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Edwin Dorn

Presidential appointee and public policy professor Edwin Dorn was born on March 26, 1945 in Crockett, Texas to parents Edgar and Mary Dorn. Dorn attended Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas, and in 1967, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin. He studied in England on a Fulbright Fellowship, received his M.A. degree from Indiana University, and completed his Ph.D. degree in political science at Yale University in 1978. He also spent two years on active duty as a captain in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany.

From 1977 to 1981, Dorn worked in Washington, D.C. as a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and in the U.S. Department of Education. He then served as a senior researcher at the Joint Center for Political Studies, and later as a senior staff member at the Brookings Institution.

In 1993, President William J. Clinton nominated, and the U.S. Senate confirmed Dorn for the senior Department of Defense position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel. A year later, he was nominated and confirmed as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. From 1997 to 2005, Dorn served as dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he oversaw the creation of several new programs and set a record for fund-raising. He continues to teach at the University of Texas as a professor of public policy.

Dorn’s major publications include Rules and Racial Equality (Yale University Press) and Who Defends America (Joint Center Press). He also is the author of dozens of articles, reports, and opinion pieces. He was an advisor to two public television series: Congress: We The People, and Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, and a commentator on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More,” hosted by Michel Martin.

Dorn serves as a trustee of the Kettering Foundation, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Seton Family of Hospitals. In 1998, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin.

Edwin Dorn was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 2, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.021

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/2/2013 |and| 5/9/2014

Last Name

Dorn

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Yale University

Indiana University

University of Texas at Arlington

First Name

Edwin

Birth City, State, Country

Crockett

HM ID

DOR07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Francisco, California, Petra, Jordan

Favorite Quote

The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice. - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/26/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken, Salmon

Short Description

Presidential appointee and public policy professor Edwin Dorn (1945 - ) was the former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness under President William J. Clinton, and the Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Employment

University of Texas, Austin

Department of Defense

Brookings Institution

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

United States Department of Education

Delete

Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare

United States Army

Center for West African Studies

Favorite Color

Blue

Dolly Adams

Nonprofit executive Dolly Desselle Adams was born in Marksville, Louisiana on August 13, 1931, the only child of Moses J. Following her graduation from of Xavier University Preparatory High School in New Orleans, Adams enrolled at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she received her B.S. degree. Adams went on to earn her M.A. degree in education from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D degree in education from Baylor University.

As an educator, Adams has held a variety of positions, including elementary school teacher and administrator; college dean and Professor at the University of Michigan, Wilberforce University, Albany State College, Paul Quinn College, and Howard University School of Law. Adams last served as an adjunct professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also held outstanding leadership positions in community service organizations. Her role as Episcopal Supervisor of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) and the Ministers’ Wives of the Tenth (Texas), Second (Mid-Atlantic States), Sixth (Georgia) and Seventh (South Carolina) and Eleventh (Florida and Bahamas) Episcopal Districts covered a span of 32 years. Adams served for four years as National President of The Links, Inc., and The Links Foundation, Inc., and five years as National President of the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. In addition, Adams served on the board of directors of the United Negro College Fund, Paul Quinn College Foundation, the Southern University Foundation and the sisters of Charity Foundation. Adams now serves on the Board of Directors of the Black Women’s Agenda, Inc., the WMS Foundation and the Links, Inc.

From 1982-86, Adams was cited as one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony Magazine, and Dollars & Sense Magazine named her as one of the “Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women” 1986 and 1987. Adams is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the N.A.A.C.P. In recognition of her services in South Carolina, the Governor presented to her the Order of the Palmetto, the highest citation given by the State to a citizen.

Adams and her husband, Reverend John Hurst Adams, live in Atlanta, Georgia. They are the parents of three successful daughters: Attorney Gaye Adams Massey, Dr. Jann Adams, and Madelyn R. Adams

Dolly Desselle Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.246

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/13/2012

Last Name

Adams

Maker Category
Middle Name

D.

Schools

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

University of Michigan

Southern University Laboratory School

Baylor University

First Name

Dolly

Birth City, State, Country

Marksville

HM ID

ADA12

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Ft Walton, Florida

Favorite Quote

Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God, And His Righteousness; And All These Things Shall Be Added Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

8/13/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo (Seafood)

Short Description

Educator and nonprofit chief executive Dolly Adams (1931 - ) served as the national president of The Links and the Black Women’s Agenda.

Employment

New Orleans Public Schools

University of Michigan

Wilberforce University

Albany State College

Paul Quinn College

Seattle Public Schools

Head Start

Neuropsychiatric Institute

Howard University Law School

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:12620,100:18650,111:23638,165:28788,194:33928,247:34232,256:34992,323:35448,330:36588,369:38710,377:41720,425:42236,432:44816,528:56916,721:72620,934:77492,1052:90405,1297:91000,1309:109570,1518:109890,1523:111970,1552:112290,1557:112610,1570:113330,1580:114290,1595:116530,1647:117970,1670:119330,1688:128712,1762:135663,1866:136473,1878:150418,2022:150730,2027:154162,2148:154474,2153:159394,2216:162280,2273:162724,2280:167164,2373:180070,2617:183510,2685:184710,2709:185110,2715:188430,2761$0,0:612,12:1088,20:3400,89:6080,105:6619,113:7004,119:13492,245:13876,250:15316,260:18196,305:18964,314:19540,322:23890,336:24430,343:25060,353:25870,365:29290,419:31360,501:38572,599:40000,636:46580,727:52952,806:67328,1143:83250,1319:83718,1326:91030,1490:93886,1546:104090,1732:116450,1861
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dolly Adams's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams describes her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams describes her parents' personalities and her likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams describes her education in Marksville, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams remembers her educational influences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams recalls the educational environment at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams remembers the Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams recalls her graduation from Xavier University Preparatory School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams recalls the mentorship of Professor Julia Purnell

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams remembers the end of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams remembers the marching band at Southern University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams remembers substitute teaching in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams recalls her decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams remembers segregation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls working at the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams recalls joining the faculty of Wilberforce University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams remembers Wilberforce University President Charles Leander Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams remembers meeting her husband, Bishop John Hurst Adams

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams recalls moving to Waco, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes her role as the dean of students at Paul Quinn College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams lists the schools affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams remembers moving to Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams describes her husband's education

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls the reprisals against her civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dolly Adams remembers the Black Panther Party in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dolly Adams remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams talks about the renaming of King County, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams describes the Grant A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes the founding of The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams talks about the activities of The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams describes her duties and mentors in the church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams talks about female preachers in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams recalls her husband's election as bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams describes her doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams talks about the benefits of online universities

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams recalls her experiences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams talks about her work with Planned Parenthood in Waco, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams recalls teaching at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her community involvement in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams recalls traveling to Kenya with The Links

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes The Links' international presence

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams remembers writing 'She in the Glass House'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams remembers living in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dolly Adams talks about the Gullah culture

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dolly Adams describes the services in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dolly Adams describes her work in Charleston, South Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dolly Adams describes her work in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dolly Adams describes the Black Women's Agenda

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dolly Adams describes her activities during retirement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dolly Adams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dolly Adams describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dolly Adams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dolly Adams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Dolly Adams talks about the desegregation of Waco, Texas, pt. 1
Dolly Adams recalls the reprisals against her civil rights activism
Transcript
Waco [Texas] was a nice, very segregated country town, but here again, we had our own system of, of survival. When, when Waco dec- dec- well, when we decided--when integration came, one of the first places that was picketed was across the street from the campus [Paul Quinn College, Waco, Texas; Dallas, Texas]. It was a little store, a little--one of those 7-Eleven stores, which would not employ any of our students, but nobody bought anything in there except black folk, kids from the campus or people who lived around the campus. So, we--I was on the picket line and, of course, they picket--our kids picketed downtown. I remember they called my husband [HistoryMaker Bishop John Hurst Adams] and said--the mayor called and told him, "Come get your, your students. They're sitting out here at one of these lunch counters." He said, "Well, if you fed them--they probably can't even afford to pay for the Coke, so if you, you offer to them, you would--you would be able to get rid of them. Otherwise, they can stay there until you decide, you know, what you're gonna do." And he said, "Well, we'll put them in jail." He said, "And I'll come get them out of jail and they'll be back there tomorrow." So, they--Waco was one of those towns that was very pragmatic and they really did not want all of that. So, they asked my husband to come down and talk with them and they ended by fiat, the may--the mayor integrated all of the downtown eating facilities the next day.$$Yeah. Now, I've heard a few stories like this where segregation seems like it's hard, a hard line until somebody challenges it and it fades.$$Well, the truth of the matter was we lived in separate enclaves anyway. We weren't all over town, but to say--it's--it was stupid to say here is a store in the middle, next door to your house and you can go in and buy in that store, you can keep him in business, but you cannot--they will not employ--they bring in people to employ, won't employ any of your kids.$$Okay. So, now, now were you or your husband a member of NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] or the--$$Oh, yeah.$$Okay.$$I was very active in the NA--NAACP. I was the secretary at that time and that's another interesting story. I had teachers in the public schools of, of Waco who would give me their dues, but I was--they would tell me, "You cannot report my name. You can--I will give you the money, but don't ever tell them who gave it to you."$$Okay, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So, I, I, I collected a whole lot of money from people. They were afraid of their jobs. They didn't know what was gonna happen if they found out they were NAACP. But, because we worked for a black church, there was nothing they could do to us.$Back to our time in Seattle [Washington]. Our time in Seattle was marvelous, but it was also tumultuous because those marches, while they didn't make the kind of publicity that, that King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] did down here, they were life changing there. As a matter of fact, my, my children were in school and we became targets. There was a racist who used to call me every night. He seemed to know when my husband [HistoryMaker Bishop John Hurst Adams] was gone. He'd be at church or at some meeting, and he would call and make threats and, you know, "What do you niggers want?" And, "Why, why are you doing this?" And I was trying very hard to be conciliatory and I would speak to him very nicely until one Sunday night he called and he said, "Yeah, you've got two daughters, three daughters, one is Gaye [Gaye Adams Massey] and one is Jann [Jann H. Adams] and they're at McGilvra [McGilvra Elementary School, Seattle, Washington]," it was a elementary school, "and Madelyn [Madelyn R. Adams] is in a Montessori school," and our telephone was tapped. We knew this. The police put a tap on the telephone because they knew they'd been calling and stuff, and I lost it. I promised all sorts of things I was gonna do to that man if he--if he touched my children. So, the next morning, the police came to see me and said, "Ms. Adams [HistoryMaker Dolly Adams], do you have a gun?" I said, "No." The man said, "Well, you need one. After what you told him, he just may come after you." So, they took me down to the police department, they gave me a gun, took me to the firing range and taught me how to use it, gave me the ammunition and told me if he comes up those stairs or gets anyplace near your children, feel free to shoot him and I promised I would. I never had to, praise the Lord, but I had every intention of doing so.

Cheryl Willis Hudson

Children’s book publisher and author Cheryl Willis Hudson was born on April 7, 1948 in Portsmouth, Virginia to Hayes Elijah Willis, III, an insurance executive, and Lillian Watson Willis, an educator. Hudson attended Oberlin College and graduated cum laude in 1970. The following summer, she enrolled in a summer publishing procedures course at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the fall of 1970, Hudson began working as an art editor in the educational division of Houghton Mifflin in Boston. She and Wade Hudson, a writer, met in Cambridge in 1971 and began collaborating on children’s book ideas. In 1972, she and Hudson were married, and they subsequently moved to New Jersey to live while Wade was enrolled in Channel 13’s film and television training program in New York City. Cheryl continued her career as a graphic designer at Macmillan Publishing Company in New York City and at Arete Publishing in Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1976 the Hudsons first child, Katura, was born and after failing to obtain African American art to ornament her nursery’s walls, Hudson decided to create her own designs. Ultimately, she was inspired to create a children’s book, and although she and Hudson attempted to shop it around to various publishing companies, they were unsuccessful. In 1982, Hudson again gave birth to the couple's second child, Stephan J. Hudson, and three years later, the couple again revived their idea of creating African American children’s art.

In 1985, the Hudsons developed the AFRO-BETS kids, black characters who would twist themselves into the shape of the alphabet. Two years later, after further rejections from various publishers, they invested $7,000 and self-published it. The couple received attention from leading education magazines and black bookstores, which carried the books. After the AFRO-BETS books sold out within three months, the Hudsons founded Just Us Books, Inc., an independent publishing company that publishes books and educational material for children that focus on black history, experiences and culture.

Cheryl Hudson handled the editorial aspects, while her husband served as president of the company, managing the business and marketing aspects. As director of editorial operations she works with authors and artists, and has helped many young aspiring book creators get their start in the publishing industry.

In 1990, Just Us Books, Inc. introduced a bi-monthly newspaper for young people entitled Harambee, which would later win a parent’s choice award. Throughout the 1990s, Just Us Books continued to publish critically acclaimed children’s literature, including Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, Jamal’s Busy Day, Annie’s Gifts, When I Was Little, Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs and Kid Caramel, the first contemporary mystery series to focus on young, black male characters. In 1997, Income Opportunities Magazine named the Hudsons “Small Business Pioneers of the Year.” In 2004, they began the Sankofa Books imprint, which publishes Black classics for children and young adults that are no longer in print.

Hudson is an award-winning author of more than twenty books for children. They include Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, Hands Can, the What A Baby series, Many Colors of Mother Goose, Come By Here, Lord, Everyday Prayers for Children and Langston’s Legacy. A graphic artist, Hudson has designed a number of books published by Just Us Books.

When she’s not writing, editing or art directing children’s books, Hudson is active in her community and publishing industry organizations. She serves on the advisory boards of the Small Press Center and the Langston Hughes Library at the Alex Haley Farm, operated by the Children’s Defense Fund. She is also a member of the Author’s Guild, PEN America and the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators. Among her accolades are the Stephen Crane Award and induction into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent in 2003. Hudson also serves as a diversity and parenting expert for ClubMom.com.

Hudson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.174

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/28/2007

Last Name

Hudson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Willis

Occupation
Schools

I.C. Norcom High School

Oberlin College

Radcliffe College

Mount Hermon Preschool Center

Northeastern University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends

First Name

Cheryl

Birth City, State, Country

Portsmouth

HM ID

HUD04

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Parents, Teachers, Librarians, Students interested in children's books and literature.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Parents, Teachers, Librarians, Students interested in children's books and literature.

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Go With The Flow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/7/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

East Orange

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Short Description

Fiction writer Cheryl Willis Hudson (1948 - ) published children's books. Hudson was the co-founder of Just Us Books, Inc. and the developer of AFRO-BETS kids. She was the publisher of Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, Good Morning Baby, Good Night Baby and Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs.

Employment

Just Us Books, Inc.

Hudson Publishing Group

Houghton Mifflin Co.

Macmillan Publishers USA

Favorite Color

Mauve

Timing Pairs
170,0:450,5:940,14:1500,24:3110,51:3390,59:3740,65:4160,73:8406,138:9210,158:9813,170:10550,184:17362,250:22986,400:23504,408:24022,416:29720,532:31940,591:38955,695:39555,704:40080,716:41955,755:43380,785:43905,793:44730,806:45630,811:46605,825:53280,962:59098,987:59512,995:60961,1023:61927,1042:65446,1121:65722,1126:66205,1136:66895,1147:67447,1156:68482,1179:74521,1285:78828,1373:81237,1414:82113,1432:89954,1546:102374,1762:103685,1877:112150,1946:114354,2049:115114,2060:117166,2104:120932,2130:127628,2270:131516,2355:131948,2362:132524,2413:133028,2421:139355,2473:144755,2560:145355,2571:146030,2582:149705,2658:150005,2663:156850,2730:157175,2736:157435,2745:158540,2768:159125,2781:159580,2790:166795,2976:176236,3250:176885,3263:177239,3270:177829,3281:178832,3303:181428,3368:181841,3376:182667,3397:183257,3408:183670,3416:184555,3440:184850,3446:188862,3576:189452,3590:197498,3671:197766,3676:200040,3697$0,0:276,4:1588,30:1916,35:2408,42:3556,66:4540,80:8722,206:12248,394:12740,403:13478,413:19837,471:26236,569:26965,579:27451,586:28099,596:28504,602:29395,614:29800,620:30367,631:30772,637:31582,649:34174,699:38800,707:39328,716:39988,727:40384,735:41044,746:41572,756:42694,771:43090,778:44080,798:44344,803:45004,814:45400,821:46126,835:47974,870:49360,901:53584,978:54772,992:55498,1007:56752,1027:57082,1033:62573,1057:62988,1063:63735,1075:64150,1081:66474,1121:67387,1136:67885,1143:72524,1208:73483,1217:74750,1257
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cheryl Willis Hudson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cheryl Willis Hudson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes the community of Charlottesville, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her mother's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her neighborhood in Portsmouth, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her neighborhood in Portsmouth, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers dinners with her family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes the African American community in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes Mount Hermon Elementary School in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers desegregation in Portsmouth, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers her high school science fair

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her decision to attend Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her experiences at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her experiences at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her experiences at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her mother's civic involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls her graduation from Oberlin College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her political and civil rights affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers the books she read at Oberlin College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cheryl Willis Hudson talks about the importance of African American studies

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her role as art editor at the Houghton Mifflin Company

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls working as a senior designer at Macmillan Publishing Company

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cheryl Willis Hudson talks about racial stereotyping in textbooks

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her decision to found Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls the publication process for the 'AFRO-BETS ABC Book'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls the early years of Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls her initial successes at Just Us Book, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cheryl Willis Hudson reflects upon her publications at Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her community's support for Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cheryl Willis Hudson lists Just Us Books, Inc.'s awards

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes the distribution of Just Us Books, Inc. publications

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her plans for the future of Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cheryl Willis Hudson talks about black authors and illustrators of children's book

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cheryl Willis Hudson reflects upon her challenges at Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cheryl Willis Hudson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cheryl Willis Hudson reflects upon successful children's books

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cheryl Willis Hudson remembers children's books from her childhood

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Cheryl Willis Hudson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Cheryl Willis Hudson recalls the early years of Just Us Books, Inc.
Cheryl Willis Hudson describes her experiences at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, pt. 2
Transcript
What made you think you could do it, if you hadn't seen it being done by another? Like, there are no one else publishing black children's books. What do you think it is that made you think that the two of you could pull it off?$$Well, I you know, I think it was gradually thing, I don't think, I, I think that once--well, once we had printed the, the 'AFRO-BETS ABC Book' [Cheryl Willis Hudson], we started getting calls for more. We had to print more, I mean it was a flurry of activities I mean people wanted this book. Say well people of color, yeah, everybody wants this book. How many black people are there in the country, how many of them have kids that don't know their ABCs or want an alphabet book? So, I think we, we thought that there's a, a huge possibility. And then we started getting some more reinforcement from the few the people that we knew who were involved in, in publishing. We met with [HistoryMaker] Marie Brown who was our agent for a while. And she said, "Oh this is fantastic, this is, this is wonderful." We met with someone, she had worked with who is deceased now, Glenn Thompson, who had also started a publishing company, around that same time, Black Butterfly press [Black Butterfly Children's Books]. And he thought we were crazy, he said, "This is beautiful but how can you make any money," you know, but we got some reinforcement from people in the industry, and just started studying it a lot more systematically.$$What would Marie Brown, what could Marie Brown do for you, the agent? Why would you need an agent, if you're a publisher?$$Well, because we weren't a publisher at the time that we first knew Marie (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay.$$We, we were looking to her, to say, "Well Marie here's some other ideas that we have, can you place them with publisher?" And she was one of the few black agents at that time, in, in New York [New York]. And she had all of the contacts too, of, of knowing people at Doubleday [Doubleday and Company Inc.; Knopf Doubleday Publishing Company] and all the other publishing houses. But, again when you're dealing with institutions who have not been doing this, they've not had a, a, a series of black characters, maybe there's one book with one black child in it. And if there's some resistance, like there's no market for it. Why would be there be any incentive for a Random House [Random House Inc.; Penguin Random House] or anybody else to buy our book, if they don't think there's a market for it anyway. So, part of it is kind of informing the industry that there, yes there is a market for these books. But, in the meantime I can't wait for you to decide to make up your mind for somebody, for us to convince you of it. We sort of had to prove that the market was there and I think we did that, by getting so much positive feedback on both the 'AFRO-BETS ABC Book,' '123 Book' ['AFRO-BETS 123 Book,' Cheryl Willis Hudson], but also particularly Wade's [HistoryMaker Wade Hudson] book with Valerie [Valerie Wilson Wesley], 'Book of Black Heroes from A to Z' ['Book of Black Heroes from A to Z: An Introduction to Important Black Achievers for Young Readers,' Wade Hudson and Valerie Wilson Wesley], which as a, a another again a different kind of book. Not a book just on George Washington Carver, but a book of black heroes. And we didn't call them, here's a biography of the African Americans, there's a difference between that and saying book of black heroes, because these people were heroes to us. So, their perspective was a little bit different. And so, the, they're subtleties that you will find in the difference in approach to, to publishing that we took verses maybe a more commercial publisher.$And you're just gonna wrap up that summer experience?$$The summer experience at Exeter [Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire] was wonderful. I was, I had been away from home before. I had gone to Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.] one summer. I had gone to Norfolk State [Norfolk Branch, Virginia State College; Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia] one summer. But, this was different because this was New Hampshire. It was New England, I was living in a, a dormitory with other white kids. Kids who really were a, a lot of them were from a different social class, an upper class kids. There were a few black students on campus during the summer. But, again it, it was a mutual- mutually beneficial kind of experience because I think on, on a social level if you get to know someone by living with them, by talking with them, by having meals together. You have a different perception of, of them rather than just seeing somebody on, the news, so you recognize one another as, as individuals, as, as human beings rather than as a white person or a black person, or somebody who's integrating a situation in a social context. I really enjoyed it (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So, that was nineteen--$$That was 1966.$$The summer--

Wade Hudson

Children’s book publisher and author Wade Hudson, Jr. was born on October 23, 1946 in Mansfield, Louisiana, the first of eight children to Wade and Lurline Hudson. Hudson grew up in Mansfield and attended Desoto High School, graduating in 1964. He went on to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he became involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1960s. Hudson worked for several civil rights organizations in the South and was one of the “Baton Rogue Three,” three African American men falsely arrested because of their involvement with civil rights activities. He has also worked as a newspaper reporter, a public relations specialist and served as executive director of Pure Energy Music Publishing, a music publishing company he owned with his brothers. The company gave Madonna the hit song, “Holiday.” Hudson earned a certificate from the Channel 13 film and television program in New York City in 1975. The program was established to provide opportunities for minorities in the film and television industry. Hudson is also an established playwright, having authored a number of plays that have been performed on the professional stage. They include Sam Carter Belongs Here, A House Divided and A Black Love Story.

Hudson met his wife, Cheryl Willis Hudson, in 1971, while visiting Boston, Massachusetts. The couple was married in 1972 in Portsmouth, Virginia, Cheryl Hudson’s hometown. They gave birth to their first child, Katura in 1976. Unable to find African American art to adorn their daughter’s nursery, Mrs. Hudson decided to create her own designs. Ultimately, she was inspired to create a children’s book, and although she and Hudson attempted to shop it around to various publishing companies, they were unsuccessful. In 1982, the couple’s second child, Stephan J. Hudson, was born, and three years later, the Hudson’s again revived their idea of creating African American children’s art.

In 1985, the Hudsons developed the AFRO-BETS kids, black characters who twist themselves into the shape of the alphabet. Two years later, after further rejections from various publishers, they invested $7,000 and self-published AFRO-BETS ABC, which featured the AFRO-BETS Kids. The couple received attention from leading education magazines and black bookstores, which carried the books. After the AFRO-BETS books sold out within three months, the Hudsons decided to establish their own publishing company, Just Us Books, Inc. It is now one of the most successful Black owned publishing companies in the world, publishing books and educational material for children focusing on black history, experiences and culture. Just Us Books, Inc. is the only Black owned publishing company that focuses exclusively on publishing Black interest books for children and young adults.

Hudson serves as president of the company, managing the business and marketing responsibilities, while Cheryl handles serves as editor. Because of Hudson’s marketing success with Just Us Books, major companies such as Harper Collins and Scholastic, Inc. hired him as a marketing consultant to boost their sales in the African American market.
In 1990, Just Us Books, Inc. introduced a bi-monthly newspaper for young people entitled Harambee, which would later win a Parent's Choice Award. The company landed its first major account, a $40,000 order with Toys 'R'Us. Throughout the 1990s, the couple continued publishing critically acclaimed children's literature, including Afro-Bets Book of Black Heroes (1989), the company’s biggest seller to date, Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (1990) and Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs and Kid Caramel, the first contemporary mystery series that would focus on young, black male characters. In 1997, Income Opportunities Magazine named Hudson and his wife, “Small Business Pioneers of the Year.” The Hudsons have received many awards for their contributions to young people, literature and to their community. In 2004, the Hudsons began the Sankofa imprint, which publishes books by outstanding African American writers and authors that are no longer in print. Books by such noted authors as James Haskins, Rosa Guy, Camille Yarbrough and Eleanora E. Tate have been republished.

Hudson is also a celebrated author. His books have been published by his own company and by publishers such as Scholastic, Abingdon Press and Children’s Press. Some of the books authored by Hudson include Powerful Words: More Than Two Hundred Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans, Pass It On, African American Poetry for Children, Jamal’s Busy Day and The Underground Railroad. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Stephen Crane Award for his writing, and he was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent in 2004. Hudson serves on many boards, including the Langston Hughes Library at the Children’s Defense Fund and he is a Deacon at his church, Imani Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey. He lectures around the country on topics such as writing, publishing, black history and culture and black empowerment.

Wade Hudson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.173

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/28/2007

Last Name

Hudson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Desoto High School

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

DeSoto Parish Training School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Wade

Birth City, State, Country

Mansfield

HM ID

HUD03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, Adults

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

None

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Youth, Adults

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

10/23/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

East Orange

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Fiction writer and book publishing executive Wade Hudson (1946 - ) published children's books. Hudson was the co-founder of Just Us Books, Inc. and the developer of AFRO-BETS kids books. He served as president of the company, managing the business and marketing aspects.

Employment

Just Us Books, In.

Delete

Shreveport Sun

Baton Rouge News Leader

Pure Energy Music Publishing, Inc.

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Wade Hudson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson describes the role of religion in the African American community

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson remembers the racial discrimination in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson describes segregation in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson remembers his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson describes the African American community in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson remembers his neighborhood in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson recalls the DeSoto Parish Training School in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson describes the religious community in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson recalls his experiences on the mourner's bench

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Wade Hudson remembers his baptism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson recalls serving as the assistant secretary of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Mansfield, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson remembers his aspiration to play professional baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson describes his early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson talks about his early interest in writing

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson recalls his decision to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson describes his aspirations while at Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson recalls registering voters in Mississippi and Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson recalls his parents' opinions of his civil rights activities

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson recalls changing his political views while in college

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson describes the marches on the Louisiana State Capitol by students at Southern University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson recalls the protests on campus at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson describes his arrest for conspiracy to commit murder, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson describes his arrest for conspiracy to commit murder, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson Wade Hudson describes his arrest for conspiracy to commit murder, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson remembers being drafted into the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson describes his career as a newspaper columnist

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson describes his activities in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson remembers founding Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson reflects upon his challenges and successes at Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson lists his siblings

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Wade Hudson talks about Pure Energy Music Publishing, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Wade Hudson reflects upon the role of African American publishers

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Wade Hudson describes his collaboration with Scholastic Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Wade Hudson describes his role at Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Wade Hudson describes the strengths of small publishing companies

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Wade Hudson talks about his religious involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Wade Hudson reflects upon his awards and honors

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Wade Hudson reflects upon the readership of Just Us Books, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Wade Hudson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Wade Hudson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$1

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Wade Hudson remembers founding Just Us Books, Inc.
Wade Hudson remembers the racial discrimination in Mansfield, Louisiana
Transcript
(Simultaneous) But when you became a couple you started to collaborate, I think, about ideas for books? How did that come about?$$You know, actually our relationship, the, the write- the book thing for children didn't really happen until '70s [1970s]--'87 [1987], '88 [1988]. My playwriting career really started to take off when we came from Boston [Massachusetts], well, let me back up. While we were living in Boston, I applied for a program that Channel 13 [WNET-TV, New York, New York] had to get more minorities in film and television and I was accepted. So that's why we moved from Boston to this area and we, rather than live in New York [New York] we moved to New Jersey 'cause it was cheaper and, and Cheryl [HistoryMaker Cheryl Willis Hudson] had a cousin who helped us find an apartment here. And so that program lasted for a year and so we just, just stayed here. Now, during that, that time, I became involved with a theater group here in, in Newark [New Jersey] called the Theater of Universal Images. And I had probably five plays over, over some years that were produced by that theater company. And, and Cheryl, actually, you know, did some of the, the advertising, illustrations, and things like that for, for, for the plays, playbills and things like that. So we still collaborated but it wasn't for children's books. Now, my first, first children's book was a book called 'Beebe's Lonely Saturday' [Wade Hudson] and it was published by New Dimension press out of New York, it's no longer in business. And it was, and I did another one to, what was that other one called? I did two books for that company. And it was mostly for the educational market. And so all these things were happening before we even decided to launch our own publishing company which happened in, actually we formed the company in '88 [1988] but we had started producing books and T-shirts and posters.$$What made you go from playwriting to producing books, T-shirts, and posters?$$Well, actually, Cheryl had an idea for a group of characters.$$Well, your daughter is born and, and that has something to do with it; right?$$That, that did but, but--$$This is before she's born?$$Yeah, but what I'm saying is like Cheryl had a idea and I think the idea that Cheryl had was a, a result of her and I, and myself too, not finding books and images for Katura [Katura J. Hudson] that reflect our environment, our culture. So I think that, and she can probably speak to that, but I think that led her to creating a group of characters she called the 'AFRO-BETS' kids. But they were, she had a character for each alphabet, so (laughter) as a playwright I'm saying well, you really can't, can't handle that many characters, you know. So we, we ended up narrowing the characters down to, to six characters and we gave them, you know, names and, you know, personalities and blah, blah, blah. And we started doing T-shirts with the characters and then the 'AFRO-BETS ABC Book' [Cheryl Willis Hudson] was our first venture, book that Cheryl wrote. And that book really took off and we did some really good marketing and publicity behind it and we printed five thousand copies which was a pretty good printing for a, for a couple that doesn't know what they're doing (laughter). And, and we sold those five thousand copies in about three months, three or four months, you know, and then we did a rush back to, to do another five thousand printing. And then so we ended up starting the company, Just Us Books [Just Us Books, Inc.], because we recognized that we were on to something and that's how Just Us Books started. And then we followed the 'ABC Book' with the counting book, the 'AFRO-BETS 123 Book' [Cheryl Willis Hudson]. And then the third book we did was a book that I and Valerie Wilson Wesley wrote together called, the AFRO-BETS' 'Book of Black Heroes' ['Book of Black Heroes from A to Z: An Introduction to Important Black Achievers for Young Readers,' Wade Hudson and Valerie Wilson Wesley], where we featured blacks who had made significant contributions to society. And we would present it alphabetically, you know, Muhammad Ali, you know, with A. And so that's how we, we, we launched the, the, the company.$How did your [maternal] grandfather [Theodore Jones] deal with racism that existed in Mansfield [Louisiana]?$$You know, very seldom did they talk about it, you know. It was, I think that they recognized it was the way it was, you know, and, and I don't remember, I mean, very few people as I can recall when I was growing up, really dealt with racism. I mean, in terms of talking about it and, or talking about white folks. I mean, it, you know, generally they would say, you know, white people are crazy just like, you know, white people will say, those folks are crazy. But in terms of dealing with it in any, any systemic way or even expressing how they really felt, I don't recall that really happening. It was, people talked about what was happening in other places but not in, in Mansfield. I, I think you have to understand because it was such a, it's such a small area and almost provincial, you know, that most black people knew most white people and most white people knew most black people. And, and so there was like this, this relationship, you know, that's written about, you know, obviously been written about by, by many black writers, where folks had sort of learned to accept the status quo and, you know, you didn't really talk about it. And, and I don't recall other than a few situations where white people in Mansfield really said any negative things to us. But the system itself, you know, which was, was in place, so, you really didn't have to.$$Did your parents [Lurline Jones Hudson and Wade Hudson, Sr.] or grandparents ever get the opportunity in those days to vote?$$No, no.$$Did they ever talk about it?$$No, nope. I don't even think they even had any expectations of voting. Mansfield, blacks started to vote in Mansfield, if I remember, I wanna make sure I get the, the year correct, either '68 [1968] or '69 [1969]. And that happened, 'cause when I was in college [Southern University; Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana] I, I joined a number of civil rights organizations including SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference]. And so we, you know, I said listen, you know, we need to go to my hometown of Mansfield because see the thing about the civil rights struggle that most people don't really understand, that it had to be fought almost like a war, you had to go to different cities and towns and actually confront the power structure in those towns to change things. I mean, what, the laws were passed but it wasn't this, you know, a, a magic wand and say, okay, everything is all right, you had to go to different towns and fight the power structure. And even today if you go to some of these small towns in Mississippi and Alabama, many of them are like they were thirty, forty, fifty years ago, you know, because nobody has gone there to really confront the, the power structure to get that, to get it to change. So, you know, it, Mansfield was, you know, it was an extremely, extremely segregated place. And I think that the system was so successfully put in place that blacks didn't even contest.