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Tanya Hart

Producer and television host Tanya Hart was born on January 29, 1949 in Muskegon, Michigan to Lewis Hinton and Jean Hinton. She received her B.A. degree in communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan in 1971, and her M.Ed. degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976.

Hart worked for WBZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Boston, where she served as host and contributing producer of Coming Together an Emmy Award winning prime-time news magazine series. She was also an announcer for WBZ’s evening newscast and hosted and produced syndicated specials. After eleven years at WBZ, Hart moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and joined BET’s West Coast production operations and helped launched its first program in BET’s Burbank Studios. There, Hart served as host and senior producer of BET’s, Live From LA with Tanya Hart, where she interviewed celebrities and recorded over three hundred episodes. Also in 1990, she interviewed Winnie Mandela during the world tour with Nelson Mandela, for a U.S. television exclusive. In 1992, Hart was based at the Walt Disney Studios lot, where her company, Tanya Hart Communications, developed and produced films, television programs, syndicated radio programs, and music with Boston International Records and Hollywood Records. In 1995, Hart became an entertainment correspondent on the KACE-FM morning show in Los Angeles. She also served as a host with Roger Ebert covering the Academy Awards, and appeared as herself in the iconic All My Children. For six years, she served as a correspondent and alternate host of E! Entertainment’s The Gossip Show. From 2001 to 2005, Hart hosted the daily syndicated radio feature Hart Moments which her company also produced. In 2003, excerpts from her interview with Tupac Shakur were featured in the documentary Tupac: Resurrection. In 2005, she released her debut album Tanya Hart Sings. She has also produced several documentaries for PBS, as well an audio documentary Ray Charles: The Music Lives On. In 2006, Hart was a producer and guest disc jockey on Live in Hollywood, the weekly syndicated television show. She became host of Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart on American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). Hart has also appeared on Rolonda, Court TV, Inside Edition, Celebrity Justice, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo and Forgive or Forget.

Hart has been recognized with numerous awards, including The Diversity In Media Award from the Caucus of Producers, Writers and Directors, four Emmys, eight Emmy nominations, and five medals from the International TV and Film Festival of New York. In addition, she received the Peabody and Ohio State Awards for her documentary films. In 2016, she became co-chair of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, making her the first African-American and first woman to lead the organization

Tanya Hart was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.156

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/16/2017

Last Name

Hart

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Michigan State University

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Tanya

Birth City, State, Country

Muskegon

HM ID

HAR50

Favorite Season

Spring/fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

At the end of the day...

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/29/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

I'm a really good cook, I like many things

Short Description

Producer and television host Tanya Hart (1949 - ) launched BET’s West Coast production operations and served as host and contributing producer of the Emmy-award-winning show, Coming Together, she also hosted Live from LA with Tanya Hart.

Favorite Color

Purple and blue in winter, orange and yellow in the summer

Perry Watson

Automobile sales entrepreneur Perry Watson was born on April 16, 1951 in Muskegon, Michigan to Perry Watson, Jr. and Roberta Burns. He graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in Muskegon, Michigan and received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees in marketing from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1973 and 1976, respectively, and later graduated from the Chrysler Corporation’s Minority Dealer Training program in 1993.

In 1977, Watson joined the Xerox Corporation as a copier salesman and was promoted to regional sales manager in 1980. Watson was also a member of the Detroit United Concerned Employees group at Xerox, an organization of African American Xerox employees. After thirteen years with Xerox, Watson participated in the Chrysler Corporation’s Minority Dealer Training program. After he completed training, Watson was selected to manage North Star Dodge in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota in 1992. He rebranded the dealership to Brookdale Dodge and remained as manager for nine years. In 2001, Watson became the third African American in the United States, and the first African American in Indiana, to own a Lexus dealership. He owned Lexus of Mishawaka, Indiana and sold Brookdale Dodge in 2004. Watson was also a guest professor of marketing at Western Michigan University and taught courses in the Entrepreneur Lecture Series at the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics at Indiana University, South Bend.

Watson received the Upward Bound Program Honor, the City of South Bend Drum Major Community Service Award in 2008, and the Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program’s TRiO Achiever Award in 2012. Both of his dealerships have earned multiple awards for customer satisfaction and market leadership in sales. Watson was also named a top 100 dealer by Black Enterprise for twenty three consecutive years, and received the South Bend Rotary Club Distinguished Citizens Award in 2014.

Watson was a member of the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce, the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the Indiana Auto Dealers Association, and became chair of the National Association of Minority Dealers in 2015. He was also the vice president of programs for 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend and a member of the Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee for the Beacon Health System Memorial Hospital, and served as chair of the board of Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana. Watson was also active in the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club, and Jack and Jill of America.

Watson has four children.

Perry Watson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/11/2017

Last Name

Watson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Western Michigan University

Haworth College of Business

First Name

Perry

Birth City, State, Country

Muskegon

HM ID

WAT17

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anguilla

Favorite Quote

You can't get what you don't ask for.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

4/16/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

South Bend

Country

United States

Favorite Food

French fries

Short Description

Automobile sales entrepreneur Perry Watson (1951 - ) was a regional sales manager for the Xerox Corporation and became the third African American in the United States, and the first African American in Indiana, to own a Lexus dealership, Lexus of Mishawaka.

Employment

Lexus of Mishawaka

Brookdale Dodge

Favorite Color

Blue and black