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Ruth Campbell

Producer and public relations director Ruth Campbell was born on June 30, 1939 in Benton, Mississippi to Viola Brice and Cleophas Batton. Campbell received her A.A. degree from Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1959, her B.S. degree in language arts from Jackson State College in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1961, and her M.A. degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1970.

Campbell taught English, French, public speaking and literature as a public school teacher before she worked with the Mississippi Research and Development Center as a market analyst. She later entered broadcasting at the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television, where she served as host of the longest running minority-oriented public affairs series in the state. She served as script editor, producer, director, and became the executive producer for all public affairs programming at the network. Then, Campbell was appointed special assistant of scheduling to the Governor of Mississippi, Ray Mabus. Campbell then served for four years as associate director at the Jackson State University School of Lifelong Learning, where she also taught speech and mass communication. She then worked as manager of customer service at Trilogy Communications, Inc. and as public relations director for MetroCenter Mall. In 1999, Campbell became the public information officer for the City of Jackson’s Parks and Recreation. In 2008, Campbell became the deputy director for the Jackson’s Department of Human and Cultural Services.

Campbell has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to her community. She has been the recipient of a Humanitarian Award from the University of Southern Mississippi, Presidential Citation for Alumni of the Year Award, a Distinguished Leadership Award from the Pearl Street AME Church, and a Founders Award from the National Black Programming Consortium, among others.

Campbell chaired the National Black Programming Consortium and also served on the advisory board for Catholic Charities, the advisory council for 21st Century Community Learning Center, and as a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Friends of Public Broadcasting, which is within the Mississippi Educational Television Network.

Ruth Campbell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.101

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

05/24/2017

Last Name

Campbell

Maker Category
Middle Name

Batton

Organizations
Schools

Edmund Burke Elementary School

Felton Elementary School

Phenix High School

Technical High School

Omaha North High School

Kadena High School

First Name

Ruth

HM ID

CAM11

Favorite Season

Fall/winter

Favorite Vacation Destination

Alaska, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Pray, Work, Don't Worry

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/30/1939

Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Favorite Food

Soul food, seafood

Short Description

Producer and public relations director Ruth Campbell (1939 - ) hosted Mississippi’s longest running minority-oriented public affairs series and served as deputy director of the City of Jackson Department of Human and Cultural Services.

Employment

City of Jackson

Metro Center Mall

Trilogy Communications

Jackson State University

The University Center

The Governor's Office

Mississippi Educational TV

Favorite Color

Blue and green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ruth Campbell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her birth mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell talks about the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell recalls being raised by her stepmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell talks about her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell remembers her paternal grandfather, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell remembers her paternal grandfather, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her early years in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell remembers a white childhood friend

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell recalls meeting her birth mother for the first time

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls how her father met her birth mother and stepmother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell describes her impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell remembers staying at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell recalls listening to radio reports about World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell describes her family's apartment in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell recalls attending a concert by Marian Anderson

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell describes her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell talks about her childhood activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls returning to Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell recalls returning to Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ruth Campbell describes her social activities in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell talks about her father's travels to Piney Woods, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell recalls moving to Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell remembers attending Omaha North High School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell talks about her travels to Japan, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell talks about her travels to Japan, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ruth Campbell describes her education on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ruth Campbell recalls her friends on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ruth Campbell talks about race relations on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ruth Campbell recalls accompanying tourists around Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ruth Campbell describes her experiences on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ruth Campbell talks about her social activities on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ruth Campbell recalls her treatment on Okinawa Island, Japan

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ruth Campbell remembers starring in a skit at Kadena High School

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Ruth Campbell remembers staying at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
Ruth Campbell describes her experiences on Okinawa Island, Japan
Transcript
All right, so let's continue to talk about the, the neighborhood. So we started with your best friend and her father, and you were telling a story about playing Monopoly, but something about the safe? About the combi- (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We got in the safe and we got real money. So when they came home that night and it was a Friday night, 'cause Friday night was always fish, we have fish and we were at Aunt Willow's [Willow White (ph.)]. We had hundred dollar bills, fifty dollar bills, we had real money playing Monopoly spread all over the living room floor, and of course they had a stroke. But the o- only other thing I wanna tell you about that, about Aunt Willow and Uncle Ed [Ed White (ph.)] is that because of Uncle Ed when we came south that summer to visit, we stayed at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis [Tennessee] where black people could not stay. And we stayed there because of Un- Ed's connections. Now I don't know what those connections were, okay. But when we got into Memphis and we drove over to the Peabody, we drove around in the back to the alley. We were led in through the kitchen, we were taken to the servant's elevator and we went upstairs to our room and we stayed there. Dinner was brought to us and, and I remember them telling us that we could not go out in the hall. Now Aunt Willow probably could 'cause she was very, very fair and one of her children were fair, but the other one was about my color. But they also had this long lustrous hair, and of course you can tell I didn't (laughter). But anyway and we stayed there. And that morning, they brought us breakfast and we ate, we went back down the service elevator, back through the alley, got in our car and came on south. And in those days you couldn't stay in hotels.$$Did you know the significance of being able to (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Do I know what?$$Did you know the significance of you being able to stay at the Peabody at that time?$$No not then, we were too young. But later I knew (laughter).$Talk to me about Okinawa [Okinawa Island, Japan], about what you--were you able to just go anywhere you wanted to go on the island (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Anywhere we wanted to go we could even ride--I even learned, well actually I spoke pretty good Japanese by the time I left. Now I don't remember any of it because what you don't use you lose. And I probably don't remember anything but (speaks Japanese), I probably can count ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, shichi. You know, some few little things like that. But I had learned enough to even read the buses and you could take the, the Okinawan buses and go from one base to another. Like we--we'd leave Kadena and go to Sukiran [Camp Sukiran, Japan], which was I think at that time, I don't know if it was Marine [U.S. Marine Corps] or [U.S.] Army. And so you could go mostly anywhere. We had one uprising that I remember that we were a part of. We were coming from the teen club and at this point we had moved on Kadena Air Base [Okinawa, Japan], 1407 Stillwell Park, Kadena Air Base. And we were coming from the teens--teen center. And all of a sudden there was this push of people, it was an anti-American riot and they started rocking the car, you know, 'cause we had to stop we couldn't get through. And I heard somebody say, "American baby-sans," and all of a sudden out of this crowd came sailors and Marines and soldiers and [U.S.] Air Force folk, and they surrounded this car and they pushed people back and we had armed guard into the base. And I don't remember now what the uprising was about, but I do remember we were terrified there for a minute. They were telling us to go home, down with Americans and you know this sort of thing. And my--one of my most beautiful memories from Okinawa was being at White Beach, which is really to the northern end, I believe, of the island. And it's up on a, you can go up on a high bluff and you can look down at the sea. And we were up there one day and the [U.S.] 7th Fleet came in and if you wanna feel pride, is to watch a fleet of [U.S.] Navy ships move into an area. I mean it's just, the ships looked white, the water was blue, the day was golden, the sky was azure, it was just, I mean, I don't think I've ever had a more patriotic moment than see those ships coming in. It was like, problems, we're here. And they came in and we got to go on board one of the ships. And you won't--this is incredible, we went on the ship and we got to tour the ship, and the sailors were giving the kids their caps, the girls, their caps. One sailor, American black gave me his cap. I met him again years later, he remembered me, I didn't remember him, at Jackson State University [Jackson, Mississippi].$$That's, that's amazing (laughter). That's amazing (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) It's amazing.