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Anthony Samad

Author, columnist and professor Anthony Asadullah Samad was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from California State University in Los Angeles with his B.A. degree in communications in 1980. Samad went on to receive his M.P.A degree in public finance from the University of Southern California in 1983.

From 1980 until 1984, Samad worked as a branch manager of Beneficial Finance. In 1984, he was hired as the vice president of Founders Savings, and, from 1985 to 1990, he served as president of Liberty Finance Management. Then, in 1991, Samad founded Samad and Associates, a strategic planning and urban affairs firm specializing in the assessment and management of public policy, economic development, urban, social and race issues. In 1996, he was hired by the Los Angeles Community College District, where he currently serves as a professor of political science and African American studies. From 1997 to 2007, he attended Claremont Graduate University, where he received his second M.A. degree in political economy, and then his Ph.D. degree in political science.

Samad has authored five books: Souls for Sale: The Diary of an Ex-Colored Man (2002); 50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality in America (2005); Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom (2007); REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics In 21st Century Popular Culture (2012); and March On, March On Ye Mighty Host: The Comprehensive History of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (1914-2013) (2013). From 2007 until 2011, he served as the publisher of Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles. Samad has also been a syndicated columnist, and an opinion leader, publishing articles in newspapers and websites nationwide.

Samad has membership in the Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities, and has served as a past master of Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation. He has also been involved with the American Political Science Association and the National Association of Black Journalists. Samad was the Los Angeles NAACP branch president from 1988 to 1989, and, since 1999, he has served as the managing director and host of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles, a monthly public affairs forum that discusses critical issues impacting urban communities. He also served as the president and chairman of the board of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Inc. from 2007 to 2009.

Samad has received over 200 awards and citations for his community advocacy work, including elevation to the 33rd and last degree in 1994, the prestigious 2007 Drum Major Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, and 2008’s Member of the Year from the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles.

Anthony Asadullah Samad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.294

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2013

Last Name

Samad

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Asadullah

Schools

Claremont Graduate University

California State University, Los Angeles

University of Southern California

Los Angeles High School

24th Street Elementary School

P.S. 124 Silas B. Dutcher School

John Adams Middle School

First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SAM05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

God Doesn’t Put Any More On You Than You Can Bear

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Journalist and political science professor Anthony Samad (1957 - ) authored numerous political columns and scholarly publications, including '50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality in America.' He also founded the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles.

Employment

Los Angeles Community College District

Samad & Associates

Freelance Journalist

Liberty Finance Management

Founders Savings & Loan

Beneficial Financial Company

California State University, Northridge

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony Samad's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad remembers lessons from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad describes his community in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad describes his earliest childhood memory

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

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Anthony Samad recalls moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Anthony Samad remembers his first impressions of California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers the Watts riots in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad describes the impact of the Watts riots

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad talks about his early admiration of Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad remembers his family's involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad talks about his love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about his middle school gym teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad talks about his favorite athletes

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad talks about his high school basketball career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad remembers Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad talks about his early awareness of black politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad remembers his college recruitment offers

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad recalls the development of his political consciousness, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad recalls the development of his political consciousness, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad talks about the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad remembers joining the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad recalls his decision to study broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Anthony Samad talks about the changes in black identity during the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Anthony Samad recalls his mentors at California State University, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers earning a master's degree in public administration

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls founding the Liberty Finance Management Group

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad recalls his introduction to the Nation of Islam

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about police violence against African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad recalls his election as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad describes his challenges as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad describes his challenges as president of the NAACP Los Angeles Branch, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about a personal scandal, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad talks about a personal scandal, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad recalls the start of his career as a newspaper columnist

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls his conversion to Islam and return to Los Angeles

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes the work of Samad and Associates

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad remembers his consulting clients

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad remembers the riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad describes the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad remembers the O.J. Simpson trial, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad remembers the O.J. Simpson trial, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad remembers becoming a political science professor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad recalls founding the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad remembers the speakers at the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad talks about the structure of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad reflects upon the importance of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad remembers earning his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad describes the social regression that followed the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad talks about his book, 'Saving the Race, Daily Affirmations for Young Black Males'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Anthony Samad describes his recent publications

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Anthony Samad talks about the history of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Anthony Samad talks about the history of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Anthony Samad describes his current book projects

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Anthony Samad reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Anthony Samad describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Anthony Samad talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Anthony Samad reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Anthony Samad describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Anthony Samad talks about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anthony Samad talks about police violence against African Americans
Transcript
Let me go back a little bit to the assassinations of Malcolm X and Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.].$$ Okay.$$And I have a note here that both of those assassinations affected you when you were young. So, well tell us about--what did you know about Malcolm X when you were growing up?$$ I had heard of Malcolm X, but I have no recollection of hearing about his assassination at the time that it happened. I remember talking about it and hearing about it maybe a year or two later as the pro black radical movement began to take hold in Los Angeles [California] and the Panther [Black Panther Party] movement became significant in Los Angeles. Then I would hear references to Malcolm X and they killed Malcolm that kind of thing. However, the two most significant generational effects of my life happened November 22nd, 1963, and April 4th, 1968. I remember both of those days like they happened yesterday. It was like the world stopped. I remember them letting out school. I was still in New York [New York] when President Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] was killed. I remember the principal coming over the loud speaker and saying, telling the teachers that school is being dismissed, that the children's parents will pick them up outside [of P.S. 124, Silas B. Dutcher School, Brooklyn, New York]. I remember going outside and seeing our parents lined up on the curb and mothers crying and that kind of thing and then the teachers whispering to one another and then the teachers started crying. And then when I got home, that's when my mother [Margaret Davis] told me that the president had been killed. On the day that Martin Luther King was killed, I remember a very, very loud reaction. It was like the whole community came out on their lawns. Everybody ran out of their house screaming, "They killed him." At that point, we lived on Hobart [Boulevard], and it was like the neighborhood mourned together and it was something that I had never experienced, not even with the Kennedy death. I'd been blessed in my family not to have a lot of death. The first death that I was exposed to was the passing of my grandfather on my father's side [John Essex, Jr.], and he died around 1965, '66 [1966], and it, it was, you know, he seemed old so it seemed like just a natural course of life, but you know to see someone in the prime of their lives cut down as Kennedy and King were that brought a different social reality to me that people who do good assume some risks and those risks include death. And this is where you begin now to have conversations with your peers. Generally anytime death is mentioned in your family, it's usually by an older person trying to sit down and console or explain that grandma went to heaven, grandpa went to heaven, that kind of thing. But, to be indoctrinated to political assassinations, you know, I was twelve years old, thirteen years old when King was killed. So before you have reached pub- puberty, you have this political reality as a child that in America death can come upon you for speaking truth to power or for trying to do the right thing or just for being African American in some parts of the country was a sobering reality. It was one that really kind of shaped my worldview.$How were the first few years of Liberty Finance Management [Liberty Finance Management Group, Los Angeles, California]? How--?$$ It was, it was actually good. It allowed me to sustain myself. I will say that I probably never really gave it my full attention because it was at that time I also took a position, an officer's position, in the Los Angeles NAACP [NAACP Los Angeles Branch, Los Angeles, California] in 1986. So, it allowed me to take care of my family and while I pursued my community activism. That was the beginning of my real community activism.$$Okay, now what was the Los Angeles NAACP like when you joined? Who was in it and what were the issues?$$ I became a part of a new wave of leaders. The branch had pretty much died. I mean they had very, very few members, and there was a gentleman by the name of John McDonald who was responsible for revitalizing the NAACP. And the revitalization of the NAACP was phenomenal 'cause he brought a lot of young people including myself to the branch, and he grew the branch from nearly eight hundred members to almost fifteen thousand members. John McDonald passed away in December of 1986 [sic. 1985] at the age of thirty-five. He died of a heart attack at Christmastime.$$This is in 19--?$$ Eighty-six [1986].$$Eighty-six [1986], okay so this is shortly after he brought you in.$$ Yeah, after he pulled me in. So, all of us basically took an oath to stay engaged and try to, you know, keep John's dream alive. And this was also the period of time in which you began to see a significant shift in Los Angeles [California] in terms of the way police were treating people. Police abuse and misconduct was on the rise. We had a police chief by the name of Daryl Gates who essentially took a paramilitary stand against the black community. You know he created this thing called the battering ram. You began to see the vestiges of the cocaine and the crack movement began to come into the African American community and so, and then you began to see the rise of the black gang movement in the black community.$$Now this is, this is an era when out on the East Coast crack cocaine was coming into Washington, D.C., you know some of the East Coast cities. It hadn't reached Chicago [Illinois] yet, but was it doing the same thing on the West Coast?$$ Yeah, it was just beginning to creep in. It, it probably took five years to take hold, so by the early '90s [1990s] it was here, but you, you could see the vestiges of it in '86 [1986], '87 [1987], '88 [1988] and so you began to see LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] take a more aggressive position. So, as vice president of the NAACP, I took on major issues with respect to economic discrimination and police abuse.$$Okay, LAPD has a long history of antagonism--$$ Oh yeah.$$--with people of color in Los Angeles.$$ Oh going back to the 1920s you know.$$Right.$$ In almost every riot whether it was the black community or Latino community, because remember the zoot suit riots occurred in the 1930s [sic. 1943], and I think that you know even though the Watts riots of '65 [1965] were oftentimes seen as the flashpoint of police misconduct, there had been many, many riots in Los Angeles and when I say many riots you know small conflicts with the police that didn't blow up into full scale riots.$$Yeah, not the, you know--$$ Earlier than 1965, way earlier.$$There's the photo of Malcolm X with a picture of a brother that was shot.$$ Well when the, the, when the police attacked the mosque [Mosque No. 27; Temple No. 27, Los Angeles, California] in 1962 and then of course they attacked the Panthers [Black Panther Party] in 1970 on, on 41st [Street] and Central [Avenue]. They shot out the, the Panther office, you know so, you know they, they have been very aggressive. In the 1980s, they, they had become paramilitary, you know, because Daryl Gates is the police chief responsible for creating SWAT [Special Weapons and Tactics], you know which is, you know the marksmen teams that you know take out snipers and those kinds of things, but that whole set up was perfected on the black community; you know it was perfected on the black community.