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Aaronetta Pierce

Civic leader Aaronetta Pierce was born on January 8, 1943 in Somerville, Tennessee to Clementine Lofties Hamilton and David Aaron Hamilton. Pierce’s father was dean of the Tennessee State University School of Agriculture and Home Economics. Pierce attended Tennessee State University where she studied French from 1959 to 1961 and transferred to The University of Iowa where she received her B.A. degree in English and social science in 1963.

From 1964 to 1967, Pierce taught in the San Antonio Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, before she moved to Germany for three years. In the 1970s, Pierce began volunteering in the San Antonio community. In 1980, she joined the docent corps at the San Antonio Museum of Art as well as the board of the San Antonio Museum Association. In 1983, she also became active with the incorporation of the Southwest Ethnic Arts Society. In 1985, Governor Mark W. White, Jr. appointed Pierce as the first Black woman to serve on the Texas Commission on the Arts. San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros selected Pierce to chair the founding Martin Luther King City/County Commission, which planned and executed the city’s inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in 1986. Two years later, Mayor Cisneros appointed Pierce chair of the San Antonio Blue Ribbon Committee on the Arts. The committee’s report led to the creation of the San Antonio Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs. In 1990, Pierce and her husband founded Premier Artworks, Inc. to promote the work of African American artists and authors across the country.

Pierce has been recognized at the municipal and state level. In 1984, she was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 1993, she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. The United Communities of San Antonio, Inc. awarded Pierce its Humanitarian Award, which recognizes individuals who promote understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures, in 2007. In addition to holding long term membership in The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pierce served on boards for numerous organizations including Fisk University, the San Antonio Performing Arts Association, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Pierce and her husband, Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr., have two sons, Joseph Pierce and Michael Pierce.

Aaronetta Pierce was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 8, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.120

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/8/2018

Last Name

Pierce

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Tennessee State University

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

University of Iowa

First Name

Aaronetta

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

PIE03

Favorite Season

Christmas and Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Find the Good and Praise It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

1/8/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civic leader Aaronetta Pierce (1943 - ) co-founded Premier Artworks, Inc. and chaired high profile commissions that enriched the cultural landscape of San Antonio, Texas.

Employment

San Antonio Independent School District

Favorite Color

Green

Willie Cole

Sculptor Willie Cole was born on January 3, 1955 in Somerville, New Jersey. In 1958, he moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he took art classes at the Newark Museum, and later attended the Arts High School of Newark. Cole went on to receive his B.F.A degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, New York. He continued his art education by attending classes at the Art Students League of New York.

After graduation, Cole worked as a freelance artist and graphic designer. In 1988, he completed his first major art installation, Ten Thousand Mandellas. The installation led to his first major gallery show, which took place at Franklin Furnace Gallery in New York City, New York in 1989. The following year, Cole served as the artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. In 1997, Cole created the piece, Stowage, garnering him a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Cole had a number of solo exhibition shows that followed, including a show at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2001. In 2010, an exhibition show of his work took place at the James Gallery of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In 2013, Complex Conversations: Willie Cole Sculptures and Wall Work opened at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, before the exhibition began travelling across the country.

Cole has received many awards for his work as an artist, including the Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1991, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant in 1995, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in 1996, the David C. Driskell Prize in 2006, and Timehri Award for Leadership in the Arts in 2009. In 2004, Cole received the Lamar Dodd Fellowship at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Cole served as an artist-in-residence at several institutions, including the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington, the Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland, the Capp Street Project in San Francisco, California, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Cole has one son.

Willie Cole was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.053

Sex

Male

Interview Date

02/03/2017

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Arts High School

Quitman Street Community School

Somerville Elementary School

Robert Treat Academy Charter School

School of Visual Arts

Art Students League of New York

First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

COL28

Favorite Season

Winter

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

My Mind.

Favorite Quote

It Doesn't Matter When You Get On The Bus, Just When You Get Off.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

1/3/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sunflower Seeds

Short Description

Sculptor Willie Cole (1955 - ) was most known for his found object assemblages, which featured steam irons, high heeled shoes and plastic water bottles. His work addressed themes of domesticity, femininity and racial identity.

Employment

Queens Economic Development Corporation

American Cyanamid Company

Freelance Graphic Designer

Freelance Illustrator

University of Delaware

Favorite Color

Orange and Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3182,25:3772,35:10320,121:11112,130:12696,154:19282,246:19986,255:20338,260:21042,319:21394,325:23418,358:24122,367:24650,382:25266,391:27290,451:31320,461:32040,472:32840,485:33560,495:33960,501:40515,564:40910,603:41226,644:44070,686:47704,755:54608,816:59266,865:59884,872:61635,895:63180,925:69680,963:72320,1029:72800,1037:73120,1042:73840,1052:78590,1096:78950,1101:80210,1132:80570,1137:81200,1144:90333,1315:98260,1441:105784,1601:111994,1686:112568,1700:112896,1705:113962,1723:124682,1868:126698,1909:129166,1921:129478,1926:130024,1934:131272,1996:142930,2151:145435,2172:146260,2186:147835,2215:148210,2221:154760,2304$0,0:515,12:1096,20:1428,99:4665,184:5080,190:5661,199:5993,204:10030,233:14826,270:17270,283:18146,312:18511,318:21212,401:21650,417:27521,481:29731,499:30253,554:41424,673:42048,689:42828,720:46144,775:51790,829:57068,930:66300,1055:71694,1162:72303,1184:72738,1191:80550,1276:80874,1281:81360,1289:94270,1499:94714,1509:95380,1521:96194,1535:97970,1579:98266,1584:100412,1648:105496,1692:106310,1706:110437,1778:114410,1834
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie Cole's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie Cole lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie Cole describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie Cole describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie Cole describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie Cole talks about his maternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Willie Cole describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Willie Cole remembers working at American Cyanamid Company

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Willie Cole describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Willie Cole describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Willie Cole remembers the Stella Wright Homes in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Willie Cole talks about his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about his early art forms

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie Cole describes his schooling in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie Cole remembers his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers the riots of 1967 in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie Cole remembers Amiri Baraka's influence in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie Cole talks about the alumni of Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his experiences at the School of Visual Arts in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Willie Cole talks about his early career as a graphic designer

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his black magazine illustrations

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his interest in commercial art

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Willie Cole remembers the Art Students League of New York

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Willie Cole talks about his theater training

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie Cole remembers the Negro Ensemble Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about his role at the Stepping Stone Theatre Company

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie Cole talks about his decision to focus on the visual arts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about the birth of his son

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers selling mail order pamphlets

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie Cole recalls his attempts to sell illustrated children's stories

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie Cole recalls his day jobs in New York City during the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie Cole talks about the Works Gallery in Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Willie Cole remembers his first professional art shows

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Willie Cole describes the origins of his sculptural practice

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Willie Cole recalls his experiences at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about becoming a single parent

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about the meanings of his steam iron sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his mask making practice

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie Cole recalls the impact of his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie Cole talks about his sculpture, 'House and Field'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his shoe sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie Cole talks about his studio spaces

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his shoe sculptural practice

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Willie Cole talks about his spirituality

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Willie Cole describes his method for sculpting with shoes

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his floral motif sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about the theme of his shoe sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about the influences on his mask sculptures

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie Cole recalls his awards and honors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie Cole talks about his monumental woodcut, 'Stowage'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie Cole remembers Robert Blackburn

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie Cole talks about his piece, 'Man Spirit Mask'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie Cole remembers his artwork inspired by September 11th, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Willie Cole describes his work about President Donald John Trump

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Willie Cole remembers receiving the David C. Driskell Prize

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Willie Cole talks about his love of music

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Willie Cole talks about his art dealer and marketing

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Willie Cole recalls the start of his work with plastic water bottles

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie Cole talks about his plastic bottle sculptures

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie Cole talks about his animated character, ShooFly

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie Cole reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie Cole reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie Cole shares his advice for aspiring African American artists

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie Cole narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie Cole narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

8$12

DATitle
Willie Cole describes his shoe sculptural practice
Willie Cole recalls the start of his work with plastic water bottles
Transcript
With the shoes you begin doing the work in '93 [1993] and it has evolved over time? What are the, what are the, kinds of artistic expression that you are developing for the shoes? What are you making?$$Currently what I'm making with the shoes?$$Starting back from you know, as you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well with, with all the work, and I kind of discover this, or maybe begin to apply this with the, with the irons, but I'm telling myself that I am working to exercise the memory in these items, whether it's true or not I always start with that, with that premise, so all my shoe pieces, I feel their, their personality, the woman that wore them is in this shoe still, the spirit of that person is in this shoe or on the shoe, so I put those together to, you know, bring that forward, I mean definitely with the masks and things.$$So you, you describe having organized the shoes by color and plus whatever their similarities are. So there's, there's that, but you're bringing more than one pair of shoes into it, so what is that spiritual relationship that you are defining I guess, from multiple pairs of shoes to put them into a mask or--?$$Oh I feel--my sister [Debra Cole (ph.)] would call it, let go and let God, but you know I don't use that kind of language, but so for me it's just about being open to the inspiration, don't have a preconceived notion of what you're doing, just you know, you've got a pile there. Like when I finish a piece I'm always amazed and my friend [Lawrence Ramsey], the African art dealer, told me I have to freak myself up first before I can freak the world out, so I'm just looking to get that moment that just blows my own mind and it comes through play because you can't play unless you're relaxed, so you know, the pieces to me kind of, they tell me what to do, what piece to pick up. I create certain limitations because when I was a painter I worked in limitations from reading about the Impressionists and the point was rather they worked from following the illustrator, Maxfield Parrish, I would always limit my color palette to just the primary colors and never used the color black; so that idea fused in with a little bit of Buddhism has led me to these ideas about oneness and you know just everything is a multiplication of a single element.$You've been working with plastics, plastics, plastic water bottles (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Plastic water bottles, that's right.$$When did you start doing that?$$I started that about three or four years ago.$$So that would be around 2014?$$Yes, yes.$$And how did that begin?$$Well in New Jersey there's a place called Grounds for Sculpture [Hamilton, New Jersey]. It's a big outdoor sculpture park. They had three buildings with galleries inside and I was invited to do a show there, a one person show, so in my mind I thought it was an outdoor show, but when I had the meeting they wanted me to be inside in one of the galleries, so then I say, "Well, is there a budget for this show?" And they say there's no budget, so that's how I came to water bottles. During that meeting I was drinking a bottle of water and the next day I'm at a friend's house in Union, New Jersey, Ted Davis [ph.], sitting by his pond drinking water and I'm squeezing the bottle and I'm realizing all these lines and ribs on the bottle, on bottles like the one I have, they are to make the bottles collapsible so I can manipulate the image of the bottle by manipulating these lines. I was able to make a fish, so I'm looking at the fish in his pond so that kind of led me to make a fish. That night I dreamed about a chandelier made of the water bottles and there was a Buddha in every bottle, so that's what I made for that show ['From Water to Light'], the Buddha chandelier. It just started from there. It played in well for me because of my interest in health and the environment, but also because a few years earlier I'd received an award for recycling from this county, Morris County, New Jersey because of my work with the shoes and the irons they saw me as a recycler, so now I'm really recycling something that affects the environment.

Samuel Williamson

Atmospheric scientist Samuel P. Williamson was born on March 5, 1949, in Somerville, Tennessee to the late Julius Williamson, Jr. and Izoula Smith. He graduated from W.P. Ware High School in 1967. Williamson received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Tennessee State University in 1971 and his B.S. degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in 1972. He went on to earn his M.A. degree in management from Webster University in 1976. From 1996 to 1997, Williamson was a visiting Executive Fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he explored national security issues involving science, technology, and public policy.

In 1971, Williamson was hired as an elementary mathematics teacher in the Fayette County School System in Tennessee. Later in 1971, he began his atmospheric science career as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force’s Air Weather Service. In 1977, Williamson joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For more than twelve years, he was NOAA’s principal planner and ultimately the Director of the Joint System Program Office for the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) WSR-88D, Doppler Weather Radar System through the design, development and initial deployment of this first major joint program among three Federal departments—the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Transportation. Later, as a Senior Staff Associate for the National Science Foundation, Williamson enhanced science education. In his role as a senior advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, he helped shape the legislative agenda for science, space, and technology policy. In 1998, Williamson was appointed as the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research. As the Federal Coordinator, he is accountable to the U.S. Congress and the Office of Management and Budget for systematic coordination and cooperation among 15 Federal departments, independent agencies, and executive offices with meteorology programs or interests to ensure the Federal government provides the best possible weather information and user services to the Nation. Under his leadership, significant advances were made in the areas of aviation weather, space weather, wildland fire weather, weather information for surface transportation, advanced modeling and data assimilation, and tropical cyclone research and operations.

Williamson is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Montgomery College Foundation Board, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Guard Association. He also serves on the Committee for the Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability (CENRS) of the National Science and Technology Council.

Williamson is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award (2010), the NOAA Distinguished Career Award (2010), the NOAA Bronze Medal (1996), and the National Guard Association of the United States Garde Nationale Trophy (1993). In 2006, Williamson was elected as a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute.

Samuel P. Williamson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.142

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/22/2013

Last Name

Williamson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

P.

Schools

Harvard University

Webster University

North Carolina State University

Tennessee State University

Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School

Jefferson Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Samuel

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

WIL64

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Be the best that you can be

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/5/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Atmospheric scientist Samuel Williamson (1949 - ) was appointed as the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1998. In 2010, Williamson received the Presidential Rank Award and the NOAA Distinguished Career Award.

Employment

United States Department of Commerce

United States Air Force

Fayette County School System

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:970,61:3104,87:3492,92:6890,116:7270,121:9455,144:10975,164:12210,179:13825,201:17720,240:18385,247:19050,256:19810,265:20855,281:21520,290:27410,347:29975,382:37500,414:38256,426:42540,476:45140,485:50303,539:56162,623:56534,628:57278,638:57650,643:60264,660:61104,674:61608,681:62700,702:65052,732:65640,741:66984,759:67320,764:70932,820:71856,834:72696,846:73284,854:74712,867:85192,961:85606,968:86020,975:86641,1017:87400,1031:87952,1042:88297,1048:88918,1059:89194,1064:89470,1069:93610,1159:97397,1179:98108,1191:101406,1205:101786,1211:102546,1224:105054,1289:106802,1311:109158,1369:109462,1374:110070,1384:110374,1389:117325,1446:117861,1456:121278,1536:121814,1546:122283,1555:123087,1574:124360,1608:124963,1618:126839,1661:127308,1672:127844,1683:131840,1689:132240,1695:132880,1708:135200,1745:135520,1750:136240,1761:136560,1766:137920,1783:138800,1803:140160,1826:141200,1844:141680,1852:142080,1858:145890,1864:152054,1949:154878,1955:155190,1960:155580,1968:157140,1987:157452,1992:159246,2004:160338,2024:163986,2054:172560,2131:173104,2141:173512,2148:176504,2183:176912,2191:177252,2197:177592,2203:180548,2215:181196,2223:181628,2228:182816,2244:184510,2250:185533,2268:186370,2280:197093,2402:198227,2423:198632,2429:200414,2460:201629,2481:202277,2489:203006,2499:203654,2508:205436,2535:208190,2552:208595,2558:209000,2567:214159,2578:215028,2595:217003,2618:219610,2663:221111,2690:224113,2744:226009,2775:226483,2783:231648,2807:232240,2820:240676,2960:244672,3004:245708,3014:250910,3019:251639,3029:254474,3074:262088,3181:263465,3200:267567,3221:268296,3231:269187,3245:274280,3318$0,0:630,4:950,9:2150,24:2790,172:3590,181:3910,186:4630,196:8548,214:9076,224:9604,234:10198,249:10858,262:11584,275:12178,285:12442,290:14620,322:15148,331:15478,337:15874,347:16138,352:16666,360:16996,365:17458,373:18052,389:18382,395:22008,418:23126,437:26136,496:38012,581:39355,596:41646,624:43147,641:43463,646:45043,673:45359,678:45754,684:46070,689:50952,721:51520,730:54005,784:54573,794:55141,807:55922,820:59958,852:60944,872:61524,884:62162,894:63728,932:63960,937:64366,946:64598,951:65468,976:65758,982:66976,1006:67614,1019:71186,1031:71546,1036:72122,1045:75794,1124:76730,1142:77810,1159:85070,1254:85326,1259:85582,1264:86094,1273:86414,1279:87182,1293:87950,1312:88270,1318:88718,1327:89358,1337:89742,1344:89998,1349:95168,1376:95488,1382:96320,1393:96576,1398:97024,1407:97728,1429:98176,1437:99072,1460:101568,1519:101888,1525:102144,1530:102720,1545:103424,1557:103808,1564:104832,1590:106176,1644:106688,1656:107648,1679:114258,1738:115090,1752:115538,1760:117586,1811:119506,1866:119954,1874:120530,1884:121682,1917:125418,1929:126129,1939:126919,1948:128973,1988:137938,2089:138796,2105:139786,2131:140512,2143:141106,2154:142558,2175:143482,2190:143944,2199:144274,2206:145066,2225:146122,2248:146518,2256:151090,2270:151558,2277:154678,2348:155380,2359:156316,2369:156628,2374:168160,2527:169232,2551:170036,2568:172247,2615:172582,2621:172850,2626:173587,2646:173922,2652:174324,2671:174927,2686:175262,2693:175731,2701:177960,2706
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Williamson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mother's education and her employment

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his father's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's personality and his education and his employment

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's employment

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mother's education and his relationship with his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about his father's service in World War II as a quartermaster on the Red Ball Express and his skill as a sharpshooter

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about his parents' last years together

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson tells the story of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson tells the story of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mathematical skills

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Somerville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his teachers in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in high school - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience in high school - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to attend Tennessee State University and receiving a scholarship to do so

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about joining the U.S. Air Force ROTC at Tennessee State University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson talks about getting married in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience at Tennessee State University the evening that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes the events on Tennessee State University's campus following Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson talks about his teachers at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson talks about his career in the U.S/ Air Force, and well known football players who were at Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about football player, Joe Gilliam

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about athletes from Tennessee State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to study meteorology at North Carolina State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience while studying meteorology at North Carolina State University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience with racism while trying to find housing near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Samuel Williamson describes his experience at Charleston Air Force Base

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson describes his decision to pursue his master's degree in management at Webster University's Air Force extension program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes his contributions at the National Weather Service and as the principal planner of the NEXRAD Joint System Program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson talks about his mentors, Richard Hellgren and Colonel William Barney

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson describes his work as the deputy director of the NEXRAD Joint System Program

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson talks about receiving the Presidential Rank Award in 2010

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about radar technology for weather and airplane control, and explains the phenomenon of wind shear

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about phase array radar

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Samuel Williamson shares his perspectives on the evolution of weather warning systems, and the need for infrastructure to sustain inclement weather

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson discusses the importance of improved weather warning systems and shelter infrastructure

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson discusses the need for better response to severe weather warnings and improved shelter infrastructure

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson explains why the United States is prone to tornadoes

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson describes his work in the area of atmospheric and environmental transport dispersion models

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his contributions to improving traffic reports for increasing the safety of highway travel

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson describes his work on improving predictions of the development and impact of storms and hurricanes

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Samuel Williamson talks about providing recommendations for better ways of dealing with wildfires in the western U.S.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Samuel Williamson talks about his collaboration with federal agencies to monitor the impact of solar radiations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career and his legacy - part one

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career and his legacy - part two

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon his career in the military and his experience as a Visiting Executive Fellow at Harvard University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Samuel Williamson reflects upon the mentoring that he received over the course of his career in the federal government

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Samuel Williamson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Samuel Williamson talks about his wife and his two children

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Samuel Williamson talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Samuel Williamson describes his photographs

DASession

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Samuel Williamson talks about his father's personality and his education and his employment
Samuel Williamson describes his contributions to improving traffic reports for increasing the safety of highway travel
Transcript
And so, he [Williamson's father, Julius Williamson, Jr.] was picked to do good; he was well known in the community, well respected, he promoted education, he was a family man, he always wanted--he was very spiritual, he was a deacon in the church where he actually grew up at. He became a deacon on the deacon board in 1950 and served fifty-four years on the deacon board where he retired in 2004. He passed the torch to my brother, whose name is Julius Williamson III. He also was chairman. I had already left, you know, I had my own career and so forth. So, but he was the one the community looked up to, my dad was well known and very respected. When people wanted things they came to him, if blacks wanted to borrow money from the bank his word was good enough, you know, up to a certain amount. So he helped people and he believed in helping people and I remember when I was a child, my dad had a lot of clothes and stuff that he had gotten, he was giving things away and my mom [Izoula Smith Williamson] said, "Let me look at it first before you give away everything." So that's just the way he was. I will tell you one other story, he drove a school bus and then there was a young man who every morning, you know, it was cold in the winter time and he would get on the bus with no coat. My day said, "Where's your coat?" He said he left it; there was some excuse he gave every day. As it turns out he didn't have a coat and so about the third day because it was so cold, the kid gets on the bus, my dad had gone to a store and bought a brand new coat and gave it to him. So I happened to meet this young man as he is now an adult and he was telling me about this story about what kind of heart my dad had. He just wanted to help people, he felt that he was in a position; it wasn't like we were out there sharecropping and have to worry about being evicted off our land because we had our own (unclear). So I think a lot of my drive came from my father, my mom was just loving, she just cared, she did everything, you know, for her children but my dad was the primary provider.$$Okay. Now did your dad get a chance to finish school?$$No he did not, my dad had about a fifth grade education. When he went into the [U.S.] Army, then of course as part of the schooling that he got in the Army, then once he came off of active duty in 1946 the VA had what you called the GI school, means that there was money that where you could go to the school and you could learn a trade. I think he really wanted to do his in farming. He had ideas about of becoming a large farmer; he wanted to become a big farmer, you know, a black farmer. And so he learned a lot about how to manage business and so forth. So when you add up his technical training he received once he came off active duty, I would say it probably equated to a GED equivalent to high school.$$So he went to school on the GI bill?$$They called it GI school at the time but it was really the GI bill (unclear).$$So is the GI school to help people in agriculture--?$$Agriculture, development but also there were other skills too. If you wanted to become plumbers, they were technicians. The Booker T. Washington era for what he promoted was technical training, you know, become technicians.$$Industrial (unclear).$$Industrial (unclear)--.$The next thing I did in this job [Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)], I think is very important here is you think about the number of people who are dying on the highways and byways we have about 7,000 people dying on the highways every year. We have about a half million people that are being injured on the highway that are caused by weather. You may have a pile-up caused by fog, or you may have a hundred car pile-ups because of smoke, or for haze or what have you. You may have a pile-up because of frozen or liquid precipitation or even snow or what have you. So what we've done here is we have what you call a national review of what our needs and priority are on where we should be focusing our attention on research and how--what do we do about the black ice problems on bridges. What can we do now to better mitigate that issue so that when you're traveling on these bridges you don't start slipping and sliding and then create a accident that kills yourself or you run into somebody else and it kills them. What can we do to mitigate the fog problems that we are experiencing that are causing these car pile-ups. So what I have done is with this national needs assessment is that, we started a whole train of events of things that people can do. One of the first things you hear when you turn the TV on in the morning time is that you get a weather report and you get a traffic report so what we are doing with that is we are sensitizing people that you are traveling to work and you want to know how the weather is going to impact your travel. That's what I started, I started all that. It got started on all the TV networks; the weather channel works hand in hand with me. That's saving lives if you are more sensitized on what is going on. Another important thing is if you are traveling on vacation we started a national number called 511, you know what 911 is when it comes to emergencies, you dial 511, have you ever dialed it before, you are going to get two things. One is that you are going to get information about road construction or road maintenance so that you have a sense now of where traffic is going to be slow on that artery. Second thing you are going to get is weather. So if you want to know how the weather is impacting your travel on interstate 81 or 66 or 40 or any of the main arteries that you are going to be traveling throughout and in the country then that's what we are giving you now. That's something that I started. The goal is to save lives and it was never done before, this is the first time that this has ever been done when I started this.