Viewing page 18 of 258
It looks like you're using a mobile device. We recommend using a physical keyboard for transcription entry.
BLACKS ON THE [[see next page]] First black woman member of a President's Cabinet, [[see next page]] [[image - black & white photograph of Patricia Roberts Harris] [[caption]]Patricia Roberts Harris, 52, is Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of the largest and most complex departments of goverment. HUD's annual budget is nearly $9 billion, and there are 16,000 employes in capital and 10 regional.[[/caption]] "LOOK at 'em up there! Don't they look good?" is what Mrs. Lillian Gant said out loud as she stood on the sidelines and watched Patricia Harris and Andrew Young take their seats nears President Carter for the Inaugural Parade. And then, out loud again, she said, "But they better do more than look good: they better do what they supposed to do for us." She laughed a little, but you could tell that Mrs. Gant meant what she said. She is a black woman who has lived in Washington "going on 40 years, ever since I came up here from South Carolina during the Depression." and she voted for Carter, she said, "cause he looked right, talked right, and said he's put some of us in those good jobs at the White House." And so it was not merely pride that Mrs. Gant felt as she watched Mrs. Harris and Young "up there" behind the bullet-proof glass of President Carter's special box, it was also a certain hope and faith, and a belief, she said, that "they just can't hold black folks down but so long." Mrs. Harris and Young and the other blacks in the Administration would have to share Mrs. Gant's belief. Perhaps Mrs. Harris expressed that sharing when, during Senate hearings on her nomination as Secretary of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, she responded to Sen. William Proxmire's question about her "ability to identify with the underprivileged", In measured, angry tones, she said: "Senator, I am one of them! I am a black woman, the daughter of a dining car waiter. I am a black woman who could not buy a house eight years ago in parts of the District of Columbia... If you think I have forgotten that, you are wrong. If my life has had any meaning at all, it is that those who start out as outcasts an wind up being part of the system. Maybe others can forget what it is like to be excluded from the dining rooms in this very building. Senator, but I shall not forget." Mrs. Harris grew up in Mattoon, Ill., taught law at Howard University (she was dean of the law school for a while) and was ambassador to Luxembourg. She now leads the extraordinarily large and complex department that advises the President on all matters relating to housing and urban development, and administers all programs dealing with those two areas. She has 16,000 employes and an annual budget of nearly $9 billion. What will Patricia Roberts Harris do for people like Mrs. Lillian Gant?" "It is my intention... to be a spokesperson for the poor, the ill-housed and the cities," she promises. "I'll work for a decent home and a suitable environment for every American." ON his desk, Andrew Young has a sign that reads, JUST A CHILD OF GOD. Young, a minster of the United Church of Christ needs all the divine guidance he can get as he settles in New York and begins his duties as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He follows Ambassador William Scranton, an urbane, scholarly former governor of Pennsylvania, who followed Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a rough-and-tumble debater celebrated in the media as a diplomat who was "at last talking back at the world." Andrew Jackson Young's style is neither that of Scranton nor Moynihan. Because of his peculiar background-clergyman, top assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and congressman- Young brings to international negotiations a blend of common sense reasoning, civil rights type problem-solving skills, and evangelistic zeal to represent U.S. interests while trying, he says, to "do right by all God's children in the world." It will be an extraordinary balancing act, and Young's closest associates begged his to refuse the job. But Young, a graduate of Howard University and Hartford Theological Seminary, and his family are now ensconced in the elaborate, 11-room suite that the U.S. maintains for its UN ambassador in New York's Waldorf Towers, and he and his 125-member staff have plunged into the myriad problems with which world diplomats wrestle behind the glass facade of the United Nations. Young, who was elected to Congress from Atlanta in 1972, was one of the first politicians [[image - black & white photograph headshot of Clifford L. Alexander Jr.]] [[caption]] CLIFFORD L. ALEXANDER JR. Secretary of the Army [[caption]] [[image - black & white photograph headshot of Benjamin D. Brown]] [[caption]] BENJAMIN D. BROWN Deputy Chairman, Democratic National Committee [[/caption]] [[image - black & white photograph headshot of Wade H. McCree Jr.]] [[caption]] WADE H. McCREE JR. Solicitor General of the United States [[/caption]] 16
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.