UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with Haskell Ward, March 22, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Introduction / Early Life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: It’s March the 22nd, 2017. We are at the University of Georgia, Griffin Campus … continuing interview session.

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses his childhood and talks about his experience going to school in Griffin, Georgia. He talks about several of the people who had a major impact on his life and talks about his successes in education

Keywords: A&E; A&E Network; A.C. Epps; Arts and Entertainment; Corrine Prothro; Ella Phillips; Ellen Charaker; Harold McNeely; In Search of The Dream; Louise's Cafeteria; Reverend Shropshire; Rotary Club of Griffin; Rotary International

00:18:56 - Segregation in Griffin / Horace Tate

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So anyway, I could go on like that but...

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses his experience at segregated schools and the reluctance of the African American community of Griffin to attend the newly integrated schools. He also talks about a man named Horace Tate, who encouraged him to read.

Keywords: Brown v. Board; Huckleberry Finn; integration; segregation

00:26:20 - Housing in Griffin

Play segment

Partial Transcript: This picture of me, when I was here...

Segment Synopsis: Ward talks about how his family were some of the first people to move into the public housing community now called Fairmont Homes. Ward recalls how this was the first time he had electricity, air conditioning, running water or an indoor bathroom.

Keywords: Solomon Street; affordable housing; public housing

00:30:52 - Values in Griffin

Play segment

Partial Transcript: By that time I had begun to realize...

Segment Synopsis: Ward talks about the values that the Griffin community instilled in him. He further describes the paradox of the South being racially segregated by law but at the same time many close relationships existed between blacks and whites such as the one between his Mother and Harold McNeely.

Keywords: Oakland Cemetery; athletics; nannys; positive reinforcement; sports

00:45:05 - Work in the State Department

Play segment

Partial Transcript: There’s an interesting thing … I was in the State Department …

Segment Synopsis: In this segment Ward discusses his tenure as Africa Adviser to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in the Carter Administration and his work as the first African-American to serve in the Secretary’s office. He talks about the issues he dealt with including his involvement in the independence movements of Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique.

Keywords: Angola; Angolan Civil War; Angolan War of Independence; Cyrus Vance; Ford Foundation; Jimmy Carter; Lagos; Nigeria; Secretary of State; State Department; United States Department of State; freedom fighters

00:49:12 - Civil Rights Activism / Social life in Griffin at the VFW

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And so … The same thing here … we decided to Act.

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses his civil rights activism at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University). He cites the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the death of Emmit Till as galvanizing events for him and for the African-American community in general. He also talks about the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) run by Phillip Head in Griffin.

Keywords: Aretha Franklin; B.B. King; Clark College; Clark-Atlanta University; Diana Washington; Emmit Till; Etta James; James Brown; Montgomery Bus Boycott; Sam Cooke; VFW; Veterans of Foreign Wars

01:00:00 - Economic conditions faced by African-Americans in Griffin

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you mentioned the Heads …

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses the economic conditions faced by African Americans in Griffin before, during and after the civil rights movement. He says that as a student he was encouraged to leave the south if he wanted to be successful. He also discusses his academic achievements, including starting a debate team at Clarke College.

Keywords: Atlanta Life Insurance; Auburn Avenue; Emory; Frank Touchstone; Harvard; Igbo; Louis Ward; Nigeria; Ron Touchstone; Slaton Avenue; Stan Lovett; Yoruba; sewers

01:27:55 - Visits to Africa

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When I went to Africa in 1962 it completely transformed my direction in life.

Segment Synopsis: Ward details his many trips to Africa and the impact his first trip to Kenya had on his life. After visiting Kenya, he went to Ethiopia where he taught for the Peace Corps. Upon returning to the United States, Ward states that he attended UCLA for graduate school.

Keywords: John F. Kennedy; Peace Corps; Selective Service; The Kennedy Airlift; Tom Mboya

01:34:37 - Return to griffin

Play segment

Partial Transcript: We can see that with you now in your life. You've gone all over the world....

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses returning to Griffin to become a judge and his realization of the significant barriers between black and whites post-segregation. He also talks about how he feels like African Americans, including himself, need to dress a certain way in order to be perceived as professionals.

Keywords: New York City; income inequality; justice system; racism

01:52:58 - Important influences on his life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you consider your most valuable achievement?

Segment Synopsis: Ward talks about some of the people who have taught him important lessons throughout his life, including C. Eric Lincoln at Clark College and his wife, Leah.

Keywords: Benjamin Mays; James Hermann Robinson; Martin Luther King; Morehouse College; Operation Crossroads Africa

01:58:20 - African American professionals in Griffin / Politics in Griffin

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Mrs. Jewell has he covered the period he wanted to be covered?

Segment Synopsis: Ward discusses some of the professional jobs that African American people had in Griffin during the Civil Rights Era. He talks about Dr. Blaton, Dr. Atkinson (a dentist) and some of the first black police officers. He also discusses the political atmosphere in Griffin and the reorganization of the municipal government of Griffin-Spalding County.

Keywords: BJ Jackson; Marvin Barrow; Mobile, Alamaba; NAACP; Reese Colbert; city limits; single member districts