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Lez Edmond

Distinguished professor Lez Edmond was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He was on the faculty of one of America’s leading Catholic institutions of higher learning, St. John’s University in New York City. As a child, Edmond attended a Seventh Day Adventist school, where he received his high school diploma. Edmond continued his education and received his B.A. degree and his M.A. degree from Adelphi University. He then received his PhD degree from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1962, Edmond co-authored with Earl Sweeting African History: An Illustrated Handbook, presenting the accomplishments of the continent of Africa and its people. In 1964, Edmond wrote the Harlem Diary, chronicling his thoughts and observances about Harlem’s 1964 race riot. Harlem Diary appeared in the Catholic magazine, Ramparts, and was reprinted in Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism. By the late 1960s, Edmond had become a known civil rights activist in Harlem. He worked closely with several civil rights leaders including Malcolm X, who invited him to attend meetings at the Nation of Islam.

Edmond began his professional career in research and development at Radio Engineering Lab in Long Island, New York. Joining Seton Hall University, Edmond began his teaching career. He continued his studies with psychologist Carl Rogers before joining St. John’s University as an associate professor of Psychology and the Social Sciences at the school’s College of Professional Studies. Edmond was the recipient of the Spirit of St. John’s Award.

Edmond lived in New York City.

Edmond passed away in April 2017.

Accession Number

A2006.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/10/2006

Last Name

Edmond

Maker Category
Schools

Seventh Day Adventist School

Adelphi University

First Name

Lez

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

EDM01

Favorite Season

All Seasons Except Winter

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

I Believe In Peace, Justice, And Truth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/9/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

4/10/2017

Short Description

Civil rights activist and psychology professor Lez Edmond (1932 - 2017 ) was known for his writings on the Civil Rights Movement in Harlem in the 1960s, where he worked with Malcolm X and other leaders. He was associate professor of Psychology and the Social Sciences at the College of Professional Studies at St. John's University.

Employment

Seton Hall University

St. John's University

Radio Engineering Lab, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lez Edmond's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond describes his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his mother's siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about his family members who migrated north

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lez Edmond describes his community in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lez Edmond recalls his role models in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond recalls popular musicians from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers reading African American newspapers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his childhood understanding of race, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond recalls his childhood understanding of race, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes his Seventh-day Adventist school in Jacksonville

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his experiences of discrimination in Jacksonville

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond recalls learning about the murder of Emmett Till

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about witnessing racial violence in New York City's Harlem

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond describes the meetings of the Organization of Afro-American Unity

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his decision to attend Adelphi College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond describes Adelphi College in Garden City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond recalls joining the Civil Rights Movement in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond remembers his relationship with Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond talks about his career in electronics, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond talks about his career in electronics, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his coworkers at Radio Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond remembers Malcolm X

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond talks about his Native American ancestry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond describes the ethnic diversity of Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond describes the events leading to the riots in Harlem in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond remembers writing about the riots in Harlem in 1964

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond remembers his decision to pursue a teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his opposition to the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond recalls lessons from Malcolm X

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his early teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond remembers joining the faculty of St. Johns University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond recalls lessons from psychologist Carl Rogers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond describes Malcolm's X's role in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond recalls being offered positions in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond recalls the First World Festival of Black Arts in Dakar, Senegal

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond describes his relationship with psychologist Carl Rogers

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond talks about the stories of the Bible

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond talks about his master's degree in education

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond talks about psychic phenomena

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond talks about relations between African Americans and Jewish people

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lez Edmond remembers Lewis H. Michaux, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lez Edmond remembers Lewis H. Michaux, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lez Edmond reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lez Edmond recalls serving as a consultant to filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lez Edmond remembers creating his film, 'Zabriskie Point'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lez Edmond reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lez Edmond describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lez Edmond remembers being hired at St. Johns University in Queens, New York

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lez Edmond narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Lez Edmond remembers the bookstores he frequented in New York City, pt. 2
Lez Edmond describes his early teaching career
Transcript
And then the third bookstore was down at 52-54 West 13th Street and it was on--owned by Mr. Andrew Curtese [ph.] and he was from the Soviet Union, he was a Marxist and he had literature from all over the world, and for some reason or another, and he owned the building. There was a restaurant downstairs, he owned the building. His wife played the piano beautifully, his son was very smart, on drugs. All he wanted to do was to sit in that beautiful park [Washington Square Park, New York, New York] there at NYU [New York University, New York, New York] and, and play chess. That's all he wanted to do, and whom else? I just happened to go in his bookstore one day. It was not really a bookstore; he was really more of a book distributor and we would just start talking and I let him know I was in grad school [Adelphi College; Adelphi University, Garden City, New York] and everything and he says, "Well, what are you doing in grad school?" and I let him know and he says you should be reading this, you should be reading that and he was the one that really educated me on Europe. It was him and he made me look good but I'm not the only one that he made look good. Guess who else he made look good? [HistoryMaker] James Forman of SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] when he was going for his master's [degree], that's also whom was tutoring him (laughter) yes and, and it, it's I think that you must sometimes be fortunate because Mr. Michaux [Lewis H. Michaux] was telling me things, and, and just being so nice to me Mr. Moore [Richard B. Moore] the same thing and Mr. Moore's book on the word Negro and it's evil use ['The Name "Negro": Its Origin and Evil Use,' Richard B. Moore] is a classic. He had a committee, Earl Grant was that committee and there's--you're fortunate to have the original first edition of that book, I, I know it's worth something and they have a photo in there on Earl Grant and Earl Grant is in that photo. So that was a great experience for me, meeting all those different people. In fact he and his wife, I guess they were teaching me culture, had taken me to see Vladimir Horowitz, the great pianist. They took me to see the great pianist Vladimir Horowitz and they were into that just like my uncle that I told you about, the uncle that was the fighter.$$Ali [Ali McArthur (ph.)]?$$Yeah, him he, his wife was also from the Caribbean and she to use to like to go to those teas. Aunt Ida [Ida McArthur (ph.)] use to like to go those teas on Sunday and that's how I got to meet Joe Louis. I was at one of those teas one time and he sat there and he talked with me, answered all of my dumb questions 'cause I didn't know, I wasn't old enough really ask him an intelligent question and that's how I met Joe Louis.$And from that day until this, I have loved teaching, and I'm happy that my aunt lived long enough for me to tell her before she made the transition that she was right, 'cause she told me when I was five years old I was gonna be a teacher. My mother's [Ruth McArthur] sister that was next to her, she told me that I was gonna be a teacher, and I asked her, I said, "Aunt Emma [Emma McArthur (ph.)], how did you know I was going to be a teacher?" She said, "By the way you addressed the other children." Isn't that interesting? And she always told me I was gonna be a teacher, always when I was a little kid. I says, "But I don't like teaching," and--really interesting, and--$$Your first teaching assignment?$$My first teaching a-? You know how I started teaching really, I'm talking about legitimately, Lenny McCree [ph.] I worked for asked me to take--I worked with Lenny McCree. Lenny was from England and he was teaching and he said, "Lez [HistoryMaker Lez Edmond], would you take my class?" I said, "Sure I'll take your classes for you," and the people loved me they says and I remember it was, his last name was Buchan [ph.], he says, "Lez, we need you in the system," and that's how I got into the system, that's how I got my file number and everything. 'Cause if you checked it out you'll know that my file number is a very low number so you'll know I've been around for a while.$$So how did you get from--how did you get to Seton Hall [Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey]?$$Some ladies were having dinner together and Judy Miller [Judith Miller] whom was head of the department at Seton Hall was describing the kind of person she wanted to come to Seton Hall. So Charshee McIntyre, I don't know whether you read her book says, "Oh, you need Lez." And, and I owe a great debt to Charshee. I'm happy that we were able to discuss it before she made the transition because Charshee thought so much of me until she says, "I can always tell when students have had you." I she, said says, "Any student come to my class I can tell when they had you for a professor," so I don't know what it was that she picked up about me but it was because of her that I ended up at Seton Hall.