Robert Madison was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1923. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and Harvard, he was the first black man to become a registered architect in Ohio. He opened his firm in Cleveland in 1954 and has worked on major projects locally and worldwide. This 2017 interview was collected as part of a yearlong, community-wide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes' election as mayor of Cleveland.
Madison, Robert (interviewee)
Perry, Dee (interviewer)
Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future
"Robert Madison interview, 02 February 2017" (2017). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 501034.
Transcription sponsored by Bernard Greene, in honor and memory of Leatrice Madison
Dee Perry [00:00:04] I'm here at Tri-C Metro on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, with Robert Madison for the Stokes commemoration project. And that is Robert, R-O-B-E-R-T, Madison, M-A-D-I-S-O-N. And Mr. Madison, you were born in Cleveland, I understand, but during your early years your family moved around different parts of the country as your father looked for work. So I wanted to start by having you talk about what the obstacles were to his finding the kind of work that he desired.
Robert Madison [00:00:40] Thank you very much. I'm delighted to be here incidentally. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, because my maternal grandmother lived here. She was a part of the Great Migration. She came to Cleveland, and when I was due to be born they came to Cleveland and we were here for six months. And then my father, who had graduated from Howard University in actually the first class of Negroes, it was called at that time, to study Engineering, couldn't find a job in Cleveland, and they don't hire colored people. And so he was recruited to come to Selma University in Selma, Alabama, and we moved to Selma, Alabama, where he was a professor of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and he coached the football team. And so I spent my first early years, and I recall very clearly that when I was four years old, I was sitting on the bench of a football game when he was coaching the team there. But it was, it was, it was different. Other people came north to find work. My father had to go south to find work because nobody would hire him as a civil engineer. He was among the first African Americans or Black people to get a degree in civil engineering in this country, at Howard University. So that's why we were here. And during the South, we were there in Selma for four years because my brother Julian was born in 1927 there. And then we moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where he taught at Benedict College, Columbia, South Car– Again, there were no jobs for colored people in Engineering, so we stayed there at Columbia, South Carolina, for a while and then he got... He always wanted to be an engineer. That was what he was trained for. Teaching was fine, but becoming an engineer was what his desire was. And so he applied for an opening at the then-called War Department of the federal government. It is now called the Defense, but it was called the War Department then, and they were looking for engineers. And so he was employed, got a job doing engineering work in the War Department of the federal government, and we were there until the Great Depression, and the last to be hired was the first to be fired. That's why we were... And we stayed in Washington, D.C., until 1937.
Dee Perry [00:03:33] And what brought you back to Cleveland? Was it...
Robert Madison [00:03:36] Well, interesting enough, I, we had a... Well, the first two years in Washington, D.C., were wonderful. My father was happy. He was an engineer doing engineering work in the War Department. But when the Depression came and he was let go, he had a difficult time. He was driving a cab. He was too educated for the jobs that were there and the job for which he was educated they didn't hire him. So he unfortunately had to work as a caddy at a golf course, and he did some driving taxi cabs and running and running an elevator up and down. But the thing about Washington was that it was the segregated South, and I was a student and I [was] ready to go into high school. I wanted to study architecture. And in Washington, D.C., at that time there were three high schools: Dunbar, Cardozo, and Armstrong, and all co– what did we call ourselves then? Colored people? Should I refer to it as colored or B[lack]? But all colored students had to go to either one of those schools. Cardozo, if you wanted to study business like typing, thy were for girls. Dunbar was for the elite and you were gonna go to college. And Armstrong was where they called it a trades. That was where they were supposed to have me go, to Armstrong. Well they were not college preparing you at Armstrong. So my mother and father said, No, that's not going to be because this thing isn't going to work. We got to go back to the place where he can study architecture in high school. Therefore, they moved back to Cleveland after some 14 years, for me primarily to go to East Technical High School to study architecture. That's what wound us back in Cleveland in that sort of circle.
Dee Perry [00:05:38] And when you came back, at that point you were a teenager, did you see... What did you see in the city around you that that told you how, well, at that time, Negroes, colored people, were held in regard in this city?
Robert Madison [00:06:01] Well, I can truthfully say that since my early years, I was taught what segregation was all about. I knew what to expect, what not to expect. I remember an occasion when I was going at the wrong water fountain in a department store in Selma and my parents were screaming, Don't don't, don't don't, because I was headed for what I thought was a water fountain. It was, but it was a... It was a white water fountain, and you're not supposed to drink there. So I knew what to expect. I expected segregation, discrimination, all of that. And seriously, the difference between Selma, Alabama and Cleveland, Ohio, at that time was very small. It was de jure segregation in the South, where it['s] by law. In the North, it was de facto, by fact. So I was totally aware of limitations for Black people, colored people. [laughs] I'm sorry, I will refer to colored people for a while. And coming back to to Cleveland, I was fortunate to get into East Technical High School because East Tech was very selective at that time. They... You had to pass an examination to get into the school and you had to... It was a terrific school. It was a terrific school. We studied Latin. We studied Architecture. We studied French and Geometry, the entire gamut of things, and you had to be very good to maintain. It was an all boys too. There was no foolishness, no girls. That was East Tech on 55th Street, just south of Quincy. But it was a tremendous school. And not only that, we had a great football team and a great basketball team. Jesse Owens went there as well as Dave Al– Jeff Albritton... What's his... Albritton. [David Albritton] They were both Olympic medalists. But living in Cleveland at that time, we all lived in the East Central area. It was no, no doubt where you had to live. And my father then got a job in the, in what was called the Street Department of the City of Cleveland. In other words, he was in charge of the maintenance of all streets. Now he was a civil engineer, but at least it was job. It meant that during the wintertime his job was moving the snow from all the streets, and he was superintendent of that. And the summertime it was maintaining the streets with asphalt and paving, etc. So he had a job doing pretty well, but we were restricted to living in 59th Street, 55th Street, etc., etc. That's where... And when I was going to East Tech, I could walk to school because East Tech was at 55th Street, and we lived one time at 59th and Central, other time at 40th and Cedar. So that was the area. But I never got 150 [laughs]. We didn't have a car. We rode the bus or we walked. So it was not any doubt. Our St. John's [A.M.E.] Church was right there and the school was there and everything was there. On the corner of... I never get this... On the corner of 55th and Central was a hotel [the Majestic Hotel]. See, I can't remember name of that hotel, but that was the center of activity of the area, and we had theaters there. It was... It was life. Playgrounds, schools, theater, the doctors, pharmacsts, all this, only operated by Black people during that era. So that was Cleveland. That was rather unique. But we knew that the bounds of how far you could go were, were quite clear. So we didn't bother there, but that's what I did when I went to high school here in Cleveland.
Dee Perry [00:10:14] And it was the same general neighborhood where Carl and Louis Stokes grew up. I'm wondering if your paths crossed as young men, as teenagers?
Robert Madison [00:10:26] Well, actually, mine did not, as teenagers, but my brothers' did because I had three brothers, Julian, Stanley, and Bernard. I'm the oldest. I'm older than the Stokeses. I'm three years older than Lou, and he was older than Carl. But my brothers grew up with them, and we knew—we lived in the projects at them time. When I was there, they hadn't worked the projects. [laughs] See, I'm rather up there in years, Dee. But the projects had not been built when I moved back to Cleveland. But as they were built and families began to move there because this was the only new construction of housing that Black people could move into. And so my father had a job, but he wasn't over the limit for income. So they moved into that area. I was gone at that time. But that was where they met Carl and Lou, my... Julian and Stanley did. I didn't... I didn't meet them till I came back, but they lived in the same neighborhood that we lived in.
Dee Perry [00:11:29] And where you went from high school was to Howard. And you went specifically to study Architecture?
Robert Madison [00:11:41] Yeah, I was going to be an architect. My mother had decreed that. [laughs] That's a long story, but...
Dee Perry [00:11:51] I want to ask you about that, actually, because it sounds like one of those, those apocryphal stories but...
Robert Madison [00:11:59] My mother was... I had some great parents, really. My mother was a... She also had a college degree from Morehouse, from Morris Brown, in Drama. But she, and she was very religious, but she was quite, quite a force behind my father. And when he had graduated with a degree in engineering and couldn't get a job anywhere, my mother was one of those who said, Okay, look, one of these days we're going to have our own firm and never, ever have to ask anybody for a job again. So when I was... Came home from, I think it was the first grade, I was six years old and I had this drawing I had made in elementary school, in the school there, and my mother looked at the drawing and she said, Okay, son, you're going to be an architect. And I said, Yes, Mother. I had not the slightest idea what an architect was or what he could do, how you even you spell it. But she said that and I said, Okay, that's what it's gonna be, and incidentally, every son that came along, she said to Julian—my father was an en[gineer]—she said, Julian, you're gonna be an engineer. Stanley, the third son, was supposed to be a preacher to pray for all this, but he turned out to be a medical doctor later. But the youngest son, Bernard, she said, You're going to be an architect. So she had Bernard and Robert were architects, Julian and my father were engineers. And she said, we'll have our own firm one day. That was my mother back when I was six years old, and it happened. It happened that way. We believed Mother, and she said, we're gonna do it, and so we did. So when it was time for me to go to... That's why we were in Washington, D.C., and at the time you go to high school they didn't teach you Architecture in their high [school], at least not for colored people. So we came back to Cleveland so I could go to East Tech and become an architect, to study Architecture, which I did. Then I went to Howard, on a scholarship to study at Howard University School of Architecture, which incidentally was where my father had graduated from some years earlier, from an Engineering school. That, it's... That's the story.
Dee Perry [00:14:19] And you were on that track. But then World War II happened. Did you enlist or were you drafted?
Robert Madison [00:14:30] Well, I was in what was called ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corps, and that was by choice. Selection. But it was to study Military Science and Reserve Officer Training, and it happens that my father had also studied it when he was a student. So I'm following somewhat in my father's footsteps. I not only went to the School of Engineering and Architecture, I was architecture, he was an engineer, but went into ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corps. And so it was not a question of whether or not we were volunteered for the Army or recruited or whatever that was. But we were by choice in ROTC and decided that when the time came, we would have to go away to war. So that was, that was very strange, but we were there. I started ROTC in 1940, and the war came along in 1941, and there was no doubt then. The only question was whether or not we could stay at Howard University to complete the four years of ROTC, or would be selected sooner. So that was what we got there.
Dee Perry [00:15:48] What was your experience in the military, still segregated by law at that time?
Robert Madison [00:15:58] Well, that was, that was really... I guess that's where living began for me, where I really began to like... Because up until that time I was pretty sheltered. I was in schools. But when when the war broke out and we were... I didn't come home that summer. We stayed in ROTC the whole summer around because we were, in effect, quasi soldiers. We're not quite signed up, but we were in the Army and the place where we would be soldiers. So I continued my ROTC training and we knew that we would be going away to war. We didn't know what it all meant, but we were prepared. At Howard University it was, you know, we were all Black, except for the commanding officers who taught us who were white. But our fellow men were all like us. But once we left and went to basic training. I went to basic training at a place called Camp Croft, which was in South Carolina, and from there to Fort Benning, Georgia, for ROTC, which was the Officer Training Corps at Fort Benning, Georgia, which is near Columbus. And that was really the really beginning of an understanding of what this world was all about. Here we are in the Army, but we had to sit around in varying camps, including coming back to Howard University intact, awaiting the opening at Fort Benning, Georgia, to receive us as a group, not as individually. So 25 colored boys who were ROTC cadets went into Fort Benning, Georgia, at the same time to occupy the same barracks so we didn't have any interference or any involvement with the other white troops that was there. What was it like? It was like we knew that this was, this is the way it was in America at that time. Segregation was the law of the land and the... We were we were trained as a group of ROTC cadets. We went out to maneuvers in the same group. So it was it was... That was the way it was. Incidentally, the one thing. Well, 17 weeks, we were called. It's everybody. Seventeen weeks. One because they were making officers like this to get them ready to go to combat. It happens that I had got sick. One day, I had a tonsil problem and they had to have me leave the course for, to go to the infirmary to get treated. Well, when I left, I left the sequence of training that I was to get in 17 weeks. So when I came back a week later, I was assigned to white barracks because that was the only room left and I had one more week to complete. So that the group that I was with, they graduated and I was a week behind them. And while I was in this barrack, I learned the real facts of life. The other soldiers didn't speak to me for... at all. And in order to go into Columbus, the city of Columbus, Georgia, for a weekend you could only ride in a vehicle that was going that way that had colored people. There was no getting into a vehicle with other soldiers, so they had trucks going in. And if the truck wasn't all Black, you couldn't go, or you'd walk. So I went once, and that was enough. I didn't... I didn't want to do that anymore, so I just spent the time., 'cause I only had four more weeks to go, but I spent that four weeks mostly by myself, because my colleagues had gone on and these other people had nothing, no contact with me. It was, it was, it was what we expected. I mean, it was... And you got used to it and you said, Well, this is, this is life, right? I don't recall any objection to it in any way because it was fruitless to try to object. This is the way it was. This is life. We got accustomed to it and adjusted to it and lived life pretty happily without any involvement with the other race of people. It was... I look back upon it now. I don't know whether it was a good training for me or whether it was... It was coincidental. That was what happened. That was the way it was.
Dee Perry [00:21:17] Well. It seems like it prepares you for what would come after the war. I want to skip ahead to you finishing your service and coming back to Cleveland to pick up your studies in Architecture. First, I wanted to... I'm curious why you didn't choose to go back to Howard, why Western Reserve University was your choice.
Robert Madison [00:21:45] [Laughs] Okay, well, let's finish this war thing, if you don't mind, for a minute now because I went to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, after I graduated from Officer Candidate School to join the 92nd Infantry Division. They were training all the Black soldiers out there. I'll use the word Black. It's a little bit more comfortable for me right now. And 92nd Division and 93rd Division was there, 92nd all Black. And Fort Huachuca was about 30 miles from Nogales, Mexico, which was the Mexican border. And why were we in Fort Huachuca? And it was because no state in the Union wanted to accept the fact that there would be a camp there for 25,000 Black men with guns and ammunition. But it's as far away as we could, and you couldn't get to Fort Huachuca [laughs] unless you had a mule train or something. But so while there we were totally segregated unit. And unfortunately, the biggest problem we had, though, was on maneuvers—we went in maneuvers in the hills—there were some incidents there where if these townspeople saw these Black troops out there they either tried to make terrible comments about them... But the most unfortunate thing was when it was time for us to go to war, we had to leave Fort Huachuca by train, and we were on the train from Fort Huachuca to Hampton Roads, Virginia. But the point was that we couldn't stop. The train did not stop for us to relieve ourselves unless it was out in the countryside. And when we did get off the train, it was unfortunate. This is the South now. The people made disparaging remarks about who we were, and our attitude was, okay, we're going to fight this war. We're gonna fight. We're gonna go. When we come back, we're going to expect to have a better life. [laughs] And one thing which happened when we were going overseas, we heard that the white troops had made comments that the Black soldiers are coming and they're monkeys. They all had tails, they were told. Well, some of the ladies evidently found out whether they had tails or not. Say no more about that. [laughs] But when we went into the line at Pisa, just north of Pisa across the Arno River and liberated the town of Lucca, [the] whole city. And I can say that when we marched through the streets of Lucca and these people came out cheering—we were liberating them—we then realized that what's back here in America? But over here, these people appreciate us. And we were appreciated because we were liberating them, and they didn't care whether we were purple. We were soldiers, and we fought a good fight. There was... The commanding officers were not, you know, all the officers were white above the rank of Second Lieutenant—I was Second Lieutenant—because all the Captains and Majors were white, which was... That was the way it was in the Army. They didn't want senior officers to be Black. But we fought and we were wounded. We lost a lot of battle. We lost a lot of our soldiers. And on December the 26th of 1944, I was an officer, I was on my way to Gallicano and Montecatino... Not Montecatino but Sommocolonia up in the hills north of the Serchio Valley and I was wounded, hit by German 88 shell. Saw me on the road and fired and I was thrown out of the J[eep]. I was lucky because I was thrown out of the Jeep, and some soldiers saw me and took me back to battalion headquarters and [inaudible] station, and I was recovered. He took the shrapnel out of my abdomen and I recovered, but getting back, you asked what happened when I got back to Cleveland. So I was in Italy for about a year after because you had to go back... We were supposed to go to Japan. The war in Italy fought in Europe ended in in April of 1945, and we were on our way supposed to be waiting for a troop ship to take us to Japan to finish the fighting there when it was over. So we had to stay in Italy until they could routinely move us back. I remember once that General George Patton—who really was my hero, he was a fighter—made some comment about he was gonna march to Moscow [laughs] and we were going to go with him. That was George Patton. But it didn't happen, so I came back. I came back to Cleveland, where my folks were living here then, and that's when we lived in the projects. When I met them and met... That was when Carl Stokes was there, but I had three brothers. Two of them were in Howard University. And it was quite a burden to have to pay tuition for those. My parents tried to do the best they could. We all had scholarships, so I had the GI Bill of Rights and I said, Wait a minute, I don't have to go to Howard. I don't need a scholarship. I can go anywhere I want to go. I wanted to go to Western Reserve University. It's right here in town. That what was the decision to go to Western Reserve because I could afford it and I didn't have to look for a scholarship. And Western Reserve was right here. Why not go there? That's what happened.
Dee Perry [00:28:13] And I want to have you describe what happened when you...
Robert Madison [00:28:20] Well, that was another eye-opener. It said yes. So I was discharged, honorably discharged, in June of 1946, and I called for an appointment with the Dean of the School of Architecture in late June of that year because I wanted to enter the school in September. And he told me yes it would be fine. I could come on up to the school and, you know, fill out all the papers and get involved in the school. So I went up to the School of Architecture, looking, you know, like I usually do. And he took one look at me and he, oh, he made a big mistake. He made it very clear. He said, I'm sorry, sir, but you can't enter this school. I'll never forget these words—ever— as long as I live. He says, We don't... We have never had a colored boy enter this School of Architecture. I doubt that we ever will. Plus, you'll be taking the place of a boy, a white fellow who could benefit from all this, and you are, you just can't do it. We don't do this sort of thing. This is not going to happen. I'm sorry, sir. Goodbye. So I was terribly disappointed. I'd made a telephone call or meeting, but when he saw me, he just said, Oh no, it's not going to happen. So I came home and I got very upset and I decided this was not going to work this way. So I'm going to go back, and I got on the telephone and called the Dean of Admissions, not the Dean of Architecture, the Dean of Admissions, and I said I wanted to meet with him. Told him I wanted to join the School of Architecture. So he said, Fine. Come on up. So I put on my military uniform, [laughs] all my medals, my Purple Heart, everything. And I had some drawings that I had made at Howard University with me too. So I went up there and I saw, I met with the Dean of Admissions and we talked for about an hour. He had two professors of Architecture School there come down and look at my work, says it's work as good as we got here. And so they decided that... See, they weren't sure the Howard University was as good as Western Reserve, and they weren't sure that my, any courses I transferred from Howard were competitive with that down here at Reserve. So they just weren't sure of that. So they said, Okay, well, you've got to take an examination. Every Saturday from middle of June through July, every Saturday, I was up at eight o'clock in the morning to take an examination on anything they could ask me about. I didn't know what it was gonna be. One day it was French, [laughs] one day it was English, one day was Geometry... Anyway, every Saturday, so I finished, and in September I got a telephone call the day before classes were to begin saying I'd been admitted to the school. That's how I happened to get into Western Reserve University. But they did... The Dean really didn't want me there and he made every effort to... He gave me the courses that were supposed to flunk me out: Physics and French. Most students have problems with French and Physics. And you had a class there of 300 students, you know, in the arena type. A. And the professor would get to the drawing... to the blackboard. He would start from here and here and here and here, and day in and day out, week in and week out. The weeks had gone by, and so he said homework for tomorrow is this. You're gonna study gravity, whatever it was. I said I'm going to study this. So I went home that night and I really studied the homework. So, just because I wanted to do it. So I got to class the next day, and he went to his usual way and went to the blackboard and started going from here to there. And he said, Mr. Madison, would you come up and finish this? First three weeks had gone by. Nobody had ever been called upon. So I said, Yes, sir. So I went up to the blackboard and I started writing and I went... Because I was ready. And he was so shocked that he never called upon me again, and that's been 40 years. [laughs] But I had the answers for it. Pass! And then I got through the other class because the Dean... You know, I think we learned a lot about how to... See my mother always said, you had to be twice as good as anybody else. And so I was... They had scheduled me to finish in '49. And this is 1946, and I started in 1940. Nine years? I said I can't do this. I got to get through. So I went to the Dean and I guess I learned a lot in Italy about how to use psychology on people. I said, Dean you teach, you're the historian, you teach the history of architecture here and he goes [under his breath], Yeah, yeah, sure. I said, You know, Dean, I've been having a real problem. I'm not sure whether Giovanni Giuseppe designed the Gates of Paradise on the Cathedral of Florence or was it Michelangelo. He looked at me, [laughs] he said you pass. He did not want me in his class asking questions like that. So I passed that. And I went to the Physics, the Mathematic, a Structural Dean and said, Professor, said to him that I wanted to audit his course and would he mind? Oh, of course not. So I got the book. Class had started in September. This is now February. I got the book and I went back and started. It all started September right on through, and I'd come to his class every morning—it started at 8:00—and sleep, you know [laughs] ... Because I was up at night studying. So when it came time to take the final examination, I said, Dean, or Professor, would you mind if I take, you know, I want to be ready for your class in September, would you mind if I took the examination? Oh no, no, no, you can take... I took the examination and passed. Got a B. The students who had been there since September got C's and D's and F's, so I passed that. [laughs] That was how I got my courses to be graduating in 1948, except one other thing happened—you want to hear all this about—which I will never forget. In June, the first semester, the first year I'd finished, the graduating class of 1947 was having a party and they were having this party at the Lakeshore Country Club out there on Lake... in Bratenahl. And everybody was invited because there's so few students in Architecture. They bring them... Everybody, freshmen, sophomores, everybody. So I said I'll go to this meeting. Why not go to the party? So I paid my $25 or whatever it was at that time to go. And I didn't know how to get to Bratenahl. I'd never been there before, but I said, look, I could fight a war in Italy and read the signs which had been turned back, I can certainly find my way to Bratenahl. So I went to this Lakeshore Country Club [in] Bratenahl. And it was a magnificent affair. They had swimming and golf and tennis. Well, I have... I had never seen a golf course [laughs] before in my life, so I got there and nobody was eating and I knew what was going on. So we're supposed to eat at six o'clock. It's 6:15. I got... They want to see you in the manager's office. This is 1946 now... 1947. And so I went to the manager, I knew what to expect. And in the manager's office was a Dean, Professor Brogini[?], the manager, of course, two other members of the club, and two students. And I walked in and they were all sitting over there waiting. And the manager said he wanted me to know that some of his best friends were colored people. You know, Jesse Owens and Joe Louis he admired greatly, and it was nice to see me, but he had... He was sorry to let me know that I couldn't eat there. We don't serve colored people in the country club. I looked at him, I said, You know, paid my dues like everybody else and I was invited to come so I'm ready to eat. He says, Oh no, we can't do that. We can't do it. And he went and got the charter and came and showed me the charter. It said we don't serve colored people here. So you can't eat, sir. It's not my problem. It's your problem. So he said, now we got... We can do one of three things. We can refund your money, or you can eat in the kitchen with the help, or we can bag your lunch and you can take it home. I said no. And then one fellow, Philmore J. Hart, emerged—he was a student—and said, If Bob doesn't eat, I don't eat. I knew him, but I didn't have any idea this was gonna happen. And they had a dilemma. So they had 300 meals in the refrigerator waiting to be served. [laughs] They said this guy says, if he's not going to eat, I don't eat. So they decided to serve me. And I ate dinner at the Lakeshore Country Club that night and I left immediately after, but it was then they had to get rid of me, so they decided that they would graduate me next semester because I couldn't... That was an embarrassment. And so I graduated from Western Reserve University with all the required credits, but they definitely, he won't be an architect anyway. What difference will it make? That's how I graduated from Western Reserve University with a degree in Architecture that I had not earned because they didn't give me all the courses. That's the way it was. But I realized this was not enough, so I got married in the interim period and my wife decided I would study the courses he had not taught me every night after dinner for a year. And then when it was time to take the state board examination, I went. And they said, Oh no, you can't do this. You have to have all the courses. I passed it. And I shook up this whole town because the first time I passed it. Anyway, that's how I got through Reserve and how I got registered to practice architecture. First Black architect registration in the State of Ohio.
Dee Perry [00:40:04] Yeah, and you were, you were first in a lot of different ways throughout your career. But once you, once you passed that hurdle, then there was the hurdle like your father had faced of finding, finding work.
Robert Madison [00:40:20] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you're right. So I had... I was graduated, passed, and he was, and Dean was right. I went to these... Knocked on the offices and made appointments and went to the offices of the architect places. They said well we don't hire colored people. You came from Africa. We don't hire colored people. I said, Okay. So I went from office to office and after about, oh, two weeks, I said, you know, this is not gonna work because I've got to get... I've got t
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