze explains how big oil companies have stolen land from African Americans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251710">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze remembers the racism he faced as a young lawyer working for Gulf Oil</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251711">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze speaks about meeting Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251712">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze remembers filing a discrimination case against Gulf Oil and Chevron Corporation in 1987</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251713">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze recalls starting his own private practice</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251714">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze talks about his most interesting case in private law practice</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251715">Tape: 3 U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251716">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze talks about the controversial decision to allow Clarence Thomas to address the National Bar Association</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251717">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his law school and professional mentors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251718">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his work with the Jamaican banana boycott</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251719">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze recalls his trip to Brazil with the National Bar Association</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251720">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze describes the history and objectives of the National Bar Association, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251721">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze describes the history and objectives of the National Bar Association, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251722">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze talks about his work on environmental cases</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251723">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze describes his family's accomplishments</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251724">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze remembers the legal cases he is most proud of representing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251725">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze explains his legal philosophy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251726">Tape: 4 U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 3</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251727">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze describes his concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251728">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze talks about the importance of historically black colleges and universities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251729">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze talks about honoring the commitment of earlier generations with his efforts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251730">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251731">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251732">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze remembers being profiled for "flying while black" and his lawsuit against U.S. Air</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251733">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze remembers his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251734">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251735">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze sings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251736">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 4</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/251737">Tape: 5 U. Lawrence Boze narrates his photographs, pt. 5</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
U. Lawrence Boze explains how big oil companies have stolen land from African Americans
U. Lawrence Boze talks about his most interesting case in private law practice
Transcript
So I start sending out the resumes and sent a resume out to Gulf Oil, and they initially sent me a letter saying, you know, declining. So they gave me a second look, because they saw my grade, my GPA, and the fact that I finished first in my class, and they had me fulfill all their requirements. And so the general counsel at the time was a man by the name of Jesse Luden [ph.]. They brought me in, and they took me on a world wind interviews. I had to interview here in Houston [Texas], in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania], interviewed me--I got interviewed about--I took about fifteen interviews before they finally offered me a job. Said, we got to make sure, you know, that you're okay. So I said, fine, I went through them all. And so I then became the first and only African American oil and gas lawyer they had.$$Now, Gulf [Oil], I remember at the time--$$Yeah--$$Early '70s [1970s], because they were--well, mid-'70s [1970s], they were taking a beating in the--amongst the black political people they were following what's going on in Angola--$$Absolutely.$$--and there were ads in--American Friends Service Committee had an ad of a Portuguese soldier holding up a brother's head--$$Well, Gulf.$$--in a jet?$$Let me tell you in, in, in my--as an oil and gas attorney, what they call--they call that upstream. I was able to see a lot of things a lot of blacks normally don't see. How they took a lot of black people's property from them. And I am convinced that adverse possession statutes were passed in order to help assist to taking of black people's land. You have to understand, most of the oil and gas--oil and gas riches, and I am talking about millions of dollars, almost billions of dollars, have come off land who were originally black folks' land in east Texas, in Louisiana--$$Now, these are--are these lands that were originally occupied by black folks because they weren't as valuable as some of the other black--$$Well, because they thought they weren't valuable--$$They were swampy-like (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) They gave them swampland-$$--or something like that--$$--thinking it was nothing. When actually, you know, they were and they would come back and they wouldn't run them off. They would do it either through a gun, they would use the courts, they would use sheriffs. They had actually used some family members sometimes, because they would put X's down. And as an oil and gas attorney, believe me, I was able to see all these things, and the thing that they would say about black people, and the racism, derogatory things, and how they would take land from people. You know, and I've spoken to Kweisi Mfume about this, really, in the last month about--because I've had people, I, I, you know, I still try to represent people sometimes in oil and gas matters because it really is a crying shame how they took all this black land from black folks and set up adverse possession statutes where if you don't stay on your land for a certain period of time than, you know, someone else can claim it. And in this state, they have prescriptive periods of ten years. If you stay away, you know, it belongs to someone else, and then you sell it to someone else where they have a good faith purchase and it goes on and on. And so, I mean, really tell you, literally millions and millions of dollars that could have gone to black folks who was taken from by these these pillar tops. Exxon [Mobil Corporation], that land was black land, okay. It really is, it is a shame. I've spoken to many people about it, and, unfortunately, I've not been able to help, you know, a lot of people because these statutes you can't retroactively try to take land back from people who--the way it was stolen, but you can see the history around black people had land back as far as the turn of the beginning of the State of Texas and had land grants, because a lot of Hispanics had land grants and still own--and still have their property. To this day. Down on Laredo [Texas], I know a lawyer who has eight thousand acre ranch that his family got as a land grant from the State of Texas, okay. And he still--his family still has it. You can't tell me one black person who, you know, who still has that from a land grant, and I've seen it. I saw when I was an oil and gas lawyer.$I had a case that--with Willie [E.] Gary out of Stuart, Florida. We represented Pleasantville [Civic League, Houston, Texas]. Because what happened there was a warehouse that blew up next to the Pleasantville and spewed all this toxic hazardous waste throughout this African American community, and that's one of the, probably, one of the interesting cases [Pleasantville Civic, et al v. Logistics Partners, et al] I ever did. No one knew at the time that the material that blew up came--was owned by a company--it was owned by the governor of Italy. And so we end up--I end up going to Italy for a month, living in Milan [Italy], taking depositions. There was about fifty lawyers that went. We represented, because Willie and I made a presentation for the Pleasantville Civic Committee, who recommended to the community at large to hire us, and so we ended representing nearly three thousand people, okay. We represented the largest plaintiffs group; three thousand adults and minors, okay. So I went to Italy and we stayed a month, and so we would three days on taking depositions and three days off, and, you know, of course on the days off, we would travel around Europe and that was the time where the world soccer, so I end up in France, seeing the world soccer. I went to Switzerland, I mean, Sweden. I mean, I just was all through Europe, Europe on the train. And I, you know, just did traveling. We would, during the day, we would take depositions, and I would speak in English, and they would translate it into Italian, but I had a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people we were translating, they already knew English, but they were just making you do it. And so that was a--you know, that case went on. It was a very big case, and we had a very successful, I believe, in for the people. We got millions of dollars for them, sure did.$$Okay.$$Sure did.