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The Honorable Johnny Ford

Political leader Johnny Ford was born on August 23, 1942 in Midway, Alabama to Bertha and Willie Patterson, and was raised by his Aunt Tennessee Ford and Uncle Charlie Benjamin Ford. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School and received his B.A. degree from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1964. Later, Ford received his M.P.A. degree from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama in 1977.

After graduation, Ford moved to New York City and worked for the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, where he served as a recruiter in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn and later became director of all Boy Scout activities in the South Bronx. In 1967, Ford worked as a strategist on the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. After Kennedy’s assassination in 1968, Ford returned to Tuskegee, Alabama and began working as director of the Model Cities Program. From 1970 to 1972, he served as assistant director of the Multi-Racial Corporation and managed Fred Gray’s campaign for the Alabama House of Representatives. During this period, Ford also worked in the Montgomery office of the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure compliance with the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1972, Ford was elected Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama as its first black mayor. That same year, Ford co-founded the Southern Conference of Black Mayors, which later evolved into the National Conference of Black Mayors, incorporated in 1974. Ford later established the World Conference of Mayors, Inc. in 1984, which convened mayors from the U.S., Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Ford was unseated by Ronald D. Williams in the 1996 Tuskegee mayoral election; and, in 1998, he was elected state representative of the 82nd District from Macon County, Alabama. In 2004, Ford resigned from the state legislature and was re-elected as Mayor of Tuskegee. He was later defeated by Omar Neal in the 2008 mayoral election in Tuskegee. In 2012, Ford was then re-elected Mayor of Tuskegee and was sworn into an eighth non-consecutive term as mayor. In 2016, Lawrence Tony Haygood unseated Ford and was elected Mayor of Tuskegee.

Ford served as president of the Alabama League of Municipalities and president of the National Conference of Black Mayors. He was also a member of the Alabama Foreign Trade Commission, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Kappa Alpha Psi, and Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church. Ford was a former chair of the National Unity Alliance and was founding president of the Tuskegee Optimist Club. He also received an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Alabama A&M University in 2004.

Johnny Ford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 25, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/25/2019

Last Name

Ford

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Auburn University

Knoxville College

Washington Public Elementary School

Tuskegee Institute High School

First Name

Johnny

Birth City, State, Country

Midway

HM ID

FOR18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Destin, Florida

Favorite Quote

We Are Together

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

8/23/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Favorite Food

Pecan Pie and Fish

Short Description

Political leader Johnny Ford (1942 - ) served eight non-consecutive terms as mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama between 1972 and 2016. He also co-founded the National Conference of Black Mayors and served as state representative of the 82nd District of Alabama from 1998 to 2004.

Employment

City of Tuskegee

Alabama House of Representatives

Multi Racial Corporation

United States Department of Justice

Model Cities Program

Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America

Fred Gray Campaign for AL House of Representatives

Robert Kennedy Senatorial Campaign

Favorite Color

Red, White, and Blue

The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Political leader Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was born on March 17, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland to Nina Rawlings and Howard Rawlings. After graduating from Western High School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1988, Rawlings-Blake received her B.A. degree in political science from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in 1992, and her J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland in 1995.

In 1990, Rawlings-Blake served on the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee and as a member of the Young Democrats of Maryland. In 1995, Rawlings-Blake was the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council at the age of twenty-five. She was admitted to the Maryland State bar in 1996, and the federal bar the following year. She then served as an administrative law attorney with the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid bureau and later as a staff attorney for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in its Southern District. In 1999, Rawlings-Blake was elected to serve as vice president of the Baltimore City Council; and, in 2007, she was elected president. In 2010, Rawlings-Blake stepped in as Mayor of Baltimore after then-Mayor Sheila Dixon resigned. The following year, Rawlings-Blake was elected Mayor of Baltimore. In 2013, she became secretary of the Democratic National Committee; and, in 2015, she was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In 2016, Rawlings-Blake stepped down as the Mayor of Baltimore and founded SRB & Associates, a government relations firm. In 2017, she became a senior advisor of Dentons, a multi-national law firm.

Rawlings-Blake served as chair of the Baltimore City Board of Estimates and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council Board of Directors. She co-chaired the UniverCity Partnership Initiative and served as a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, the Maryland Municipal League, the Baltimore City Board of Legislative Reference, and the Maryland African American Museum Corporation. Rawlings-Blake also served on the board of trustees for the Walters Art Museum and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, as a delegate for the Democratic Party National Convention and as secretary for the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Rawlings-Blake received the Shirley Chisholm Memorial Trailblazer Award from the National Congress of Black Women, Washington, D.C. Chapter in 2009. In 2010, she received the Fullwood Foundation Award of Excellence and was voted “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record. She was also voted among “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” by The Daily Record in 2007 and 2011. In 2012, she received the National Leadership Award in Public Service from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. The following year, Rawlings-Blake received the ICONS We Love Award from Baltimore Black Pride, was voted among the “50 Women to Watch” by the Baltimore Sun and received the First Citizen Award from the Maryland State Senate.

Rawlings-Blake has one daughter, Sophia.

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 22, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.008

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/22/2019

Last Name

Rawlings-Blake

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Western High School

Oberlin College

University of Maryland School of Law

First Name

Stephanie

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

RAW03

Favorite Season

N/A

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Birth Date

3/17/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Favorite Food

Cheese

Short Description

Political leader Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (1970 - ) served as the forty-ninth Mayor of Baltimore from 2010 to 2016, and was the youngest person ever elected to the Baltimore City Council, where she also served as vice president and president.

Employment

Baltimore City Council

Maryland Legal Aid Bureau

Maryland Office of the Public Defender

City of Baltimore

Dentons

Democratic National Committee

United States Conference of Mayors

SRB and Associates

Favorite Color

Pink

The Honorable Ben Holbert

Journalist and political leader Ben Holbert was born on March 6, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio to Benjamin, Jr. and Mollie Holbert. He graduated from Benedictine High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1977, received his B.A. degree in communications from Kent State University in 1984, and his M.B.A. degree from University of Phoenix in 2012.

Holbert began his professional career in broadcast journalism and served as a reporter and anchor at several media outlets in the Cleveland television market, including WJKW-TV, WKYC TV-NBC, WVIZ-PBS, WUAB-TV-43/WOIO-CBS, and WJMO-1490-AM, from 1985 to 2005. He also worked as vice president and general manager of the Cleveland Television Network from 2001 to 2002, and served as general assignment reporter at WKYC-TV, NBC from 2002 to 2005. He was director of communications at Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, in Decatur, Georgia from 2006 to 2007, and served as interim chief communications officer at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District from 2007 to 2008. He was also a senior partnership specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau from 2009 to 2010. Holbert was an aide and executive assistant to the commission president of Cuyahoga County from 2010 to 2011. He established and served as president at Holbert Enterprises in 2010; and, in 2011, was elected city councilman, later becoming city council president for the Village of Woodmere, Ohio, remaining until 2017. Holbert subsequently worked as the Cleveland chapter parliamentarian for National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 2014, and was a business specialist at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District from 2014 to 2016. He also served as adjunct professor at Cleveland State University in 2016. The following year, he launched a local restaurant called Sides 2 Go BBQ. In 2017, Holbert was the second African American elected mayor of the Village of Woodmere, Ohio.

Holbert has received numerous honors and awards including Kent State University- Outstanding Alumni Award and Community Service Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity-Omega Man of the Year, Village of Woodmere-Council Member Award, and Knights of Peter Claver-Image Award. He was inducted into the Benedictine High School Hall of Distinction. He was also the recipient of four Emmy Awards for journalistic reporting and the Akron (Ohio) Broadcasters Hall of Fame “Personality of the Year”.

Ben Holbert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 24, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.188

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/24/2018

Last Name

Holbert

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Ben

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

HOL23

Favorite Season

Late Summer And Early Fall

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Bahamas

Favorite Quote

Friendship Is Essential To The Soul.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

3/6/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Journalist and political leader Ben Holbert (1959 - ) served as a reporter and anchor in the Greater Cleveland area for twenty-five years before being the second African American elected mayor of the Village of Woodmere, Ohio in 2017.

Favorite Color

Purple

Mario Marcel Salas

Professor and political leader Mario Marcel Salas was born on July 30, 1949 in San Antonio, Texas. He attended Central Catholic High School, and graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in San Antonio in 1968. Salas earned his A.S. degree in applied science-engineering technology, and his A.A. degree in liberal arts from San Antonio College. Later, he received his B.A. degree in English in 1988 from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and his M.Ed. degree in 1999 from Our Lady of the Lake University. He received a second M.A. degree in political science from the University of Texas in 2004.

During the 1970s, Salas was a contributing writer to various activist newspapers and newsletters, including a regular column in The San Antonio Register, The San Antonio Observer, San Antonio Community Journal/Inner City Journal. He was also field secretary at the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chapter in San Antonio, which was the last SNCC-Black Panther Chapter in the Country, and ran for Texas State Representative on the La Raza Unida Ticket in 1972 under a SNCC-Raza Unida Coalition. In 1990, he became an educator for the San Antonio Independent School District, and was a co-founder of the Barbara Jordan Community Center in San Antonio and he also championed the establishment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a Texas state holiday in 1991. Salas was elected to the San Antonio City Council, where he served two full terms from 1997 to 2001 as District 2 Representative. In 2004, he campaigned for the office of County Commissioner. Salas also served as professor of African American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was a candidate in the bid for the Democratic Primary for Texas State Representative, District 120, in San Antonio in 2016. He retired as an assistant professor of political science from the University of Texas.

Salas served as lecturer for the University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Political Science. He also served as vice president of the Judson Independent School District Board of Trustees and chairman of the Tax Increment Finance Board, Zone 11.

Salas was a regular contributor to the San Antonio Observer. He wrote a sequel to Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, titled Frankenstein: The Dawning and the Passing. He has also written several political science textbooks including American and Texas Political History: A Maze of Racialized Thought in America.

Salas has been an advocate for San Antonio's African American community as a founding member of Organizations United for Eastside Development, Black Coalition on Mass Media, and Frontline 2000. He supported the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and opposed the recruitment of Americans as mercenaries in the revolutionary war in Zimbabwe. He is also the president of KROV radio, a black formatted radio station, and he remains a human and civil rights advocate.

Salas and his wife, Edwina Lacy have two adult daughters, Elena Patrice and Angela Christine.

Mario Marcel Salas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 6, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.115

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/6/2018

Last Name

Salas

Organizations
First Name

Mario

Birth City, State, Country

San Antonio

HM ID

SAL04

Favorite Season

My Wedding Anniversary

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Men Make Their Own History, But Not As They Please. They Make It Under Circumstances Transmitted From The Past.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/30/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Professor and political leader Mario Marcel Salas (1949- ) professor of African American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio was also a member of the San Antonio City Council, from 1997 to 2001 as District 2 Representative.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Ivy R. Taylor

Political leader Ivy R. Taylor was born in 1970 in Brooklyn, New York to Patricia Ann Burns Sidberry Jones and Ivory Sidberry. Taylor graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York City in 1988, and received her B.A. degree in American studies from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1992. She then earned her M.R.P. degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998.

In the summer of 1997, Taylor completed an internship with the San Antonio Affordable Housing Association. Upon completing her graduate studies, Taylor served as a municipal community development coordinator for the City of San Antonio Housing and Community Development Department from 1998 to 2004, and also worked with the Neighborhood Action Department. In 2004, she joined Merced Housing Texas, an affordable housing agency, and served on the San Antonio City Planning Commission from 2006 to 2008. Taylor was elected as a city council representative for District 2 in 2009, and was re-elected again in 2011 and 2013. When Julian Castro resigned as Mayor of San Antonio to become the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2014, the San Antonio City Council appointed Taylor as the interim mayor for one year. Upon taking office as mayor in 2014, Taylor worked on the resolving a long-running dispute with the police union, adopting a comprehensive plan for the city and implementing neighborhood revitalization initiatives on San Antonio’s East Side. Upon winning a run-off election, Taylor was elected Mayor of San Antonio, serving a two-year term from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, Taylor joined J.L. Powers & Associates as a consultant and began a doctoral program in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania.

An active member of The Links, Incorporated, Jack and Jill and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Taylor is also currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Huston Tillotson University, an HBCU in Austin, Texas. She received the San Antonio Business Journal's "Forty under Forty" Rising Star Award in 2004.

Taylor and her husband, Rodney, have one daughter, Morgan.

Ivy R. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 4, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.113

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/4/2018

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Ivy

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

TAY19

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/17/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Favorite Food

No, There's too many to love

Short Description

Political leader Ivy R. Taylor (1970 - ) served as on the San Antonio City Council from 2009 to 2014, and then served as Mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2014 to 2017.

Favorite Color

None

The Honorable Lottie Shackelford

Political and civic leader Lottie Shackelford was born on April 30, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Bernice Linzy Holt and Curtis Holt, Sr. Shackelford graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1958, and later earned her B.A. degree in business administration from Philander Smith College in 1979. Shackelford also later served as a senior fellow at the Arkansas Institute of Politics and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 1978, Shackelford was appointed to a vacant position on the board of directors for the City of Arkansas. She was then elected in 1980, and re-elected in 1984 and 1988. In 1987, she became the first woman to serve as Mayor of Little Rock. In 1992, Shackelford worked as the deputy manager of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, and later served as a member of his presidential transition team. In 1993, Clinton appointed Shackelford as a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in Vienna, Austria. In 1994, Shackelford became the executive vice president of Global USA, Incorporated, an international business facilitator. She also co-founded the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Beginning in 1980, Shackelford has served as a delegate to every Democratic National Convention for over thirty years. A longtime member of the Democratic National Committee, Shackelford served as co-chair of the platform committee in 1984, the rules committee in 1988, and on the resolutions committee. She also served as the Democratic National Committee vice chair from 1989 to 2009; and in 2014, she was elected to chair the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Caucus. She also served as secretary, vice chair, and chair of the Arkansas State Democratic Committee, and was elected secretary of the National Association of State Democratic Chairs.

An active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Shackelford received numerous honors and awards from the organization, including the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Trailblazer Award in 1980, the Mary Church Terrell Award in 1998 at the National Convention, and the Delta Legacy Award at the 42nd National Convention. Shackelford was also named one of Esquire Magazine’s forty most influential African Americans in 1984. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2017, she received a Humanitarian Award from the Just Communities of Arkansas. Shackelford served on the board of directors of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation from 1993 to 2012. She also served on the board of directors of Philander Smith College, Chapman Holdings, and eChapman Incorporated.

Shackelford has three children: Russell, Karla, and Karen, and six grandchildren.

Lottie Shackelford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 14, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.046

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/14/2018

Last Name

Shackelford

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Lottie

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

SHA10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wherever My Children Are.

Favorite Quote

Make It A Great Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Arkansas

Birth Date

4/30/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Little Rock

Favorite Food

Grapes And Bananas

Short Description

Political and civic leader Lottie Shackelford (1941 - ) was the first female mayor of Little Rock. She also served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee for twenty years.

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable J.C. Watts

Political leader J.C. Watts was born on November 18, 1957 in Eufaula, Oklahoma to J.C. Watts, Sr. and Helen Watts. Watts originally attended Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Eufaula, but became one of two children to integrate Jefferson Davis Elementary School in 1964. Watts graduated from Eufaula High School in 1976. Watts attended the University of Oklahoma and was starting quarterback for the football team in 1979, and led the team to two Orange Bowls victories and two Big Eight championships. Watts graduated in 1981 with his B.A. degree in journalism.

In 1981, Watts joined the Ottawa Rough Riders, a team in the Canadian Football League. He led the team to the Grey Cup the same year and was named Most Valuable Player. In 1985, Watts joined the Toronto Argonauts, where he played his final season in the CFL. In 1987, Watts became a youth minister at Sunnyvale Baptist Church in Del City, Oklahoma. In the same year, he founded Ironhead Construction and Watts Energy. In 1990, Watts was elected to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. In 1992, he became the commission’s chairman and served until his term ended in 1995. In 1994, Watts was elected to the House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s 4th District. Watts was reelected as representative in 1996, 1998, and 2000. During his tenure in the House of Representatives, he served on the Armed Services Committee, the Banking and Financial Services Committee, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. In 1997, Watts was chosen by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to deliver the Republican Party’s response to President Clinton’s State of the Union address. In 1998, Watts was elected as House Republican Conference Chair. After serving in U.S. Congress, Watts founded J.C. Watts Companies in 2003 and the J.C. & Frankie Watts Foundation in 2005. In 2017, Watts announced the 2018 launch of the Black Television News Channel.

Watts served as director of companies such as Dillards, Inc., CSX Corporation, and ITC Holdings. He also served as the CEO of Feed the Children in 2016. In 2002, Watts published his autobiography, What Color is Conservative?: My Life and My Politics. Watts was also recognized for his athletic ability. In 1992, J.C. Watts was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

J.C. Watts and his wife, Frankie Watts, have five children: Kesha, Trey, Jerrel, Jennifer, and Julia.

J.C. Watts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 1, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.196

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/01/2017

Last Name

Watts

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

J.C.

Birth City, State, Country

Eufaula

HM ID

WAT19

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Florida Panhandle

Favorite Quote

Take the Bitter with the Sweet

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/18/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Cooked & Authentic

Short Description

Political leader J.C. Watts (1957- ) served as a commissioner on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oklahoma’s 4th District from 1995 until 2003.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Dennis Archer

Political leader and lawyer Dennis Archer was born on January 1, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan to Ernest Archer and Frances Carroll. He graduated from Ross Beatty High School in 1959, and enrolled at Wayne State University before transferring to Western Michigan University in 1963, where he received his B.S. degree in education in 1965. In 1966, he enrolled at the University of Michigan but transferred to the Detroit College of Law, where he received his J.D. degree in 1970.

Following his graduation from Western Michigan University, Archer taught special education in Detroit Public Schools from 1965 to 1970. In 1970, Archer began working for the law office of Gragg & Gardener, P.C. He left the firm in 1971 to help found Hall, Stone, Archer & Glenn. In 1983, Archer was named president of the National Bar Association. The following year, he was elected president of the State Bar of Michigan. In 1985, Archer was appointed by Governor James Blanchard to serve as an associate justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. He was elected to an eight-year term but resigned in 1990. In 1994, Archer was elected as Mayor of Detroit. He would go on to win reelection in 1998. During Archer’s tenure as mayor, Detroit experienced a decrease in crime and an increase in economic growth. Following his second term as mayor, Archer became chairman of Dickinson Wright PLLC in 2002. In 2003, he became the first African American president of the American Bar Association. Archer later resumed his private law practice, Dennis W. Archer PLLC, after serving in that capacity.

Archer has won numerous awards and distinctions during his career. In 1998, Engineering News-Record magazine named him Newsmaker of the Year, and honored him with an Award of Excellence. Ebony magazine also named Archer one of its Most Influential Black Americans. Governing Magazine named Archer Public Official of the Year in 2000, and he was also featured on Newsweek Magazine’s list of Twenty-Five Most Dynamic Mayors in America. Archer served as a trustee for Western Michigan University, on the Board of Directors of Compuware Corporation. He founded the Dennis W. Archer Scholarship Fund in 2001.

Dennis and his wife, Trudy DunCombe Archer, have two sons: Dennis W. Archer, Jr. and Vincent DunCombe Archer.

Dennis Archer was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 16, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.183

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/16/2017

Last Name

Archer

Maker Category
Middle Name

W.

Organizations
First Name

Dennis

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

ARC12

Favorite Season

Warm

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sarasota, Florida; Martha's Vineyard; Detroit, Michigan

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/1/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Political leader and lawyer Dennis Archer (1942 - ) was an associate justice on the Michigan Supreme Court from 1985 until 1990. He served as Mayor of Detroit from 1994 until 2002 and became the first African American President of the American Bar Association in 2003.

Favorite Color

Black

The Honorable Ewart Brown

Political leader and physician Dr. Ewart Brown was born May 17, 1946 in Flatts Village, Bermuda to Ewart D.A. Brown and Helene Darrell Brown. He attended the Central School and the Bermuda Technical Institute before attending the Berkeley Institute in 1957. Brown’s parents sent him to Spanish Town, Jamaica for high school, where he attended St. Jago High School. While living in Jamaica, he took an interest in politics, and was exposed to teachings by Norman Manley and Alexander Bustamante, leaders of the Jamaican independence movement. Brown enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1964, where he studied chemistry. At Howard, he worked as a sportswriter for the Washington Post, was elected president of the student council, and was active in football and track and field. In 1966, he represented Bermuda as a sprinter in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. Brown was a leader in the 1968 student occupation of Howard’s administration building, and helped to negotiate an agreement with university trustees. He graduated in 1968 with his B.Sc. degree.

Brown continued his studies at the Howard University School of Medicine, where he graduated with his M.D. degree in 1972. He hoped to practice medicine in Bermuda, but after being denied a license there on account of his political views, he moved to California and earned his M.S. degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles and opened the Vermont Century Medical Clinic in South Central Los Angeles. After finally earning his license in Bermuda in 1988, he founded Bermuda Healthcare Services, campaigned for office and then won election to the Parliament of Bermuda representing the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) in 1993. Brown was promoted to Minister of Transport in 1998 when the PLP became Bermuda’s ruling party, and then became deputy premier in 2003. He defeated Alex Scott in a PLP leadership contest in 2006, and so took office as Premier in October of that year.

In office as premier, Brown’s accomplishments included implementing restrictions on vehicle ownership, advocating for Bermuda’s independence from the United Kingdom, and agreeing to resettle on Bermuda four Uighur Muslims who had been freed after their imprisonment by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. He also continued his medical practice, and founded Brown-Darrell Clinic in 2008 with his wife, Wanda Henton Brown. Brown stepped down as premier in 2010.

Ewart Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

08/20/2017

Last Name

Brown

Organizations
First Name

Ewart

HM ID

BRO65

Favorite Season

Warm

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos

Favorite Quote

I'm making lemonade out of lemons.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/17/1946

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Bermuda

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Political leader and physician Dr. Ewart Brown (1946 - ) founded Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic, and served as the ninth premier of Bermuda from 2006 to 2010.

Favorite Color

Orange

The Honorable Richard Ernest Arrington, Jr.

Political leader Richard Arrington was born on October 19, 1934 in Livingston, Alabama to Richard Arrington, Sr. and Mary Bell Arrington. Arrington graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama in 1951. He went on to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama where he earned his B.S. degree in biology in 1955; his M.S. degree in biology from the University of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan in 1957 and his Ph.D. degree in zoology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma in 1966. Arrington later continued his post-doctoral work in higher education administration at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

After graduating from the University of Detroit, Arrington returned to Miles College as an assistant professor of science from 1957 until 1963. In 1959, he served as a National Science Foundation Fellow in genetics at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and in radiation biology at the Medical College of the State University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Arrington then studied molecular biology at Washington University, St. Louis in 1960. He later returned to Miles College and served as acting dean and director of the summer school program. Arrington was then promoted to chair of the natural sciences department and became the dean of Miles College in 1966. In 1970, Arrington was named executive director of the Alabama Center for Higher Education and served until 1979. In the same year, he was hired as a part-time associate professor of biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In 1971, Arrington was elected to the Birmingham City Council and won re-election in 1975. Arrington ran for mayor of the City of Birmingham and was elected as the first African American mayor in 1979. After twenty years as mayor, Arrington retired in 1999 and worked as a visiting professor of public service at the University of Alabama, Birmingham until his retirement in 2003. In 2008, he published his memoir, There’s Hope for the World.

Arrington has seven children: Anthony, Kenneth, Kevin, Angela, Erica, Matthew and Jennifer.

Richard Arrington was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.094

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/04/2017

Last Name

Arrington

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Miles College

University of Detroit Mercy

University of Oklahoma

University of Michigan

Harvard University

First Name

Richard

Birth City, State, Country

Livingston

HM ID

ARR02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Egypt

Favorite Quote

Some Men See Things As They Are And Ask Why. I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

10/19/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Birmingham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef tips

Short Description

Political leader Richard Arrington (1934 - ) served as dean of Miles College and was the first African American mayor of the city of Birmingham, Alabama.

Employment

Miles College

University of Alabama at Birmingham

City of Birmingham, Alabama

Alabama Center of High Education

Favorite Color

Blue-Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Richard Arrington's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his maternal relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers Robinson Elementary School in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington recalls the Crumbey Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in Fairfield, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his interest in biology

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his transition to a majority-white environment

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers working at the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his fellowship from the National Science Foundation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his graduate education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers registering to vote

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his experiences at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his marriages and children

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers the zoology department at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his study of foreign languages

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington recalls his return to Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his decision to run for the Birmingham City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about his achievements on the Birmingham City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes the support for his first mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers forming his mayoral administration

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington describes the impact of his mayoralty on Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the first generation of black mayors in U.S. cities

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the end of his mayoralty

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Richard Arrington talks about the appointment of Judge U.W. Clemon

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon the political aims of the black community in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Richard Arrington reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Richard Arrington shares a message to future generations

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
The Honorable Richard Arrington describes his decision to run for the Birmingham City Council
The Honorable Richard Arrington remembers his first mayoral campaign
Transcript
While I was there [Alabama Center for Higher Education], around I think 1972, some Miles College [Fairfield, Alabama] students come. They want me to run for office--$$Okay.$$--political office. I had never thought about running in my life, politics, never thought about it. But I got three young men in my office right downtown. They asked me to run for mayor [of Birmingham, Alabama]. I said--1972--said, "No, I can't do that." "Well, if you won't run for mayor, would you run for the city council?" Well, we had one black on the city council that time. We all had to run at large. And we had only had one black, Arthur Shores, who outstanding civil rights attorney, home had been bombed three times here by the Klan [Ku Klux Klan, KKK]. He was the only black. He was courageous, lawyer, very quiet man. And so they--I said, "Well, I might run for the council." I had--really didn't intend to run. And I said to them, "I'll tell you what," just the three young, "I'll tell you what: come back tomorrow and see me; let me think about it." I was really thinking they won't come back. Sure enough, the next day, boom, they're right back in my office again. So I finally said to myself, "Here are these guys are concerned about the city, young black guys. I don't have the nerve to say no to them." I said, "Okay, I'll run for the council." Sure enough, I ran, and to everybody's surprise I won. And then we had to run at large in the city. And, and they had--we didn't have blacks. They had one black out of nine, so I became the second black to sit on Birmingham City Council. And the black community was fairly well excited about it, that we got--now we were getting two blacks out of nine on the council. None of them, particularly young folk, weren't particular excited about me. I didn't have a record in civil rights. In fact, they had always thought Arthur Shores, who I thought was one of the most courageous there was--as I said, his home had been bombed, and he had done all, used to be the--we got a lot of black attorneys now, but it used to be just a handful of them. And--'cause he was quiet at city council meetings, they didn't like him. They wanted him to be militant and raise sand. And so here I am, I get elected, and then I listened to the talk shows, and they, they weren't excited. And they just say, "Well, the white folk got them--this time they got them a, a black with a Ph.D. degree, and he never marched; he never done this; he never done anything." That's what they were, you know, saying. And I was hearing all that. But anyway, I got into politics, and I became sort of the voice for the black community. I raised all of the affirmative action programs, all the--I, I did all of that. And all of a sudden, the black community was politically in love with me (laughter). Here's a guy, you know, they thought this man has never done a thing to win his spurs; he never marched; he never demonstrated; he nev- and now here I am, and all of a sudden, oh, well I (gesture)--$There's some progress, because you just talked about the police brutality and trying to make a difference there. But in 1975--you want to talk to me about Bonita Carter, because that was something that, that happened during that time.$$Yeah, that's what triggered my running for full time as a, as the mayor (cough). I had--during my time on the council [Birmingham City Council], I had, as I said, focused on certain issues of racial discrimination in this city, which was very rampant (cough) not only calling attention to it but introducing bills to bring about affirmative action, doing investigations actually, not just talking about mistreatment of people but getting the details, researching the background on police officers, 'cause there were certain ones who had--after you get in the business, you see right away you're gonna find out--you know, like we had seven hundred officers, and you--we had ten or fifteen of them was all--every time there was a problem they were always involved in it. All you have to do was go and dig in and look at them, and you'd find out they'd beaten somebody up before. The city has paid out money 'cause they did this. Nobody took them on. And I did; I took them on; I took on the police union. And I was able to do it because the black vote was--you know, after the Selma [Alabama] thing and the black vote was growing, and so I was able to do it and had that strong support. We didn't have a majority of, of black--the majority of the votes wasn't black, but we--blacks had about 40 percent of the votes, and they voted solidly. And, and so for eight years on the city council I introduced every affirmative action law. I fought for contracts. I did all of that. I was the voice, which I guess surprised a lot of people 'cause, as I said, you know, I hadn't been--I wasn't militant. I never knocked on the desk and raised the sand. No, I didn't do that kind of thing. So, because I had fought against police brutality and police reform on the council, when one of the worst police officers we had, George Sands, ends up killing a young black woman through a, almost a terrible mistake case--he shoots her in the back several times in a car--and of course, they're rioting and all of that, and my good friend was mayor then, David Vann, and who I thought was the smartest guy I ever met in politics, and the black community insisted he had to fire the police officer, who had, had a terrible record, and now he's killed this girl. And Vann didn't want to do him. He's getting pressure for the police union and in the white community. And what he ends up doing is he's gonna--he just puts the police officer on desk duty, wouldn't fire him. So the black preachers here in the city got very angry with him and start protesting. And they called me to a meeting and decided that it was time to run a black. And they, they, they just told me, "You've got to run," you know, and about fifty of them. I met with them, and they say, "We're gonna have a press conference this week, and oh, we want you to announce you're gonna run. We've been supporting," and that's the story. I announced and a lot of folk were surprised, newspaper and all. And they didn't, really didn't think I was gonna win. The newspaper, Birmingham News [The Birmingham News] carried editorials and said, you know, "One day surely Birmingham [Alabama] shall have one of his black sons or daughters as mayor of this city, but we're at least ten years away from that." And two weeks later I was the mayor (laughter). That's, that's an interesting story, but it's a true story.$$(Laughter) Well--$$And so I was elected. I--we had a--we ran an election and with six or seven people running for mayor, and I got 47 percent of the vote. And it was pretty clear that in a runoff I was likely to win. I mean, the white business community got very busy, hired consultants. They turned out the white vote, bussed the kids in who were off at the different colleges back in here to vote and all that. They turned out 67 percent in the runoff; 67 percent of white vote turned out. But 70 percent--72 percent of the black votes turned out. I won by two thousand votes, largely because of the whites around the University of Alabama [University of Alabama at Birmingham] area worked, worked at the University of Alabama here in Birmingham, they vote- they, they crossed racial lines and voted. And so I--that's how I ended up winning, yeah--$$The, the popular vote--$$--for that.$$--because--$$Yeah.$$--it, it wasn't like you were unknown. People knew who you were.$$Oh, by that time, yeah, I, I--they knew who I was (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) They knew who you were.$$I mean, the black community was, of course, solidly behind me. And some, some--a few whites were, mainly, as I said, those around the university had been attracted--lived in that area, they would cross racial lines in their votes, and they had gotten to know me. And the difference in the race votes, it went almost along--the first mayoral race I was in--along racial lines. The white candidates that was in the runoff got most of the white votes, and the black--I mean we got the blacks. The turnouts were very, very high. But the fact that I was able to pull around two thousand some of the white votes, helped me to get a--to defeat them.