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Janet Langhart Cohen

Award winning journalist, Janet Leola Floyd Langhart Cohen was born on December 22, 1941, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was raised by a single mother who worked as a domestic. She earned her high school diploma from Crispus Attucks High School in 1959, where she was a member of the band and debate team.

From 1960 until 1962, Cohen attended Butler University. In 1962, she was hired as an Ebony Fashion Fair Model and toured across the United States with the group. Four years later, she moved to Chicago to pursue her modeling career and was hired by WBBM-TV as a weekend weather girl. While living in Chicago, Cohen befriended singer Mahalia Jackson, Muhamad Ali and Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1972, she was hired by her hometown television station to host a new show, Indy Today with Janet Langhart.

The following year Cohen’s career soared when she was hired by the ABC affiliate in Boston to host Good Day in Boston. During her twenty-five year career, she has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and BET, and produced several programs, including On Capitol Hill with Janet Langhart. As an overseas correspondent, she covered news in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and special assignments for Entertainment Tonight. Langhart also co-hosted America’s Black Forum with Julian Bond.

Shortly after the death of Dr. King, Cohen married her first husband, Tony Langhart, a Chicago police detective. In 1978, she married Dr. Robert Kistner, a physician and one of the developers of the birth control pill. In 1996, Cohen married former Secretary of Defense, William Cohen. During his tenure she created and hosted Special Assignment, a weekly television program that was broadcast globally over the Armed Forces Network from 1997-2001.

In 2004, Cohen authored a book of her memoirs entitled From Rage to Reason: My Life in Two Americas. She has also worked as a columnist for the Boston Herald and served as a spokeswoman for Avon Cosmetics and U.S. News and World Report. She has been a judge for the White House Fellows Program and advised the Miss America Organization.

Accession Number

A2005.072

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/18/2005

Last Name

Cohen

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Langhart

Organizations
Schools

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Janet

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

COH01

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

If it is going to be, it is up to me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/22/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Bread

Short Description

Television host and television producer Janet Langhart Cohen (1941 - ) is an award-winning television journalist and worked as a newspaper columnist for the Boston Herald. During her twenty-five year career, she has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and BET, and produced several programs, including, "On Capitol Hill with Janet Langhart." As an overseas correspondent, she covered news in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and special assignments for, "Entertainment Tonight."

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5372">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Janet Langhart Cohen interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5373">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Janet Langhart Cohen's favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5374">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her mother's background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5375">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Janet Langhart Cohen recounts her reunion with her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5376">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her early understandings of race and racism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5377">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Janet Langhart Cohen remembers her paternal grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5378">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Janet Langhart Cohen shares an early memory of a Ku Klux Klan meeting</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5379">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Janet Langhart Cohen details her upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5380">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes the sights, smells and sounds of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5381">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her childhood environs, Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5382">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her elementary school experience in Indianapolis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5383">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her personality as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5384">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her early aspirations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5385">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her early religious involvement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5386">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her high school experience</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5387">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Janet Langhart Cohen remembers the Emmett Till murder</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5388">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls how Emmett Till's murder affected her</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5389">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Janet Langhart Cohen shares a lesson in race from her college years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5390">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Janet Langhart Cohen discusses her aspirations of becoming a model</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5391">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Janet Langhart Cohen discusses the racial climate of Indianapolis, Indiana during the Civil Right era</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5392">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her stint as an Ebony Fashion Fair model</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5393">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her interactions will Mahalia Jackson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5394">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Janet Langhart Cohen recounts the beginnings of her television career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5395">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Janet Langhart Cohen details her television career in Boston, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5396">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Janet Langhart Cohen reflects on her early television success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5397">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Janet Langhart Cohen discusses her marriages and racism due to her interracial marriages</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5398">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Janet Langhart Cohen details her employment with television program 'Entertainment Tonight'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5399">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her experience working at BET, Black Entertainment Television</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5400">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Janet Langhart Cohen describes her career as "First Lady of the Pentagon"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5401">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Janet Langhart Cohen reflects on issues of race in the U.S. military</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5402">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Janet Langhart Cohen reflects on interviews she conducted</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5403">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Janet Langhart Cohen reflects on her life's course</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5404">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Janet Langhart Cohen wants to be remebered as a 'race-woman'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/5405">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Janet Langhart Cohen discusses her lobbying efforts on behalf of anti-lynching legislation</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Janet Langhart Cohen shares an early memory of a Ku Klux Klan meeting
Janet Langhart Cohen recalls her experience working at BET, Black Entertainment Television
Transcript
Tell me, what is your earliest memory of growing up? What's one of the first things you remember?$$My earliest memory--is being at the [Ku Klux Klan] Klan meeting.$$Tell us about that. This is--.$$My mother was working for a white couple in the suburbs of Indianapolis, and they had two lovely daughters. I was about five, maybe four or five, and they were ten or twelve or whatever, and it was in, in what we call Indian summer in October. And I remember playing with them. They were awfully nice to me. They would give me their ribbons cause I had long pigtails or plaits as you call 'em, and, and they were silk ribbons. And they would say, let Janet have our ribbons. She doesn't have any ribbons. And in one of the pictures in my book, I'm wearing their ribbons. And it's--I never thought of it being second hand except that they belonged to two very sweet girls. But one Indian summer afternoon a parade of cars were coming by, a caravan of cars were coming by, big black, shiny cars with bug-eyed lamps and beautiful grills that looked like faces. And the girls would say to me, Sally and Jane, I don't remember their names, but those are the names I gave them, said, let's go see where they're going. And I said, okay. So I went with them, and I remembered, they had me in the middle and holding my hand or running up, following the cars. And we were on this, this slope, looking down at a grade. And we can see the cars there, and we saw--and what was strange to me, it was children. It was women, men, but everybody was wearing white, white robes. And I thought that was fascinating, and we're lying on our bellies looking over at this. And then as it started to get dark, as it does during October, it gets dark earlier, the girls looked at me and said, oh, stars are beginning to come out; come on, we got to go. And just before we did that, they put something over their heads that looked like pillow slips, hoods, and they began to chant something. All of them were chanting in a strange formation. And then at the end of the clearing, this puff of flame, just (whoosh sound). It was a cross, and it was burning, and I thought as a child, fire is fascinating. And I wanted to yell out, but I remembered the girls had asked me to be quiet because they told me, we'd get into trouble if they found out we had you here. And I thought it was because I was little, and they were taking me far from home. And later--I didn't tell mother. When we got home, the kids went up, the girls went up to get ready for their dinner. My mother was preparing their parents dinner. After she prepared their dinner, I stopped with my little coloring books, and she and I had dinner. And I thought about telling her, but then I thought, no. I'd already been admonished about being quiet, going too far from home. And I thought I wouldn't tell mother that until years later we were watching TV. And I saw a Klan meeting on TV, and I said, I was at one of those. And mother said, no, you weren't (laughter), you wouldn't have survived. And I said, I was there, I saw it. This is what they do and whatever. And she said, you were? And I, and I said, yeah, I said, I can tell you the lady you were working for when, when this happened. And then mother remembered there used to be a lot of Klan meetings cause in those days, the Klansmen would walk out of their offices with their Klan uniforms on or robes, and so mother would see that. And so she knew that, well, maybe I had too. And I told her exactly how it happened. The little girls had gave me their ribbons and how nice they were. So that's one of my first memories. One of my other memories is probably sitting in front of a potbelly stove in another boarding house in a rocking chair and watching galoshes--I don't know if you know what galoshes are, but they're overshoes, rubber overshoes. We called them galoshes. And when you wear them out in the cold, they get real stiff. But if you put 'em by the stove, as they get warm, they fall over. And so I remember their falling over and scaring me, and I flipped over in the rocking chair and everybody laughing. And I remember that's the first time, I didn't like people laughing at me. It's the first time I felt embarrassed, that feeling.$After E.T. ['Entertainment Tonight'], you did have, have the opportunity to work with America's Black Forum and BET.$$Out of the blue.$$And what was that like for you as an African American journalist?$$Oh, it was heaven. It was heaven because I didn't have to worry about somebody calling up and say, tell that--go back down South. I didn't have to mince words to not, to not hurt the feelings of racists, to give them their innocence. I could, I could talk about that black stuff that my white producers had asked me not to talk about. Don't talk about that because the viewers don't think of you as black. And I said, well, do they think of me as white? No, I said, so if they don't--.$$But just not really black.$$Oh, yeah, not that black as somebody had said once, which is insulting, isn't it? Yeah. So to be on America's Black Forum with Julian Bond, to be at Black Entertainment Television, and with all the criticism that BET got for not being substantive enough, I got to do substantive stuff. I was in heaven. It was, it was--I was just free to be me, to be all that I am and not be a black girl dressed up in a white girl's suit, dancing around things that are equally important to us.

Veronica Claypool

General manager Veronica Claypool was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Margie and Leander Warner. Claypool attended Shortridge Public High School in Indianapolis, where she graduated in 1966, and moved to New York City in 1970, where she attended Hunter College.

In 1973, Claypool worked on the production team for the tour and live broadcast of the Jackson 5 from Senegal, West Africa. One year later, Claypool became an associate producer for Metromedia Television in New York City, producing such programs as Midday Live, a daily talk show, Wonderama, a live children’s show and People of Paradise, a documentary filmed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Claypool joined McCann and Nugent Productions in 1977, working as company manager for over twenty Broadway productions, which included Mass Appeal, Dracula and The Gin Game, as well as the original 1976 Houston Grand Opera European tour of Porgy and Bess. In 1981, Claypool left McCann and Nugent when she was employed as manager for the Broadway and national tours of Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, including a live broadcast of the performance from the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway. In 1983 and 1984, Claypool was general manager for the Las Vegas national and international tours of the show, Sophisticated Ladies. Upon completion of this tour, Claypool worked as general manager, for The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, starring Lily Tomlin. 1988 marked Claypool’s move to Los Angeles where she worked as general manager for the Center Theatre Group/ Ahmanson and Doolittle Theatres, working on such performances as Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, and August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In 1990, Claypool worked as assistant production auditor for the Columbia-Tri Star release The Fisher King. The next year, Claypool moved to Blanki & Bodi Productions, working on such pieces Tube Test Two for ABC Productions and Silent Killer: Women and Heart Disease for the American Heart Association. For the next two years, Claypool was the general manager for OBA OBA, a Brazilian production that toured both nationally and internationally.

Claypool managed the Houston Grand Opera tour of Porgy and Bess. After managing this tour, she served as general manager of the Jackie Mason show, Love Thy Neighbor. In 1997, she became managing director of Theatre Development Fund, the country’s largest nonprofit theatrical service organization. In 2005, Claypool married John Gordon Butler in Kona, Hawaii.

Accession Number

A2007.287

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/12/2007

Last Name

Butler

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Claypool

Schools

Shortridge High School

Hunter College

First Name

Veronica

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

CLA14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Let's Just Get It Done.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/17/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Entertainment manager Veronica Claypool (1948 - ) became the managing director of the Theatre Development Fund, the United States' largest not-for-profit theatrical service organization in 1998. She has served as company manager for several staged shows, including the 1994 national tour of "Porgy and Bess."

Employment

Theatre Development Fund

Jackie Mason Show

Houston Grand Opera

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:6603,144:7029,151:7526,159:15407,295:25090,385:36940,581:41917,730:53999,870:67397,1108:76670,1191:79220,1243:87395,1411:99384,1592:102231,1641:102961,1655:113911,1881:127370,2012:128932,2044:137381,2209:142422,2441:162030,2619:163110,2657:169670,2711$0,0:136610,2010
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130303">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Veronica Claypool's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130304">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Veronica Claypool lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130305">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Veronica Claypool describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130306">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Veronica Claypool describes her maternal and paternal grandparents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130307">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Veronica Claypool talks about her family background, how her parents met and about moving to New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130308">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Veronica Claypool describes growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130309">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Veronica Claypool remembers her childhood home in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130310">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Veronica Claypool talks about her religious upbringing and her childhood in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130311">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Veronica Claypool recalls her grade school years at P.S. 41 and at Shortridge Public High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130312">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Veronica Claypool recounts her decision to leave Indianapolis, Indiana and move to New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130313">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Veronica Claypool talks about moving to New York City in 1970 and applying for a position at CBS</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130314">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Veronica Claypool describes working as an audience developer at CBS and attending Hunter College in New York City at night</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130315">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Veronica Claypool talks about working for HistoryMaker Earl Graves' Black Enterprise magazine and for Metromedia Television</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130316">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Veronica Claypool describes touring Senegal with the Jackson Five</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130317">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Veronica Claypool describes producing 'Midday Live' for Metromedia Television</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130318">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Veronica Claypool talks about her start in Broadway productions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130319">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Veronica Claypool talks about producing Lena Horne's show 'The Lady and Her Music'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130320">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Veronica Claypool reflects upon her theater production career in the 1970s and 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130321">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Veronica Claypool talks about producing HistoryMaker Vy Higginsen's 'Mama, I Want to Sing,' and about meeting Lily Tomlin</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130322">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Veronica Claypool describes the business and challenges of commercial theater production</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130323">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Veronica Claypool talks about black theater audiences, and Lily Tomlin's one-woman show 'The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130324">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Veronica Claypool describes working in theater production in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130325">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Veronica Claypool describes working with Jackie Mason and with the Theatre Development Fund in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130326">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Veronica Claypool explains the Theatre Development Fund's educational programs in New York City public schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130327">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Veronica Claypool talks about working as the Theatre Development Fund's Chief Operations Officer</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130328">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Veronica Claypool describes working as a nominator for the Tony Awards and the Lucille Lortel Awards.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130329">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Veronica Claypool describes working for the Lucille Lortel Awards and with the Open Doors theater education program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130330">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Veronica Claypool talks about HistoryMakers Woodie King and Stephanie Hughley, and other role models in the theater business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130331">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Veronica Claypool talks about the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations and the League of Professional Theatre Women</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130332">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Veronica Claypool describes her husband, Jack Butler</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130333">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Veronica Claypool reflects upon her career and her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130334">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Veronica Claypool showcases the work of opera singer Kenn Hicks, who has worked with HistoryMaker Herbie Hancock and bassist Marcus Miller</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130335">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Veronica Claypool narrates her photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/130336">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Veronica Claypool narrates her photographs, pt. 2</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Veronica Claypool talks about her start in Broadway productions
Veronica Claypool talks about producing HistoryMaker Vy Higginsen's 'Mama, I Want to Sing,' and about meeting Lily Tomlin
Transcript
What shows were you going to and what was the atmosphere in Broadway like then? Did lots of people go? Was it similar to TV where people were really excited about going to see shows?$$I think so but I felt that there were two--there was a sort of a dichotomy in the--the audiences. There was black theatre and there was Broadway. I didn't understand that but I walked right out of television into Broadway so it was a very different time but, you know, you had 'Raisin In The Sun,' you had--there were a lot of shows that had set the precedent, you know.$$And were those shows that were on Broadway?$$On Broadway, uh-hum.$$The black shows?$$Uh-hum.$$And then--$$'The Wiz,' you had, you know, there was--there was a lot of, at that time, there was a lot happening.$$And then what, on Broadway, what kinds of shows were popular? Probably the same?$$The same.$$But--$$Because they would be moved the same way they are today. They would start Off-Broadway and then be moved to Broadway. You know, 'Serafina,' you know, there was--there were just a whole host of expressions at the time.$$So what was your first job in Broadway?$$My first job on Broadway was 'Barnum,' I think was my--and otherwise we were doing--I was working in an office that did a spate of shows and so we had a--Pilobolus dance company, a dance theatre. We had 'Barnum' which was a musical. We were managing them at the time. But the first one that we produced was 'Dracula' with Frank Langella and that was very exciting because it was a very groundbreaking time and then we did a lot of plays, mostly plays.$$And where were your shows?$$On Broadway.$$In various places?$$They were on Broadway.$$Various theatres?$$Uh-hum.$$And did you also do a tour of 'Porgy and Bess'?$$Yes, that came at the end of my apprenticeship. You have to do a three-year apprenticeship which was very much like going to law school. We called it the "bar" because you had to do three years of an apprenticeship, then you had to take a--a six-hour written test and then a three-hour oral because as a manager, the only person who can go to jail who has a position of responsibility in terms of money, is the manager, and that's what I was pursuing.$$So this is all Broadway managers?$$That's correct.$$Now and then?$$Absolutely, it's a union position. Everything on Broadway is a union position but that's what it takes to get into the union.$$I see. So, how long did you take--make that an initial stint on Broadway where you were--you're working with McCann and Nugent Productions?$$McCann and Nugent. I did, yes, and I did my apprenticeship, that was three years.$$Okay.$$Then I--I was admitted into the union.$$Okay.$$And then I just never stopped.$How did you meet Lily Tomlin?$$Well, that was--that was a great story. I was--after the Lena Horne show closed, and after 'Sophisticated Ladies' was done, I actually took a tour of [HM] Vy Higginsen's show, 'Mama, I Want To Sing' out on the road. So, we were out in Detroit [Michigan] and I got a phone call that Lily Tomlin was bringing her one-woman show to New York [New York City, New York] and she wanted to meet me and I thought, I wonder why, you know. But I had sort of developed this reputation as someone who--who dealt with star personalities and one-person shows. So, I flew in, met with her and it was a great interview and flew back and she's--I got a call the next day saying, you know, can you--when can you start? So I, you know, told Vy I was going to go do this show and 'Mama' kept touring and I came back to New York and the process with Lily's show was that it was being developed. Now when I walked into Lena Horne, it was already an entity, it was--the show was done, it was, you know, existed and it was already up and running.$$So in an instance like that, what's--what do you then need to do?$$What is my job?$$Yes.$$My job is--it's like starting a small business every time you open a show. So my job is to, you know, create--negotiate the contract with the theatre, create the timeline for when we start selling, work with the box office but in the Lily Tomlin case, because the show was being developed, it was, you know, Jane [Wagner] and Lily were actually in the creative process, so there was a lot involved in terms of technicians and special effects and negotiating all of that and understanding what that was going to be in terms of the cost of the show. Because she was a one-woman show that she was producing and in a sense directing, I mean, it was--it was--it had to be a really tight unit and it takes--that's a twenty-four seven involvement when it's a one-woman show like that. And so it's, it's based on personality so she has to feel comfortable with you.

Jerry O. Williams

Former Fortune 500 executive and entrepreneur Jerry O. Williams was born on September 27, 1938 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Margaret Nora Stone Williams and James Oliver Williams. His mother established the “Williams Scholarship Fund,” a family savings plan that made it possible for Williams and his siblings to attend college. Growing up on the Eastside of Indianapolis, Williams attended Francis W. Parker School No. 56 where he played trumpet in the band with Freddie Hubbard. Williams went to John Hope Franklin Middle School and graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in 1956. His classmates included basketball great Oscar Robertson, and he was taught by musicologist David Baker. Entering Indiana’s DePauw University, where his fellow black classmates were artist, Willis “Bing” Davis and future civil rights lawyer Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Enrolling his last two years at Purdue University, Williams graduated with an undergraduate degree in math from DePauw University and a degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1961. Entering General Electric’s (GE) Engineering and Science Training Program, Williams finished in 1964. While working for GE, Williams earned his M.S.E. degree in operations research and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.

Williams worked for Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto, California in 1968, and by 1973 returned to GE and was mentored by Lou Tomasetti. In 1975, Williams left GE to become vice president of $400-million auto supplier, Maremont, in Chicago where he was befriended by president Richard Black. When Maremont was sold to Zurich-based Alusuisse, Ltd., Williams returned to GE. In 1981, he rejoined Black at AM International, as vice president of corporate planning and development. In 1982, Williams was appointed president of the Bruning Division of AM International, and by 1985, he became president and chief operating officer of the parent company, AM International. Acquiring Harris Graphics in 1986, Williams helped double AM sales. By 1988, AM was doing $1.5 billion in business. Williams became the first African American to grace the cover of Fortune magazine as AM’s future CEO and the nation’s first black president of a Fortune 500 company. However, Williams resigned from AM in 1988 and by 1990 moved to the United Kingdom as chairman of the board and managing director of Monotype Corporation, PLC. In 1993, Williams founded Grand Eagle Companies in Chicago and served as president and chief executive officer of this $215 million company – the largest independent manufacturer and repairer of electric motors and transformers in North America. In 2000, he sold the company to a private equity group and retired.

In 2002, Williams became chairman of Global Recruiters Network (GRN) offering management search services.

Williams lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife, Pamella Jones Williams. They have two grown children.

Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.019

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/19/2007

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

O.

Organizations
Schools

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

John Hope School 26

Francis W. Parker School No. 56

Frances W. Parker School 56

University of Pennsylvania

DePauw University

Purdue University

First Name

Jerry

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

WIL35

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/27/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Cabbage, Beef, Steak

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Jerry O. Williams (1938 - ) was the first black Fortune 500 president when he led AM International, and was the first African American to appear on the cover of Fortune magazine.

Employment

Maremont Automobile Products, Inc.

Grand Eagle Companies, Inc.

AM International, Inc.

General Electric

Monotype Corporation, PLC

Global Recruiters Network, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395150">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jerry O. William's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395151">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395152">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395153">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams describes his maternal grandfather's profession</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395154">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes his mother's childhood and education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395155">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his first experience of racial discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395156">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his mother's emphasis on education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395157">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395158">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his father's Pentecostal faith</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395159">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams describes how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395160">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jerry O. Williams describes his parents' personalities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395161">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his mother's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395162">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his family traditions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395163">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395164">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams describes how he takes after his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395165">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes his father's role at the 22nd Street Church of God in Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395166">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395167">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams describes his extracurricular activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395168">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams describes the music of his youth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395169">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams describes his early role models</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395170">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams describes his early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395171">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jerry O. Williams describes the prevalence of discrimination in Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395172">Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his experience of discrimination at DePauw University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395334">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his music training at Francis W. Parker School 56 in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395335">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his influential teachers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395336">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams remembers Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395337">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams recalls the sports teams at Crispus Attucks High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395338">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes the history of Crispus Attucks High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395339">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams talks about his high school classmate, Oscar Robertson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395340">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his decision to attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395341">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his decision to attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395342">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his early work experiences</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395343">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams recalls how he funded his education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395344">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Jerry O. Williams describes his experiences at DePauw University, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395345">Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Jerry O. Williams describes his experiences at DePauw University, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395185">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his decision to study engineering</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395186">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his experiences of discrimination at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395187">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes his professors at DePauw University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395188">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams recalls being selected to train at General Electric</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395189">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes the General Electric training program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395190">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his experiences of housing discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395191">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams remembers housing discrimination in Santa Barbara, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395192">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his experience of discrimination in Daytona Beach, Florida</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395193">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his experiences of discrimination in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395194">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams remembers seeking legal counsel from attorney Arlen Specter</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395346">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his fair housing lawsuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395347">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395348">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes the history of systems engineering</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395349">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams explains his scientific approach to management</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395350">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes his work for the U.S. military at General Electric</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395351">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams remembers meeting his wife, Pamella Jones Williams</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395352">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams recalls joining the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395353">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams remembers working with Tommie Smith at the Stanford Research Institute</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395354">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams talks about the Vietnam War protests and the Iraq War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395355">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams describes his decision to return to General Electric</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395356">Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jerry O. Williams describes his wife's education and background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395357">Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Jerry O. Williams describes his role at General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395207">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams talks about Louis V. Tomasetti</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395208">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his recruitment to Maremont Automobile Products, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395209">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes the products made at Maremont Automobile Products, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395210">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his position at Maremont Automobile Products, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395211">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams talks about racial discrimination in Corporate America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395212">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams describes the acquisition of Maremont Automobile Products, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395213">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams describes his role at Schweizerische Aluminium AG</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395214">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his mentor's departure from Schweizerische Aluminium AG</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395215">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his return to General Electric</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395216">Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Jerry O. Williams remembers training astronaut William Anders</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395217">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his offer to work at AM International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395218">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his promotion to head of operations of AM Bruning Ltd.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395219">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams remembers his challenges at AM Bruning Ltd.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395220">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams describes how he became president of AM International, Inc., pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395221">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes how he became president of AM International, Inc., pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395222">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams recalls his publicity as the first black Fortune 500 company president</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395223">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams describes his departure from AM International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395224">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams remembers joining Richard B. Black's venture capital fund</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395225">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his position at Monotype Corporation, PLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395226">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams remembers founding Grand Eagle Companies, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395227">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams describes Grand Eagle Companies, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395228">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams describes his work as a business consultant</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395229">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes the impact of racial discrimination on his career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395230">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams remembers James Kaiser</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395231">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jerry O. Williams talks about the racial discrimination in Corporate America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395232">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jerry O. Williams describes his wife's support for his career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395233">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jerry O. Williams talks about his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395358">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jerry O. Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395359">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jerry O. Williams talks about mentorship in the African American business community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395360">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jerry O. Williams reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395361">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jerry O. Williams reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395362">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jerry O. Williams describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395363">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jerry O. Williams narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$1

DAStory

7$6

DATitle
Jerry O. Williams describes his departure from AM International, Inc.
Jerry O. Williams recalls his first experience of racial discrimination
Transcript
We had a strategic plan where we were, to buy this one company, and it was a consolidation strategy, they call it--integrate in, then we go buy another one, integrate it in, and another, and we would continue to grow. A company that has followed that strategy very well is a company called ITW [Illinois Tool Works Inc.], and they started about the same time we did. And today, they'll about 13, 15 billion [dollars]. They were about 500 million, like we were 600 [million dollars]. And so, we started with the Harris [Harris Graphics Company], and we were supposed to do another one with that, Mike [Michael Milken] had found for us, and Merle got cold feet, didn't want to do it. He was scared. And so, he, he said, he, he wanted to sell part of the stuff that I had bought. And I said, I told Merle, by the way the, the stock market, I loved it, because when I became president, the stock was like three or four dollars a share and by now, it was eight dollars a share. It doubled on my reign, and we had gotten an offer from a foreign company to buy the whole company [AM International, Inc.] for 12 [billion dollars], okay. And I told--and so, Merle said, "I want to sell part of these division." I said, "Merle, you're going to sell the gross--man, you don't want to do that." I said, "I'll tell you what to do, let's, let's accept this offer from Heidelberg [Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG], and we'll have dollar bills hanging out of our pocket. And we can do this somewhere else, but don't sell part of it." He said, "No, I don't want to do that." And so, we had a board meeting coming up, where we had to talk about strategy and so, what we finally decided was, I would talk about the strategy that we were following and present it to the board. And he would have his meeting where he would bring up what he wanted to do 'cause we now, yeah, different directions, both in different directions. So, now, Merle was an imperial kind of a guy. And, and most of the staff--and I'm not bragging to any of the staff--like I was just a regular old guy. So, the staff helped me with my presentation very much, you know, we got--Merle did his, I don't know, on his own. Anyway, we went to the board meeting. And I gave--and he had told the board that, "Jerry [HistoryMaker Jerry O. Williams] and I disagree now on strategy." Now, this is a major problem because, you know, can't no company have the top two guys disagree on the strategy. And I knew I was in a very tough place because, really, you know, there's only one voice, the company CEO. So, I gave my presentation on the strategy that we were, and how we were doing it, and what were we going to do and everything. And then, they asked me to leave the room, and Merle gave his presentation of what he wanted to do, what he wanted to do. And they call us both back in, and they told us they wanted us both to leave the room. So, we left the room, and then they called us back in. And they said, "We are going to follow Jerry's strategy." So, Merle said, "I don't know what I'm going to do," said, "I don't know what we're going to do." So, he--we didn't see him anymore. And so, the CFO [chief financial officer] and the--everybody in the (unclear), they, we were all fair, so where did Merle go? And they all said, "Well, he's off writing his resignation (laughter), that's what, he's off writing his resignation." Two weeks later, Merle came into my office and said, "You got a problem." I said, "I got a problem?" Said, "Yeah, the board accepted my strategy." And I laughed because then I knew what he had done. What he had done is he had gone to each of the board, each of the board people, and played the race card. Now, I don't ever say that in any publication 'cause I wanted a job after that. And so, I told him, "I'll stay on and I'll--until you sell off this one division--what we'll do." So, at the next board meeting, which was going to be my last, I told them. And by this, by this time, the Fortune magazine had come out, and he was really in a tizzy then. And I told the board, I said, you know, that I was leaving, but I just want to say this. I said, "In two years, you'll be firing, Merle, 'cause the stock price will go down to--it was eight or nine dollars a share." I said, "It'll go down to four dollars a share." The stock price went down to a quarter, and they got delisted before and, and they never did get rid of Merle. One of the, one of the bondholders came in, and threw out Merle and the whole board.$Now people--a lot of people say--I guess, in terms of racial politics, Indiana is a southern northern state.$$Indiana was--I, I, I could tell you a lot of things about Indiana myself. But you were asking about my (laughter) mother [Margaret Stone Williams], she didn't pursue it. You, you know, you lived in certain sections, and you didn't go to certain sections. And so--well, I first ran into myself, when in, in, in an overt way was when I, at eight years old, because up until then, I--my--I was always in an all-black neighborhood [in Indianapolis, Indiana]. I needed to make money 'cause we had a large family. And I wanted to make some money, so I decided to try and get a paper route. And so, I got it from a guy I knew who--it was kind of an integrated neighborhood that he worked in. But the day they sold it to me, they split up where they were going to send the newspaper guys. And so, the guy asked me which place was closer to me. And the two addresses, where they sent all the other black guys, was in the black neighborhood. I told--he said, I told him, 24th [Street] and Central [Avenue] was closest to me, but it turned out to be an all-white distribution center. And so, my route was almost all-white crowd. And that's when I go, the first week when I went to go to collect my, you know, I think it was a quarter or what it was--I, that I got the first time. Somebody called me a nigger, and they told me to get out of her house. And so, after that, she would pay me through her front door, and she would just, she wouldn't let me come in. So, that's when I first experienced it when I was about eight years old.$$Okay, okay. Now, did your mother have any--well--$$I--well, I told her about it. Her, her whole thing was she, she was saying that they were--she called it a lack of education, understand what the world was all about. But you can't let that stop you from doing your job, and doing it well, and collecting your money, even though she's making it kind of hostile for you to get your money.

George Levi Knox, III

Retired vice president, corporate affairs for the Phillip Morris Company (now Altria Group, Inc.), George Levi Knox III was born September 6, 1943 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His great-grandfather, George L. Knox wrote Life as I Remember It: As a Slave and a Freeman in 1895 owned the Indianapolis Freeman, a tonsorial parlor and the Negro league baseball’s Indianapolis ABC’s. Knox’s father, George L. Knox, II was a Tuskegee Airman who presided over the 1944 Freeman Field Mutiny court martial and later made the Air Force his career. Growing up in the military, Knox attended nine elementary schools from two in Alaska to Alabama State University’s Lab School, Jackson School in Hempstead, New York and Hempstead High School. He graduated from Tokyo American High School in 1961 as president of his class and captain of the football team. After a brief stint at Purdue University, Knox joined his family at Tuskegee Institute where his father headed the AFROTC program. He graduated with honors, receiving his B.A. degree in political science in 1967. Knox, who had interned on the Vietnam desk at the Department of State in 1965 as part of the Foreign Affairs Scholars Program, pursued graduate studies at American University.

Knox entered the United States Foreign Service in 1968 serving as third secretary of the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He also served in the Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau. In 1975, Knox earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University and was hired by McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm. There, in addition to his other work, he did pro bono projects for the Japan Society, the Ford Foundation and the NAACP. In 1977, Knox joined Phillip Morris becoming vice president of Public Affairs in 1987. Knox served in several capacities at Phillip Morris, including secretary to the Board Committee on Public Affairs and Social Responsibility and chairman of Phil-Pac, the company’s political action committee.

Knox is a member of and formerly chairman of the board of the Studio Museum in Harlem. He was a board member of the American Ballet Theatre, Southern Center for International Studies and served as an advisor to the Japan Foundation. Knox is vice chairman of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute; a member emeritus of the Public Affairs Committee of the United States Military Academy; a trustee of the African American Experience Fund and served on the Business Advisory Council of the United States Information Agency. He has been a director of the Harvard Business School Club of New York, the Independent College Fund of New York; a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of Alabama State University and a governor of the New School University.

Knox and his wife, Gail, divide their time between Stamford, Connecticut and LaJolla, California.

Accession Number

A2005.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2005

Last Name

Knox

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Levi

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Alabama State Laboratory High School

Jackson Main Elementary School

Hempstead High School

Narimasu Tokyo American High School

Purdue University

Tuskegee University

American University

Harvard Business School

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

KNO01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

La Jolla, California

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/6/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Stamford

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Ribs (Spare)

Short Description

Corporate executive George Levi Knox, III (1943 - ) is the former Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Phillip Morris Companies, Inc.

Employment

Philip Morris Incorporated

United States Foreign Service

McKinsey & Company, Inc.

United States State Department

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327188">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Levi Knox, III's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327189">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327190">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III describes his mother's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327191">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III describes a letter from Booker T. Washington to his grandfather, John Clarence Wright</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327192">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III describes his mother's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327193">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III recounts how his father and maternal grandmother met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327194">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327195">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Levi Knox, III details his paternal great great grandfather Charles Knox's journey from slave to freeman</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327196">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Levi Knox, III explains how his great great grandfather's newspaper business declined under pressure from the Ku Klux Klan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327197">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Levi Knox, III describes his father's early life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327198">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - George Levi Knox, III details how his father became a Tuskegee Airman</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327199">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III describes his father's role in the Freeman Field mutiny</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327200">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III remembers the segregated Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327201">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327202">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327203">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III recalls attending elementary school in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327204">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III describes his paternal grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327205">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his paternal grandmother's political involvement in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327206">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Levi Knox, III remembers his elementary school days in Anchorage, Alaska</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327207">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Levi Knox, III recalls living in Montgomery, Alabama in 1953</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327208">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III describes his family's connection to Tuskegee, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327209">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III recalls moving from Montgomery, Alabama to Long Island, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327210">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his experience of transferring between schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327211">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III recalls how he developed leadership as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327212">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III remembers Hempstead High School in Long Island, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327213">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III recalls moving from Hempstead, New York to Tokyo, Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327214">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III talks about being a teenager in Tokyo, Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327215">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Levi Knox, III recalls Narimasu Tokyo American High School in Tokyo, Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327216">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his difficulties at Purdue University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327217">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his decision to attend Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327218">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his mentors at Tuskegee University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327219">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III talks about deciding to major in political science at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327220">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III remembers his time in the Foreign Affairs Scholars Program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327221">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his position regarding the Vietnam War</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327222">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III recalls Vietnam War teach-ins at Tuskegee Institute</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327223">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III talks about his fraternity affiliation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327224">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George Levi Knox, III recalls the impact of his father's sudden death on his civil rights activism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327225">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - George Levi Knox, III recalls the dangers of civil rights activism in the South</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327226">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - George Levi Knox, III talks about enrolling in the United States Air Force</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327227">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III recalls entering the U.S. Foreign Service after rejection from the U.S. Air Force</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327228">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III remembers his Japanese lessons for the U.S. Foreign Service</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327229">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his U.S. Foreign Service work in East Asia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327230">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his motivation to pursue his M.B.A. degree</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327231">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III describes his decision to attend Harvard Business School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327232">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III remembers Harvard Business School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327233">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III remembers working at McKinsey & Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395508">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III recalls his experience in Japan with McKinsey & Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395509">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III remembers the growth of Japanese industry in the 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395510">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III talks about being African American in Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395511">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III recalls joining the staff of Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395512">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III describes Philip Morris International, Inc.'s contributions to the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395513">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III talks about the history of Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395514">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III details Philip Morris International, Inc.'s growth in the twentieth century</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395515">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - George Levi Knox, III describes his career track at Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/395516">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - George Levi Knox, III remembers highlights from his time at Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327243">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - George Levi Knox, III talks about his achievements at Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327244">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - George Levi Knox, III reflects upon his experience as an African American at Philip Morris International, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327245">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - George Levi Knox, III describes his concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327246">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - George Levi Knox, III reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327247">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - George Levi Knox, III talks about his wife and children</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327248">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - George Levi Knox, III reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/327249">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - George Levi Knox, III describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
George Levi Knox, III describes his father's role in the Freeman Field mutiny
George Levi Knox, III talks about the history of Philip Morris International, Inc.
Transcript
We were getting to the mutiny I think.$$The--these bomber pilots were being shifted all over the place while they were in training to go to the Pacific, and they wound up in Freeman Field [Freeman Army Airfield, Jackson County, Indiana], which was in Indiana I think or Michigan, one of those two states. When they got there, they were told that the officers' club was off limits to them. Now these guys were all flying officers. If you flew a plane in the [U.S.] Army Air Corps you were an officer. There was an officer' club for officers, except that they were told they couldn't enter this officers' club because, well obviously they didn't want them in there, but the argument was you're, you know, student officers and so therefore your different from regular officers, so you're not to go into the officers' club. Well, these guys, you gotta, if you've interviewed Tuskegee Airmen, you know, this crowd is, was a pretty good crowd and they were all college grads or college guys, I mean, they might have left college to join the [U.S.] military and become a pilot during the war [World War II, WWII], but these were all pretty sharp guys, pretty aggressive guys, and they thought this was bull. And a bunch of them went to the officers' club one day and demanded to be let in. There was a, someone came out from the club and says you can't come in and then two or three of them walked passed and into the officers' club. It was a sit-in. You know they didn't go in and sit down, but it was basically a sit-in. Well, the Army Air Corps brought court-martial charges against these guys for mutiny and it was terrible. It was called the Freeman Field mutiny, and the court-martial board, which were all officers of the Airmen--this was not an outside group--was supposed to be led by Benjamin O. Davis [Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.] who at that time was a colonel I think it was. Yeah, he was the senior person involved in the Airmen as everybody knows, one of my absolute heroes. But, B.O. Davis was the president of the board and he figured this was not good because he's the commander of the, all of the black pilots in the service, he's the president of the board, this is not good, so he removed himself or was asked to step down as president of the board and the next senior officers became president of this mutiny, this court-martial and that was my father [George Levi Knox, II] who was the senior captain at the time. So, he presided over this court-martial, which itself was written about in a book by a guy named Jim Warren [James C. Warren] who wrote I think it's called the Freemen Field Mutiny ['The Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field,' Lt. Col. James C. Warren] (unclear) and what a mess this was and the, the dancing act between, you know, trying to follow the rules of the Army Air Corps as presented by the military and being basically in sympathy with the mutineers quote, unquote, was probably quite difficult for him, and he never talked much about it, but apparently he required all of the white officers who were treating this quite dismissively to salute him and the court-martial board as they were supposed to do, but had not. And then there was a lot of tension in this court-martial, which resulted in three guys, the three who pushed past the officer being fined $50 each the others with letters of reprimand in their file, which were good, but still given what the charges were this was fairly modest result befitting the ridiculousness of the whole situation. A reversal of these actions was made by the [U.S.] Department of Defense in the late 1990s at the, an announced at a Tuskegee Airmen convention was just, sorry, it was wonderful to have their records expunged.$$Right and I think we interviewed I think [HistoryMaker] Roy Chappell was part of that group--$$There you are.$$--and some--$$Well you know about it then.$$Yeah, it's, it was quite a story.$$Yeah.$What is the origin of Philip Morris [Philip Morris Inc.; Altria Group, Inc.]? We think of tobacco companies as being southern, you know, that's where they grow tobacco (unclear)--$$No, Philip Morris was back actually a person. There was a man named Philip Morris Esquire and he was a tobacconist in London [England]. I've seen pictures of his shop, and he started selling cigarettes when they discovered that the British troops coming back from the Crimean War. Up to that time, you smoked tobacco in a pipe you know, had learned how to roll them from the Turks. So, he started selling cigarettes at this shop on Bond Street. There is some argument about what year it was, but it was 1840s, 1850s, something like that. Then the company got a royal warrant. I think it was from King Edward, King Edward [King Edward VII], the son of Victoria [Queen Victoria], so that'd be Edward the VII I think it was.$$So, now the one that married the American.$$No, no that was, that was the, that was his grandfather. So, Edward, the son of Queen Victoria would have been the VI or VII, I forget, and then the, then the one who married Wallis Simpson was Edward VIII, so this must have been Edward VII okay. I think that's right. At any rate, it's one of those, one of the guys, one of those Edward guys. So, he gives us a royal warrant and that's why the Philip Morris logo now has a, a crest that looks like the crest of the British monarch because that was the crest you could use if you had a royal warrant. So, the company became quite successful in England and started exporting cigarettes to the United States, and that's how an office was established, somewhere in New York I guess it was, received these exports and market them in the United States. Now, at the same time Teddy Roosevelt [President Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.] is president and the trust busting begins. So they're now going through the first part of the century busting all these trusts. The oil trust gets broken up. You know John Rockefeller [John D. Rockefeller] can no longer own all the oil there is, you know, so there have to be some other companies, so the oil and gasoline industry begins to diversify. The tobacco business in this country was run by a guy named James Buchanan Duke, Buck Duke, out of North Carolina, and he controlled the tobacco trust, the American tobacco trust. I don't know if that had a formal name, but he was in control of it, and the government breaks that up. At this point, Philip Morris the, the U.S. end of the English company incorporates itself in Virginia. I think it was in nineteen, in the early teens, as the trust gets broken up and becomes an independent company and that's the Philip Morris we know. It struggled for many years because even though there was competition, presumed competition in the industry now, still was dominated by the remnants of the Duke family, which became the American Tobacco Company. And as I said the company struggled for years through, well struggle, it was doing okay, but it wasn't it wasn't do, it wasn't behaving in any way that would lead you to believe that it would become what it became.

Gen. Harry Brooks, Jr.

Retired Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr. was born May 17, 1928, in segregated Indianapolis, Indiana. A good student, he attended P.S. 42, P.S. 87 and Crispus Attucks High School, graduating in 1947 as an officer in the ROTC. Joining the United States Army as a private, Brooks soon rose to sergeant and used the provisions of the G.I. Bill to attend college. Noticed because of his baseball prowess, he was invited to Officer Candidates School (OCS) and received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1949. Brooks went on to obtain his B.A. degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1962 and an M.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1973. He also completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

Becoming an officer during the U.S. Army’s desegregation efforts, Brooks served in Japan with a logistics command in support of Korea. Serving in Germany as an artillery officer, Brooks also served a tour in Vietnam. His subordinate officers included Colin Powell. While attending the United States War College from 1969 to 1970, he coauthored The Gathering Storm: An Analysis of Racial Instability Within the Army. Appointed Army Director of Equal Opportunity Programs at the Pentagon in 1972, Brooks was promoted to major general in 1974, as the 6th African American general in United States history. As the commanding general of the famed 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, Brooks was responsible for 16,000 men and for ordering 10,000 of them to return to school for high school and associate degrees.

His decorations included: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Bronze Star Medals, and seven Air Medals. Awards from NAACP and Kiwanis recognized Brooks volunteer activities. After retirement in 1976, Brooks became executive vice president of Amfac, Inc. He then founded, with some of his friends, Advanced Consumer Marketing Corporation, which was heralded as the Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 1989 and the Black Enterprise Company of the Year in 1990. Married with four adult sons, Brooks was chairman of Brooks International and lived in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brooks passed away on August 28, 2017 at age 89.

Accession Number

A2004.186

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

9/29/2004

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Separated

Schools

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

George Washington Carver School 87

University of Nebraska-Omaha

University of Oklahoma

U.S. Army War College

Stanford University

Elder W. Diggs School 42

Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

BRO25

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Carol H. Williams Advertising

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

I give a damn.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/17/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak (T-Bone)

Death Date

8/28/2017

Short Description

Major general (retired) Gen. Harry Brooks, Jr. (1928 - 2017 ) was Commanding General of 25th Infantry Division and worked to promote improved education in the military. After retiring from the military, Brooks founded the Advanced Consumer Marketing Corporation, which was heralded as the Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise of the Year in 1989, and the Black Enterprise Company of the Year in 1990.

Employment

United States Army

AmFac, Inc.

Advance Consumer Marketing

Brooks International

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3967">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harry Brooks interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3968">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks states his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3969">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks talks about his mother and her Cherokee grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3970">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks talks about his mother's life and jobs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3971">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks recalls his father's origins and strict upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3972">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3973">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks recalls his earliest memories growing up in Indianapolis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3974">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks details his activities as a boy and his relationship with his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3975">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harry Brooks remembers his elementary school and returning to visit as an adult</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3976">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harry Brooks talks about his high school years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3977">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harry Brooks talks about his role models growing up</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3978">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Harry Brooks talks about briefly dropping out of high school to marry but being prevented by his girlfriend's mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3979">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Harry Brooks discusses his decision in high school to go into the military</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3980">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks talks about enlisting in the Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3981">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks describes his experiences in the Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3982">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks talks about his first wife</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3983">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks recalls his experiences in Officer Candidates School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3984">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks describes his military experiences after being transfered to Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3985">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks details his military duties after returning from Japan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3986">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks recalls his command success as a colonel and advising Colin Powell</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3987">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks talks about his military duties in the late 1960s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3988">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks talks about the scarcity of black generals in the Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3989">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks talks about racial tensions in the military in the early 1970s and his visit to diffuse a crisis at West Point</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3990">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks discusses Equal Employment policy changes in the Army, 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3991">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks discusses his dissertation on military race relations and strategies for dealing with racial tensions in the Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3992">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks talks about the black military officers under his command</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3993">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks discusses the Army process for selection of general officers and his own promotion to Brigadier General</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3994">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks talks about his emphasis on soldiers' education and being a role model to the black troops he commanded</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3995">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harry Brooks reflects on his tenure as commander of the 25th Infantry Division</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3996">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harry Brooks details changes in his career after retiring from the Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3997">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harry Brooks details his activities with the Freedom Forum</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3998">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harry Brooks reflects on his concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/3999">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harry Brooks ponders his legacy and the sacrifices his family's made for his personal success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4000">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harry Brooks talks briefly about his religious beliefs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4001">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harry Brooks talks about his friendships and how he wishes to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4002">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harry Brooks lists the black officers under his command who reached Lt. General or higher in the U.S. Army</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4003">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Portrait of U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell in his U.S. Army uniform, ca. 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4004">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Mr. Greene, father of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s first wife, Doris Elizabeth Greene-Brooks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4005">Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. and an unidentified man at the unveiling of his portrait bust at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4006">Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. and his son standing in front of the street sign that bears his name, ca. 2000s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4007">Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his wife and son at the unveiling ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4008">Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. posing with his portrait bust at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, February, 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4009">Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Harry Brooks with his three sons at his son Harry's wedding, 1988</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4010">Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. as a U.S. Army corporal, 1948</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4011">Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks Jr.'s first wife, Doris Elizabeth Greene-Brooks, ca. 1948</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4012">Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. receiving the Distinguished Service Medal upon his retirement from the U.S. Army, 1976</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4013">Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s son, Harry W. Brooks, III, in his U.S. Army uniform, ca. 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4014">Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his first wife and General Bruce Palmer, Jr. at his promotion to brigadier general, ca. 1974</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4015">Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr.'s father, Harry Brooks, Sr. and unidentified men at his retirement from his position at the post office, Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4016">Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Portrait of Harry W. Brooks, Jr., ca. early 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4017">Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. awarded a trophy upon being inducted into the Fort Dix Sports Hall of Fame, Fort Dix, New Jersey, ca. 1950s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4018">Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Portrait of General Harry W. Brooks, Jr., commander of the 25th Infantry Division, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, 1976</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4019">Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Portrait of Harry Brooks, Jr.'s mother, Nora Elaine Bailey-Brooks</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4020">Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Major General Harry W. Brooks, Jr., commander of the 25th Infantry Division, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, ca. 1974-1976</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4021">Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. with his three sons on a visit to Hawaii, ca. 1989</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4022">Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Harry Brooks, Jr. as an infant, Indianapolis, Indiana, ca. 1930</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/4023">Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Harry Brooks Jr. with his first wife and sons Wayne and Harry Brooks, III, ca. late 1950s</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Harry Brooks recalls his command success as a colonel and advising Colin Powell
Harry Brooks discusses Equal Employment policy changes in the Army, 1970s
Transcript
When I was a colonel, we had--I had five units, five battalions, six hundred men each [in 72nd Field Artillery Group] and there was another group that had five battalions, six hundred men each, and this was all large artillery, sergeants, Honest John [artillery rocket capable of delivering a nuclear warhead], eighty inches and so forth. A very complex formula about grading the effectiveness in the unit, annual general inspection, technical inspections, Army tests, dah, dah, dah dah. My units came out, one, two, three, four, five--no, one, two, three, four and six. And I wasn't happy about that, 'cause I wanted it one, two, three, four and five, but imagine how this guy [the other group commander] felt when all my units were coming up high because I was able to take those young lieutenant colonels that were commanding those units and teach them the lessons. I remember I went down to Colin Powell's unit when he was working for me [Brooks was Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea] , and said, "Let me go over some of the tricks of the trade." He was having some problems with racial disturbance. And I said, "Let me--let me go over some of the tricks of the trade with you, that experience has taught me." And he listened, and he followed them, and he came out just fine.$$What did you tell him?$$The first things I told him was to ignore some of this foolishness like, the dashikis after hours. People were making a big deal out of dashikis after hours. I said, "Who cares about the dashikis? Let them wear the damn dashikis." Slave bracelets, they were wearing the slave bracelets. I said, "After hours, I wouldn't give a damn what they did as long as they don't get in trouble. Colin, don't fight that battle." And then, set the standards of discipline. You're gonna have one or two bad apples in there. Find them and cut their throats and get them out of there. Get those sergeants functioning and your unit's gonna be fine. And he commanded the First [Battalion] of the 32nd Infantry, as I remember. And he didn't need a lot of help from me. He just needed somebody's shoulder to cry on when those soldiers were going wild. And I provided that. He did fine.$So what did you tell them?$$Number one, I told (laughs) them, "We gonna cut your throat if you don't get yourself organized." See, I, I--I'm a disciplinarian. And the first thing I'm gonna tell you, "You gotta stay within the rules. If you don't stay within the rules, you're gonna get in trouble. And we not gonna miss you when you get marched to the stockade. Now, if you understand that, let's starting dealing with your grievances. What are your grievances?" Most of the grievances are small. Again, "Why can't I wear this slave bracelet after hours?" And I told the commandant, "Let them wear the slave bracelets after hours. Who cares?" As long as they--when the formation takes place, they are in West Point [U.S. Military Academy at West Point, West Point, New York] uniforms. And, you know, little things like that. Anyway, we got it calmed down.$$Okay, just a matter of--?$$Communicating with them. And somebody's listening to me. You know, these guys were very aggressive at that time, throughout the Army. Somebody's listening to me, and then there was an attitude among many general officers in the Army back then that the solution was to put the bad guys in jail, and that's all. You know, my, my solution also was to put a bad in guy in jail, but I had tried everything else that I could because I know that a lot of young soldiers--are followers and if you can cut the head off and keep these young people from running out there getting in trouble, they won't go to jail. That's why I didn't have anybody in jail. I had--actually had a period of time--I had--out of 15,000 soldiers--I didn't one person in the stockade.$$But anyway, going back to the race relations and so forth--I [as U.S. Army Director of Race Relations and Equal Opportunity ] organized a general officers' committee consisting of the general officers from each of the staff sections of the Army General Staff. I'm still a colonel. So I was the executive director, and my boss who was the three-star general, would get the information. This committee met and started looking at what policies did we have that's causing this problem? One of the policies that we had was that we were sending these soldiers--black soldiers--into soft-skill jobs. And so you tell the computer--"Where are the black soldiers?" And you look over there and you see truck drivers and ditch diggers and labor-type things and they're massed up there. We said, well, "Tell me about what's going on over here in the hard skills." And you have computers, survey, things of that nature. Then you tell the computer, "Based upon the requirements and the qualifications, are there enough black soldiers in the Army to fill those slots?" Run the computer, and you know what the computer said? "They're there. You're just not doing something right." And so we started changing policy [in May, 1971] to move black soldiers--qualifying black soldiers into those jobs. And we did something that somebody would say was wrong. For example, if there was a requirement for eleven to go into one of those jobs, we would arbitrarily tell the computer, "The first eight that are assigned are black. Find people with high scores--good records and put them in those jobs." And that goes on. But you see, the soldier doesn't know that we're doing all that. He's still restless out there. He doesn't know, that's the equal opportunity side of the house. Then--now they've got this race relations, and then you've got these noncommissioned officers who had no idea what they're doing--we had these general officers and these other officers who don't really understand the--the phenomenon and dynamics of what's going on. So we had to set up training for them to understand the race relation problem. And we established--the DOD [Department of Defense] established a race relations institute down in Florida and started sending people down there to get training. We required that each brigade-level unit have a race relations person, preferably a rather senior NCO [noncommissioned officer] or officer to advise the commander on how to deal with dynamics of what was going on in that unit. And so we did that throughout the Army.

Carl Spight

Academic administrator, physicist, and physics professor Carl Spight was born on September 8, 1944 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Erma Mae White and William Herman Spight. He was inspired to be a nuclear physicist from watching television shows like Watch Mr. Wizard, Flash Gordon, and Captain Video and His Video Rangers. His childhood nickname, Mr. Radio, was earned by fixing his neighbor’s electronics. He attended Frances W. Parker School 56 where he arrived early to read the encyclopedias, achieved top grades, and earned a trip from the Freedoms Foundation to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Despite encountering racism at Arsenal High School, he won the state science fair and graduated in 1962. At his father’s suggestion, he attended Purdue University and received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering with honors in 1966. In 1971, Spight earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton University in. He thrived in Princeton’s intellectual environment and began his activism, creating the Committee on Black Awareness with other black graduate students.

In 1971, Spight taught at Southern University for one year before joining the staff at Morehouse College in 1972, as a physics professor and department chair, where he worked until 1980. During 1977, he served as a visiting physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1980 to 1983, Spight then worked for AMAF Industries where he became director of research. At Sonicraft, Incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, he was chief of advanced technology programs, director of engineering, and chief scientist from 1986 to 1989. President Thomas Cole recruited Spight to assist with the consolidation of Clark College and Atlanta University into Clark Atlanta University in 1989, where he became the dean of the college of arts and sciences and executive assistant to the president. During the 1990s, he served as chief scientist and regional manager of information systems for Jackson and Tull, Incorporated. Spight served as manager of academic services for the Office of Information Technology at the City Colleges of Chicago from 1994 through 2000. Spight has taught at and assisted with academic programs at Chicago State University, Olive-Harvey College, Providence St. Mel High School, North Lawndale College Preparatory Center, and Betty Shabazz Charter School. During the 2000s, he worked as a statistical consultant and vice president for Forté Development Corporation in Columbia, Maryland.

Spight has been a community leader and civic activist for many years. In Oak Park, Illinois, Spight co-authored the research study about the performance gap between black and white achievement at Oak Park and River Forest High School. His activism led him to be a featured presenter at the Olive-Harvey Black Studies Conference for over seventeen years. Among many other honors, Spight received the William F. Thornton Award for Professional Achievement from the National Technical Association in 1989 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton University. Spight is an avid percussionist and student of Africana music. He plays with his brother, Roy, who also makes African drums. He has been married to his wife, Marsha, since 1968 and they have three successful grown children.

Carl Spight was interviewed by The HistoryMaker’s on July 23, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.108

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/23/2004

Last Name

Spight

Organizations
Schools

Arsenal Technical High School

Aresnal Technical High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carl

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

SPI01

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cuba

Favorite Quote

The Future Of The Future Is In The Critical Recovery Of The Present.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/8/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lentils

Short Description

Academic administrator, physicist, and physics professor Carl Spight (1944 - ) held high ranking administrative and teaching positions at a range of academic and private research institutions, including Southern University, Morehouse College, AMAF Industries, Sonicraft, Incorporated, Clark Atlanta University, Jackson and Tull Incorporated, City Colleges of Chicago, and Chicago State University.

Employment

Southern University

Morehouse College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

AMAF Industries

Sonicraft, Inc.

Clark Atlanta University

Jackson, Tull & Graham

City Colleges of Chicago

Chicago State University

Olive-Harvey College

Providence St. Mel High School

North Lawndale College Preparatory Center

Betty Shabazz Charter School

Forte Development Corporation

Oak Park River Forest High School

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:3174,48:3588,55:4692,75:5106,82:22093,431:26043,487:26736,499:27198,505:27737,514:28122,521:28661,529:34812,601:43730,756:49250,795:49810,829:51650,846:52450,891:57330,955:57650,960:58130,968:69705,1149:75788,1223:76320,1231:77536,1259:78752,1378:90612,1554:90860,1559:91108,1564:91418,1570:96582,1610:100734,1666:101646,1681:106078,1743:107926,1787:110082,1823:122610,1973:122990,1979:125650,2052:126790,2072:134140,2175:140580,2281:142824,2336:143096,2342:143368,2347:143708,2353:144184,2362:144524,2368:144932,2375:145204,2380:145816,2396:146292,2410:146632,2416:147040,2423:147856,2440:149896,2471:153510,2484:157902,2565:158190,2570:162588,2618:166332,2706:170652,2807:174438,2847:186865,3040:187970,3066:196730,3277:211044,3445:211968,3456:213732,3484:214320,3492:218184,3536:218604,3619:218940,3624:222132,3716:242863,4063:253114,4225:253558,4232:262216,4413:270510,4521:271112,4541:276450,4595:277003,4600:277477,4607:281914,4649:286988,4751:288450,4789:299504,5008:304690,5068$0,0:1185,24:3318,84:7557,101:9339,134:27535,524:28411,538:32904,562:34500,594:35336,613:67546,1067:67834,1073:68122,1078:81586,1275:84948,1356:85686,1366:89270,1407:94420,1524:94740,1530:95252,1540:97380,1553:101260,1614:102272,1628:105952,1724:121465,1958:121795,1965:122620,1991:123280,2009:131740,2060:137020,2237:138780,2274:139420,2283:147548,2393:149081,2433:152877,2517:154410,2556:154702,2561:160692,2657:163510,2690:163925,2696:173321,2833:175757,2878:177050,2885
DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29127">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carl Spight's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29128">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carl Spight shares his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29129">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about his mother's side of the family, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29130">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carl Spight talks about his mother's side of the family, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29131">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carl Spight talks about his father's side of the family, part 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29132">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carl Spight talks about his father's side of the family, part 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29133">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carl Spight talks about his paternal grandfather</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29134">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about his father's move to Indianapolis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29135">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about an early memory and his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29136">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carl Spight talks about the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up and his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29137">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carl Spight talks about his relatives in Indianapolis and his family's church</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29138">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carl Spight talks about his childhood interests in science</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29139">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carl Spight talks about how he got his nickname "Mr. Radio"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29140">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about his fascination with technology</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29141">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about his elementary school, Francis W Parker School 56</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29142">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carl Spight talks about reading encyclopedias and doing well in school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29143">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carl Spight talks about how he was not aware of the Civil Rights Movement and about his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29144">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carl Spight talks about attending Arsenal Technical High School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29145">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carl Spight talks about racism in high school and in Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29146">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about his high school social life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29147">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carl Spight remembers how his father suggested he apply to Purdue University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29148">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carl Spight talks about attending Purdue University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29149">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carl Spight explains his choice to not be an activist during his time at Purdue University and working hard to achieve good grades.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29150">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carl Spight talks about forging his own path into physics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29151">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carl Spight talks about attending Princeton University for graduate school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29152">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about how Princeton University shaped his world view</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29153">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about teaching at Southern University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29154">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carl Spight remembers teaching at Morehouse College and being an activist in Atlanta</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29155">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carl Spight recalls his travels to Southern Africa during his time at Princeton University and leaving Morehouse College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29156">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carl Spight talks about working at AMAF Industries and Sonicraft, Incorporated</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29157">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carl Spight talks about Jackson and Tull's development of hyper-spectral sensing and his patent on an optical robotic vision system</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29158">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about helping consolidate Clark-Atlanta University and being a consultant</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29159">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about his family and his activism in the black community.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29160">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carl Spight talks about being a percussionist and being a community leader in Oak Park, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29161">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carl Spight talks about New Wave Computer User Group and his hopes for the black community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29162">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carl Spight discusses the importance values</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29163">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carl Spight reflects on his life choices and where they have led him</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29164">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carl Spight talks about his legacy as well as his family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29165">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carl Spight talks about his children and how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/29166">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carl Spight describes his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
Carl Spight talks about how he got his nickname "Mr. Radio"
Carl Spight talks about forging his own path into physics
Transcript
Now, this is a part of culture that's lost now, taking vacuum tubes to the corner store and testing them and trying--$$Yeah, like I say, I was Mr. Radio, I was Mr. Radio$$--to get them to work on the 'You Testa Machine.'$$Yeah, on the 'You Testa Machine,' that's right. As I relating earlier, I came up in a ghetto, essentially a poor, very poor community where people had TV's and radios, but when they get broken, they couldn't afford to get them repaired, at least not quickly. And most of the time, what was wrong, because this was the era of the vacuum tube where you had these filament heated devices which now have been totally replaced by integrated circuitry and so on. You don't even see what, the active part. There, you could at least look into the box and see the glass encased devices, some of them glowing and some not. So at first pass, you could say to yourself, well, this radio or TV doesn't work because this tube is defective in some form or fashion, at least the cathode, this heated element, was not displaying in the way that it normally worked. So you would take it out and you would literally, as you say, as we were sharing, carrying it down to the corner whatever, drugstore, neighborhood grocery store and they would have a device in there. And you'd plug the thing in, and it would give you a reading as to one, whether the filament was the thing that keeps up the kether (ph.) that would glow and you would be able to observe that it was functioning, if it was functioning. It would test the filament, but it would also test other electronic aspects of it which was that next layer. I mean that's one thing to establish as to whether it was blown out, as a vacuum tube element because you could all but determine that visually. Then it's another thing to say whereas, it may not be blown out, but it has some absence of functionality, and it wasn't performing in a way that allows the radio or TV to function in terms of either the video display or the audio and so on. So, it turns out, you know, there are a couple of layers of expertise. A lot of my buddies got the kind of hang of it, especially when I got a little fifty cents here and a dollar there for being Mr. Radio, got the kind of hang of carrying the tube down to the corner store. But then it's another thing to figure out, you know, that there might be other things that might be wrong, that there're other things inside the radio like capacitors and, you know, other little boxes and cylindrical devices and so on, resisters that might burnt out. And to know what to do when that was true, essentially came from tearing apart, just literally tearing apart, discarded radios and TV's and messing around and probably getting shocked electrically and (laughter) and destroying a few things here and there. But that was my laboratory, you know. So like I say, I was Mr. Radio. But part of it was kind of just logical stuff, but a part of it was just being fascinated by, and then also like I said, seeing stuff on TV and figuring that this stuff is really interesting. So I had a short-wave radio. I had gotten one of these old, old short wave--$$Did you make it yourself?$$No, no, no. Well, I made, you know, crystal radios. Of course, everybody does that. You send off for this little germanium crystal and put a little safety pin onto the germanium and you get little earphones for it. I saw it somewhere. I did those little elementary things in terms of a radio, crystal detector they were called. I don't know if that rings a bell. These days people have no idea--$$I've heard of, by the time I came around, they weren't real, they weren't really--$$No, sure. That's in an earlier day to be sure. You had to put up a big, long antenna wire and barely hear. You couldn't really tune it in the normal sense of the word. There was no knob to tune it and so, it sounds like I'm talking about the eighteenth century or something, doesn't it? And anyway, anyway, I had this big shortwave radio that I salvaged. I mean I literally got that thing going by taking it out and destroying it. The shortwave radio had maybe five or six bands on it, right. And I got it, I got it going by spinning all that little ingenuity or whatever I came to learn by being Mr. Radio, of finding tubes and other discarded objects and so on. And so I was able to tune to places all over the world, you know, shortwave is, people don't even know what you're talking about half the time unless you're an amateur radio person. But I mean there's broadcasts, Quito, Ecuador and you can sit in your living room or bedroom at 2:00 a.m. at night and listen to radio broadcast on the shortwave from, you know, all over the plant. And so I mean it was, this was miracle stuff to me. I mean this was universes that opened up and so on, and so. Anyway, again, roaming far afield (laughter) from whatever question you had asked.$$No, but that's it. That's what we're trying to get at, you know, what inspired, what drove you to your interest in science (simultaneously).$That consciousness came from the '70s [1970s] (simultaneously). My essentialities' were pretty much consumed by being in engineering school, thinking of myself as being on a trajectory and try to get somewhere. By the time I finished at Purdue [University, West Lafayette, Indiana], I was no longer interested, I was clear that I was not going to be an engineer. First of all, I didn't even go to Purdue because I wanted to be an engineer. You know, it wasn't my dream, if you understood me. It wasn't my dream. I was fulfilling my father's dream, and the dream that was given to him for your son, who is a good science. By the time I got to the end of that, I had to start rethinking, okay, where am I? I looked at these folk who were my engineering students, colleagues, and I said, boy, I'm not interested in doing what they do. You know, I had excellent grades, I was doing very well in class, but it just didn't, it wasn't happening.$$Right, so you figured out you needed to be on a path to be physicist?$$Yeah, exactly, exactly. So then I said, this time, this time, although my advising, right, my advisors, when I said, I want to go, I wanna leave engineering, these are my engineering advisors, who are white, engineering advisors, nothing but white folk there, my engineering advisors, when I told them that I wanted to go to graduate school in science, expressed shock. First of all, that, you know, it's not easy for you to get into a graduate in science with an engineering background, first thing, first response, stupid. The second one was, I told them that I was, I had looked at some catalogs, and that I was excited about what I saw to be going on at Princeton [University, New Jersey] and at Stanford [University, Palo Alto, California], to which they told me--I had a 5.84 GPA out of 6, right? I was setting the curve in all the engineering classes, you know, and so you get the idea, right? And they told me that it's not likely that you'd be able to get into Princeton on Stanford, my advisors, right, from Purdue and that Howard [Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia], right, right, you get the idea, much like the invisible man (laughter), that Howard would probably be a reasonable place for me to think about going to graduate school because they have an engineering program and so on. I ignored them totally, ignored them totally, not because of the political consciousness, because I mean at that time, I was clear that I didn't wanna be an engineer. I was also clear that I competed against the best they had there at Purdue, and that I shouldn't be setting my horizons by what these people were telling me, you know. I was not black conscious at that time, but I was certainly pretty astute to what it was that I was experiencing from a standpoint of black boy with big aspirations, right, in a predominantly white school.

The Honorable Marie Johns

State representative, telecommunications chief executive and the deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Hon. Marie Annette Collins Johns was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 19, 1951. Johns grew up with her parents, Freida Delight Casey Collins and Richard D. Collins, a retired police lieutenant, in an urban Indianapolis African American community. She attended Grandview Elementary School. Upon entry into North Central High School, and in order to be afforded more competitive and challenging educational opportunities, the family relocated to the suburbs. Johns excelled in high school, and went on to attend Indiana University. She earned a B.S. degree in urban studies and public policy analysis in 1979 and an M.S. degree in management, public policy analysis & budgeting at Indiana University. She also attended post-graduate courses at Harvard University and the University of Virginia, studying federal regulatory policy and financial management respectively.

Johns began her career as a fiscal analyst in the Indiana Legislative Services Agency. From there, she was hired as the staff supervisor for Bell Atlantic Network Services in Arlington, Virginia. She then became FCC Director at Bell Atlantic Corporation articulating and defending Bell Atlantic's interests with telecommunications industry organizations. She continued working in assignments showing increased skills and responsibility with C & P Telephone Co. and Bell Atlantic. In April of 1998, she was named president and CEO of Bell Atlantic and then served as president of Verizon, Washington, D.C. until February 2004.

Johns has participated in a wide range of organizations that support education and youth. During her tenure as president, she was instrumental in the effort to obtain a $10 million grant for the D.C. Public Schools. She assisted with the development of DC Reads, a literacy coalition that provides support to programs that offer leadership, training and development. In addition, she spearheaded a Verizon-sponsored program called SEEDS, that trained out-of-school youth for jobs in the information technology industry. Johns was the Director for a non-profit that provided funding for every public school and library in Washington, D.C. for high-speed connections and local area networks. Johns provided leadership in the formation of the Washington D.C. Technology Council and the Georgia Avenue Business Resource Center. She was a mayoral appointee to the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. Johns is seated on many boards, including a trustee of Howard University. Johns has been the recipient of over 100 awards for her business and civic leadership. She was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in 1999 and 2001, and as one of the Twenty-five Most Influential Black Women in Business by the Network Journal in April, 2003. She and her husband, Wendell, have a son, Richard.

Hon. Marie Annette Collins Johns was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 3, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.012

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/3/2004

Last Name

Johns

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Grandview Elementary School

North Central High School

Indiana University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Marie

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

JOH18

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ that Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/19/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Popcorn, Chocolate

Short Description

Community leader The Honorable Marie Johns (1951 - ) was a former deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and served as the president of Verizon, Washington, DC.

Employment

Indiana Legislative Services Agency

Bell Atlantic Corporation

Verizon

United States Small Business Administration

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191502">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Marie Johns' interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191503">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marie Johns lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191504">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes her maternal family background and her mother's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191505">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her paternal grandparents and her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191506">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1950s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191507">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about family trips to Chicago, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191508">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marie Johns addresses her lack of knowledge about her family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191509">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about the history of segregation in the public schools in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191510">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marie Johns explains how economic segregation affects the social cohesion of the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191511">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marie Johns lists her siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191512">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her childhood homes in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190290">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marie Johns remembers field trips to an Indiana state park in junior high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190291">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about attending church as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190292">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190293">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her experience at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190294">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes feeling excluded from extracurricular activities at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190295">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about the early years of her marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190296">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marie Johns outlines her early career path</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190297">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her decision to marry young, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190298">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes the culture of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana during the late 1960s and 1970s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190299">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marie Johns explains the decision to move to Bethesda, Maryland in 1984</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190397">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her decision to marry young, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190398">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes the origins of her interest in public sector work</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190399">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her work at Indiana Bell</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190400">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marie Johns shares her views on mentorship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190401">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes an experience of workplace discrimination at Bell Atlantic, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190402">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes an experience of workplace discrimination at Bell Atlantic, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190403">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marie Johns defines "glass ceiling"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190404">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes her strategy for professional advancement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190405">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about working for the General Services Administration in 1987</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190309">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes her familial role models</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190310">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes her professional role models</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190311">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes her relationships with friends and her husband</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190312">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Marie Johns shares her advice for future businesswomen</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190313">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes education and economic development initiatives she pioneered as president/CEO of Verizon Washington, D.C.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190314">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her plans for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190315">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Marie Johns considers how the Civil Rights Movement created professional opportunities for African Americans in business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190316">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Marie Johns describes how she would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190317">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Marie Johns explains the importance of history for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/190318">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Marie Johns reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/191513">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Marie Johns narrates her photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

3$9

DATitle
The Honorable Marie Johns talks about her work at Indiana Bell
The Honorable Marie Johns talks about working for the General Services Administration in 1987
Transcript
When I left there [Legislative Services Agency, Indiana General Assembly] and went to Indiana Bell [subsidiary, AT&T, Inc.] and started my career in telecommunications, well this was after graduate school, I had already gotten a master's [degree] in public administration, kind of had gotten away from the whole public sector involvement except for the fact that in--once I started working for Indiana Bell after I did more of a financial analysis position, I moved into an area, the regulatory area of the company which is the area of telecommunications which is a nexus actually between public policy and the company's business interests because the company at that time and still is even though less so was very highly regulated. The actions of the company were controlled by a regulatory body, a public service commission on a local level and then the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] for interstate services, and actually that's why I--I think why I was viewed as a good candidate for the position that I was hired to do, in that most people in the company at that time had a background either in business or engineering. I had a background in public administration, but what that allowed me to do was to understand better what the regulators were thinking so that we could then conform what we were trying to get done from the company's side of things to--could formulate a way that could pass muster from the regulatory side to allow us to be successful. I think it was helpful that I had some understanding of public sector workings and regulatory processes--that was an important element to bring to the company to, and to help me advance.$$And also at this point you also had quite a background in financial analysis.$$Right.$$So see you're forming yourself, you're defining yourself in quite a scope.$$Well that was my intent, I'm not sure that I recognized it at the time but I did strongly feel that the company needed people with different perspectives and different skill sets than strictly business or the engineering backgrounds that tended to be so prevalent--$Now how did you recognize--how did others seem to recognize what you were doing and suddenly there's a little light in that door, can you describe that how--what was happening at that point?$$Well one first indication that I had that people were noticing was I had been at Bell Atlantic [later, Verizon Communications, Inc.] for two years and I was asked to put my hat in the ring for a special opportunity. At that time the company had an annual experience where they gave a person the opportunity to go on loan to the federal government for a year, and it was a highly competitive process but they--you would work in the federal government for a year and then come back to the company, and I was asked to put my hat in the ring for that and thank God I got that opportunity in 1987. I was part of a group--I worked at the [U.S.] General Services Administration for the GSA administrator for a year. I did things that are totally unrelated to telecom [telecommunications] cause you couldn't work on things related to your business so I wrote regulations for when government employees relocate, how relocation should be handled. I did a study of some properties in the federal government that were under GSA's jurisdiction and how those properties could be managed more effectively, very special projects of that nature, just whatever they gave me to do and had a wonderful experience, and again similar to Mr. Vansickle [ph.] taking me to camp back in seventh grade, this was another one of those points in my life because there was an international experience as part of this exchange. I went to Moscow [Soviet Union, later, Russia], I went to Warsaw, Poland, went to Finland, places I had never been, never dreamed I would go and that was another one of those seminal experiences in my life that told me wow, you're standing here in Red Square in Moscow, you have some things in store, just stay on the course. There are other things that you're going to see and do because who would have ever thought you would be here at this moment in time?

Alice Palmer

Alice J. Palmer was born on June 20, 1939, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The daughter of Erskine and Mary Ward Roberts, Palmer graduated from high school at age sixteen and enrolled at Indiana University. After an extended leave of absence, Palmer returned to Indiana University to earn her Bachelors degree with the help of four jobs and a scholarship.

After graduating in 1965, Palmer found a teaching position in Indianapolis, Indiana, but soon moved to Chicago to work at Crane Junior College, later called Malcolm X College. She received her Masters degree from Roosevelt University and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where she co-authored two books and tutored in the Black House. Palmer remained at Northwestern University to serve as Associate Dean and Director of African American Student Affairs for the next five years. Palmer served as the National Voter Education Director for a national citizen action organization before becoming the founding director of the Metro YMCA Youth and Government Program in 1986. She also served as Executive Director of Chicago Cities in Schools.

On June 6, 1991, Palmer replaced Richard Newhouse in the Illinois Senate, where she served until 1996. While in office, Palmer served on the Appropriations II Committee, among many others. Palmer was replaced by Barack Obama in the state senate. In 1996, Palmer was hired by the University of Illinois at Chicago as an Associate Professor in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

Palmer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 9, 2000.

Accession Number

A2000.058

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/9/2000

Last Name

Palmer

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Shortridge High School

Indiana University

Roosevelt University

Northwestern University

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Alice

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

PITS018

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/20/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

State senator Alice Palmer (1939 - ) served as the associate dean and director of African American Student Affairs at Northwestern University before replacing Richard Newhouse in the Illinois Senate, where she was a member of the Appropriations II Committee.

Employment

Malcolm X College

Northwestern University

Chicago Communities In Schools

Illinois General Assembly

University of Illinois, Chicago

Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11531">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Alice Palmer recalls her election to political office</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11532">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alice Palmer's favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11533">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alice Palmer details her family history in Boston and Indianapolis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11534">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alice Palmer discusses her family's connections to Madame C.J. Walker</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11535">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alice Palmer recalls her grandfather's medical practice in Indianapolis</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11536">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alice Palmer remembers her parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11537">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alice Palmer shares memories from her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11538">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alice Palmer details her early education focused on black acheivement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11539">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alice Palmer reflects on her education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11540">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alice Palmer recalls her college prospects</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11541">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alice Palmer recounts balancing marriage, motherhood, and her education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11542">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alice Palmer details her career development</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11543">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alice Palmer details her participation in Illinois state politics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11544">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alice Palmer discusses diversity in the Illinois state Senate</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11545">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alice Palmer considers the responsibilities of black legislators</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11546">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alice Palmer evaluates the contributions of African Americans in the Illinois General Assembly</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11547">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alice Palmer remembers inspirational figures</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11548">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alice Palmer discusses African Americans and internationalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11549">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alice Palmer details the work of the People Program</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/11550">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alice Palmer considers her legacy</a>