Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jewel Prestage, October 30, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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LEWIS: --Oral History Project, being conducted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 31, 1992 by Shelby Faye Lewis. Jewel, you and I both grew up in the rural South, in different parts of Louisiana. I in Plain Dealing and you being born, at least, in Hutton, Louisiana. Tell us a little bit about what it was like to grow up in Hutton, a town which I understand no longer exists.

PRESTAGE: I was born in Hutton, Louisiana August 12th, 1931. Hutton was not a town. It was a place and it no longer exists. In fact, the last time I saw it on an official map of Louisiana; it was a dot at the end 00:01:00of an unimproved road. I was born into a rather large family, uh, in Hutton, Louisiana. And that is in Vernon Parish near the Texas border. I lived there, in Vernon Parish, for the first eight years of my life and at mid-year when I was in the third grade. We had left Hutton. My first school experience in Hutton was in a church, grades one through seven, with a single teacher and the teacher made an assessment of the level of skills of each of the students in the various subject matter 00:02:00areas. There were students who might be using third grade books for arithmetic and sixth grade books for spelling, or vice versa, so it was a very flexible kind of situation and this was a very, very rural area and, uh, the teachers who came out seemed to have, uh, a certain kind of genius for handling that situation.

LEWIS: Well, that, uh, seems to me to be the open classroom which, uh, is said to be a very, very interesting and progressive move in, uh, in, uh, education. What benefits do you think, um, students enjoyed as a result of being in a one-room, uh, setting, learning with those older 00:03:00and those younger than you?

PRESTAGE: It enabled the student to, uh, experience various levels of teaching in a single setting. I'd like to, uh, report that some ideas about progressive education, uh, were motivating factors. It was simply, uh, the denial of adequate resources to not only rural schools in Louisiana but also to, uh, the Negro schools in that particular day. But it was, uh, indeed, a very interesting kind of classroom where you had students in the first grade with the older students in the seventh grade. It also gave the older students a chance to mentor and serve as 00:04:00caretakers for the younger student. It was like, uh, like a community in a single classroom.

LEWIS: Now, Jewel, I started school in that same kind of setting and, uh, one of the things that happened is that students were moved up, uh, according to their ability and, given the fact that you finished a lot of things at a very early age, I would suspect that, uh, you were, as we said in those days, skipped.

PRESTAGE: Uh, yes. Skipped about and, in some instances, skipped over. In any case, uh, the, uh, total experience in the rural setting I found to be very nurturing, very supportive, especially since, uh, initially there were older, uh, brothers from my family at the same school. This 00:05:00school, however, went only to the seventh grade and by the time I got to the third grade, my older brothers were, uh, commuting and boarding in a nearby, uh, town of Leesville so that they could attend the only high school open to, uh, Negroes in the parish at that time.

LEWIS: Jewel, you talked about your brothers and, um, I'm well aware that your family was a large and very interesting family. Um, would you tell us about your parents and about your siblings?

PRESTAGE: My father was a foreman in what was then the turpentine industry in rural Louisiana. My mother was a housewife. She did not 00:06:00work outside of the home, uh, at all until after I had completed high school and was in college, and then for only a short period of time. But my father had been born in Alabama, as, uh, was my mother and migrated to Louisiana. I have three older brothers, three younger brothers and three younger sisters. I was, then, the oldest girl and, uh, took on all of the traits and responsibilities of the oldest girl in a large family. And, uh, in many ways, until this day, I'm kind of the mother hen. But my older, two of my older brothers, are deceased. One, uh, was, uh, involved in a combination of activities, 00:07:00uh, in St. Louis, including the insurance brokerage industry. He was also a minister and a retired employee, uh, from the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The other deceased brother, uh, spent twenty-plus years in the military and he was a nurse; training which he received in the military. And, uh, my other oldest brother took some work in political science and is now a criminal investigator in California. Of the younger children, one, uh, brother is an educator, a former Assistant Superintendent of Education for the State of Louisiana and my youngest sister has a Ph.D., uh, in educational psychology from Washington 00:08:00University in St. Louis. All three of my sisters are teachers, as am I, and one of my younger brothers is a teacher. Another is a, uh, career employee with United Airlines. My parents are now both deceased.

LEWIS: Jewel, it's quite obvious that education was an important factor in your family. Uh, they all appeared to have had excelled. Did you parents stress the need to obtain an education when you were growing up and, uh, what kinds of supports, psychological, emotional, did they provide for those of you who did go on and what kind of motivation, uh, did you get from growing up in that kind of large family?

PRESTAGE: Both of my parents were very supportive of education. My 00:09:00mother, who did not work outside of the home, was very diligent in terms of supervising homework, encouraging us to read. She always managed, even in rural Louisiana, to have a collection of books. She, uh, finished the eighth grade. She was born in 1900 and that was as far as she could go where she lived in Alabama. She played the piano and was a very, uh, very supportive woman and, uh, I said to someone recently when her grandchild and her great grandchild were National Merit Scholarship holders simultaneously, uh, and also 00:10:00National Achievement Scholarship holders and had received really high honors, that I thought that if I could get the message to her she would come back and, uh, congratulate them and, not only that, but brag a little bit to her neighbors. So, both of my parents were very, very supportive of education and, uh, as a general rule, all of the children in the household, all ten, were very good students. And so there was kind of a legacy of valedictorians, salutatorian, uh, other kinds of honors from this large household of ten Limar children.

LEWIS: But in addition to being very good students, uh, I think there's a lot of evidence to suggest that, uh, the siblings were supportive 00:11:00of each other in assisting the one younger in obtaining an education, in supporting them in many ways and, as you say, you were the sort of mother person, the nurturer. Could you talk a little bit about how you nurtured the younger ones after the death of your mother and how others contributed?

PRESTAGE: When my mother died in St. Louis, Missouri, I was in Iowa City, Iowa where my husband was completing his Ph.D. and that was in 1958 and following her death, my minor sister and minor brother came to live in our household. This was a family decision in which my father 00:12:00capitulated--(laughs)--and they stayed in our household until they completed undergraduate school and each went on to graduate school and, uh, even now, our household is regarded as, as the family home. In his later years, my father lived in our household and that was really a treat, for seven years, uh, before his death. He was in exceptionally good health for most of that time and he was a real gift, uh, in the household for my children, for my students. And so, he got to know a lot of my colleagues in political science and, uh, my husband's colleagues in higher education and, uh, I think that he regarded 00:13:00my students who came in and out as his grandchildren, or something- -(laughs)--I don't know. But it was, uh, we are a very close-knit family, a very supportive family, across generations and, uh, across sibling lines.

LEWIS: I am one who benefited from, um, you father being in the household and understood that there is a Limar wit and humor and, uh, it's, it's found in all of the siblings that I've seen. But you didn't give any indication of how young those two were when they came to live with you, so that we can see what the span, the age span, is between the eldest and the youngest.

PRESTAGE: Well, I think maybe I ought to indicate here that, if all of my parents' children had lived to adulthood, there would have been sixteen children and I believe the first child was born in 1918 and the 00:14:00last in 1943. So, may I just trade a story here with you? Um, the late James Prothro was a frequent visitor to Southern University and to our household. He, uh, would come down to serve as consultant on different kinds of projects and he was in our house on one occasion and my father was discussing the 1964 presidential election. So I said to my father, I said, "Do you realize that you are now analyzing the election for the person who analyzed it for ABC?" He said, my father said, "Oh, I heard that one. I really need to talk with you." (both laugh) That was the 00:15:00kind of interaction that he enjoyed with, uh, all of the individuals who visited. Not only the students and the political scientists but the African ambassadors and all. He had a little bit of advice for all of them.

LEWIS: It might be interesting to just throw this in while we're going on with the interview, Jewel, that students in the department felt that they were fortunate not to have to answer to your father, uh, when they tried to analyze events. And when there were prelims that were held for students, they, uh, were grateful for the fact that the questioner was not Mr. Limar. (laughs) In addition to this very close, diverse, interesting and achieving family, what kinds of community influences, 00:16:00uh, were there which shaped your life in the way of the people in the schools and the churches and the neighborhoods? Who stands out and, uh, what did they do by way of example or by way of support to, uh, motivate you to do some of the things that you did with your life?

PRESTAGE: When we moved to Alexandria, I was moving from a rural area where the thoroughfares were called roads to a small city where they had streets and, in that particular transition in the third grade, there was quite a bit of trauma, much of it heaped upon me by the city 00:17:00slick students in the third grade. In any case, uh, I enrolled at Peabody School, which, uh, was a comprehensive school that went from the first grade through the senior high. In that particular context, I found a dynamic principal who served in that capacity for more than forty years. Excellent, supportive, involved teachers who did not hesitate to advise you in all kinds of ways. In that particular context, several teachers stand out as, uh, having detected in me, 00:18:00they said, some talent and who were determined to see to it that that talent developed to the maximum. Especially, uh, significant was an English teacher and drama coach, debate coach, Mrs. Mariah Emanuel (??) and I think without a doubt, she was the single most important intellectual influence in my life at the pre-collegiate level. In addition, there were persons in the community. Especially important was a neighbor, home economics teacher whose name was Mrs. Lyons who, uh, took an interest in me and who was supportive in every event of any 00:19:00significance in my life since the sixth grade. She was always there in a supportive role. And generally, uh, I lived on, initially on the street that was one block long. It was immediately adjacent to the school campus and I believe from that one block recently a friend and I counted twenty valedictorians and salutatorians. So it was, it was a poor community, working class community, but somehow or the other there was that collection of, uh, families interested in education and a group of, uh, what turned out to be high achieving students. As a result, the high school from which I finished, uh, was made a 00:20:00magnet school and it stands today. It has produced, uh, college and university chancellors, uh, executive directors of higher education, um, agencies, numerous high school principals, physicians, dentists, lawyers. The part of that that was so interesting was that all of this occurred in the 1940s and fifties at a time when Louisiana was the most illiterate state in the union and yet there was this bright spot that nobody could explain called Peabody High School and, uh, students who graduated from Peabody and were drafted into the military did well. Many of them became commissioned officers. Just recently, 00:21:00um, Dr. Lewis, October the second and third, a number of us got together in Alexandria, Louisiana to salute our social studies teacher. She taught social studies from 1937 to 1974 and, uh, we, uh, just in talking thought it would be nice, since we never really did anything to, uh, tell her how much we appreciated what she had done. Those of us especially who had gone on to get doctorates in the social sciences, who have become social science teachers, who have public service careers, uh, had an excellent time there with her reliving some of those days and it was just a warm and, uh, wonderful, wonderful time.


LEWIS: I guess that, uh, we can see a number of influences that, uh, got you through high school and that there was a climate, uh, that was almost a given that, with your ability, the examples, uh, that came before you and the support, that you would go on to college.

PRESTAGE: But there's one other thing that I think I need to say about that high school. There, this period during which I attended elementary and high school was a period of rigid segregation and inequality. The resources made available to quote Negro schools during that time were either severely limited or non-existent. I never 00:23:00experienced a new textbook in all of my pre-collegiate career. All of the books had been used by white schools, were damaged and in short supply. For example, in the literature courses, there were generally two books made available. One for the teacher and one for the student who stood before the class and read. I was the member of the class of 1948 who read Silas Marner aloud to the class. And it was very difficult to, uh, really, uh, manage to read and to interact with the information in the textbooks if you didn't have the textbooks. It was 00:24:00within that context that the teachers convinced us that, in spite of those difficulties, we would have to do well and do better than anyone else. The teacher that I indicated to you was, uh, most influential in my pre-collegiate career, Mrs. Emanuel, used to say to us after, uh, we were required to learn "Invictus" and, uh, she would say, "Now, I know the question that you're gonna ask. Can you truly say that you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul as Negro, uh, youngsters? Yes, you can. You can aspire for the heights of angels 00:25:00because you, too, are created in the image of God." And, after a little bit of that, you know, with no books, inferior facilities, listening to her talk you would find yourself flying around--(laughs)--instead of, you know, being despondent and, uh, and depressed. And I think that, um, there was also the theme that permeated all of that particular experience and that is that what was being done to Negroes in that day was wrong and there was no widespread apology for the system. Every effort was made to protect students at Peabody High School from 00:26:00the effects of that particular system, especially the psychological scarring, and the principal used to say, "Just develop your brains because eventually brains must respect brains." And I remember the school experience not as one in deprivation but as one in esteem building, in, uh, a challenging program of educational development and the teachers were hard. They were harsh. They took no prisoners on academic assignments and that kind of thing. We had a full drama and speech program, a competitive system that involved the high schools 00:27:00in the state, a drama festival at Dillard University that was highly competitive. So, we had football, basketball, track, girls basketball and, uh, we had quite a good reputation and somehow or the other we, uh, managed to think of ourselves as fine human beings within this dehumanizing system of segregation.

LEWIS: Jewel, that system was still in existence a decade later when I was in school and we didn't have the books or either, uh, and, like you, I don't think we missed the books so much because there were problems with the contents of the books and, uh, the teachers were creative and ingenious and they motivated and they demanded. But we missed in the science areas. Having the equipment. Having the labs. 00:28:00Being exposed, uh, to the experience of using and working with them. I, for example, grew up in a, at a high school where in the whole high school there was one microscope. What was it like at Peabody?

PRESTAGE: Well, we were very fortunate, um, in that way and I don't know where the microscopes came from. I don't know where the chemicals came from. But whatever the experiences were that were required in the science books, whether it were chemistry or biology, uh, somehow or the other there were enough in the way of supplies and we were probably a fortunate high school. I think maybe there were four or five microscopes--(laughs)--and the teachers had ways that they would schedule you. Some of the students, during their study hour, some during our study hour. And, uh, recently one of the science 00:29:00teachers from that era, a young teacher whose name was Earl Price, who left Alexandria and went to Detroit, Michigan and taught in the high schools there but he had a degree in science and he was exceptionally good. After he left, all of the science teachers were women and this might have been a function of, uh, World War II and, uh, the, uh, the fact that the men were not around there. One who was particularly good was, uh, Ms. Beverly Bro (??) but, uh, I suppose the fact that Alexandria was a modest size city and, uh, there were probably more old 00:30:00microscopes, uh, that were made available from the white high schools than might have been the case if there had not been a big white high school, uh, in the, in the vicinity. In fact, the, uh, the white high school in Alexandria was one of the largest and most prestigious in the state. And so, maybe their castoffs were a little more numerous and in better supply.

LEWIS: That might be true. I, I think it is a testament to the people at Peabody that they were able to retain a name for the school. In a lot of other places in Louisiana, the white high school was named for the city or the town and the other was, for example, in my school it was Plain Dealing High. That was the white school and it was Plain 00:31:00Dealing Colored High for blacks. Uh, but, but in, in dealing--

PRESTAGE: Shelby, the decision to make Peabody a magnet school was the outgrowth of an effort to close Peabody School and the Louisiana Education Association, the Association of Black Teachers, did some research that revealed the success of the graduates and it was reputed at that time to have produced the largest number of doctorate holders of any school that size in the state of Louisiana. And faced with that particular evidence, the school board made a decision to make it a 00:32:00magnet school. Now, that in itself is a rare--

LEWIS: Yes, quite rare, quite rare.

PRESTAGE: --occurrence. Because that kind of evidence seldom made any, uh, made any difference.

LEWIS: As we, we are well aware that truth and facts, uh, don't get in the way of policy in an era like this. But just one other area, Jewel, before we leave, uh, Alexandria and follow you to undergraduate school. What kinds of political activity were you involved in at an early age that might have shaped your decision to go into political science or, at least, your perspective on politics in Louisiana or in this country?

PRESTAGE: Well, there were always the original essays to be written 00:33:00for the interscholastic competition, which, uh, all of which addressed issues of a social or political nature and so, uh, having participated in these kinds of essay, uh, contests and oratory contests, I was very, very, um, alert, aware of what was wrong. Then in my senior year in high school there was a dialogue established between Louisiana College, which is a local college, and Peabody High School to talk 00:34:00about, uh, the problem of segregation. This is 1947, '48 and we went to that particular dialogue at the community center and we talked about different kinds of things that we could do and, out of that particular dialogue, I got the nickname Patrick Henry--(laughs)--and, uh, they, uh, accused me of being terribly confrontational and that kind of thing. But, uh, we also participated in the war bond drive and the high schools in the city entertained on the main street, on the platform. One day was set aside for the colored high schools and 00:35:00St. James High School, which was a Catholic school, and Peabody High School. And I remember distinctly the awful feeling that I got in the pit of my stomach as we were there entertaining on a segregated basis and M.C. Carter was singing "This is Worth Fighting For" and the other thing is we were raising money and the spectators were basically the white people who were in the downtown area who worked there and everything. And they were watching the show and they weren't contributing anything, you know, in the way of, of, uh, money, for this particular drive and I suppose that was a kind of awakening. Three 00:36:00years later, when the school system made a decision to keep the Negro schools closed for one month so that the Negro students could pick cotton but to open the white schools on time, then I guess that was more than I could take after three years away at Southern University. And the late Colonel George Pitts and I, organized a protest march in the fall of 1951. The first protest march in Rapides Parish, at least since Reconstruction--(laughs)--I think, as its focus, problems of 00:37:00unequal treatment in the schools. And I was determined that something ought to be done and so was George Pitts who was then a freshman student at Southern University and we organized the students and we organized them at my house, which was on, by this time on the main thoroughfare in Alexandria. And I went to my mother and I asked her, uh, about it and she told me if that's what I thought I had to do then I had to do it. And we marched, made placards with signs on it. One sign, and I don't know who did this one, I know I didn't, was "What Color is Cotton?" and, uh, "Let the Hand That Takes the Change Pick the Cotton." And, uh, we marched to the, uh, newspaper, which was the 00:38:00Alexandria Town Talk, to the courthouse and to the school board and do you know what the school board did? The school board opened the school.

LEWIS: Jewel, um, one of the areas that you are noted for is socialization, political socialization, and that's very interesting you have recounted your socialization, uh, in Alexandria and we want to move from there to--

PRESTAGE: I might also just add that in addition to the school and family, the church was a very important institution in my development of any leadership skills or, um, any ability to express my opinions. I belonged to a church that had a very active youth program and that, uh, 00:39:00was as important in whatever I went on to do as being valedictorian of the class was.

LEWIS: Very good. You went to Southern at age sixteen. Uh, I'm interested in why you chose to go to Southern University. Of course, you've already painted a climate in the state and in Alexandria at that time, but why Southern University and, uh, I'm interested in what it was like being sixteen years old, uh, on a university campus?

PRESTAGE: I was sixteen when I graduated from high school. I was seventeen by the time I got to Southern, you know, a real big, uh, jump, you know, in terms of immaturity and the like, if you could claim to be more than sixteen. In any case, I chose Southern University 00:40:00because, first of all, it was one of the two public institutions of higher education in Louisiana open to me. Secondly, I chose Southern University because it provided me a generous scholarship grant. And thirdly because Southern University had a reputation as an excellent university. And I went to Southern University to study chemistry. I had never heard of political science when I went to Southern University.

[Pause in recording.]

LEWIS: Jewel, when you got to Southern University, uh, you indicate 00:41:00that, uh, your major was originally to be chemistry, that you didn't know about political science. Who or what influenced your decision to choose political science as a major?

PRESTAGE: As you might recall, uh, Shelby, at that time one could not declare a major during the freshman year and so, uh, there was a general curriculum to be followed by all freshmen. And it was during the freshman year that I took my first course in American government and I was impressed by, uh, the content of the discipline, by Dr. 00:42:00Higgins and by a group of campus leaders. The president of the student body at the time was, uh, Lucius Barker. And there was John Bridges, Robert James, Leo Galloway; a whole set of campus leaders who were political science majors. And I decided when I arrived to enter campus politics and I ran for secretary of the freshman class in a hotly contested election and I just was so, uh, impressed by the, that part of the American government course that addressed Plessy 00:43:00v. Ferguson, Smith v. Allwright and all of these decisions that, um, were important in determining the status of Negroes as a group and in the optimistic projections made by Dr. Higgins about changes that were, he felt, on the horizon. And, uh, I was just turned on intellectually by these forces.

LEWIS: Jewel, what was the department like? Who was in the department? What were their areas of specialization? Did you have a variety of professors to choose from taking the courses? Just what was it like, uh, around '49, '50, uh, in political science at Southern University?


PRESTAGE: There was a Department of Social Sciences which, uh, contained the disciplines of political science, history, economics, sociology and geography. In addition to, uh, Dr. Higgins, by the time I became a major, my sophomore year, uh, Professor Twiley Barker was there and I believe that I took five courses in political science with Professor Barker. And just as Mrs. Emanuel was my intellectual mentor at the pre-collegiate level, Dr. Barker was at the collegiate level.


LEWIS: We pause now. We're going to use only one side of the tape for this oral history project interview with Jewel Limar Prestage and, at this particular point in time, we're going to take a break. We are going to remove this tape and make some adjustments because the counter on our machine appears to be malfunctioning and we would like to make certain that we're using, uh, the amount of tape--

[Pause in recording.]

LEWIS: This is tape two with an interview with Jewel Limar Prestage for the APSA Oral History Project. Conducted in Baton Rouge, Louisana, 00:46:00on October 31st, 1992 by Shelby Faye Lewis. Dr. Prestage, what were your undergraduate experiences like, extra classroom experiences, like participation in the debate society and your interaction with other students both in the department and in the university at large?

PRESTAGE: Shelby, as you, uh, are perhaps aware, I completed a three, a four year undergraduate curriculum in three years which involved three academic years and two summers. I generally had a course overload and an extracurricular activity overload. I was a class officer in both the 00:47:00freshman and sophomore classes. I joined a campus sorority and I was the parliamentarian for the chapter and, during the last semester of my senior year, I was president of the campus Panhellenic Council. I was a member of the Southern University Debate Team and Dr. Twiley Barker was one of the advisors for that debate team and we traveled throughout Louisiana and Texas engaging in intercollegiate debate competition. In addition, I, uh, was in the Alpha Kappa Nu Honor Society, Beta Kappa Chi Honor Society, was the national assistant secretary for Sigma Rho 00:48:00Sigma Honor Society in the social sciences. I belonged to the French Club. I was also a member of the Riverbend Players and, uh, did, uh, have roles in several productions. And, uh, I was a reporter for the Digest. I was on the staff of the, uh, university yearbook. In fact, by the time I reached my senior year, I don't think that, uh, there was a day in the week when I didn't have some kind of meeting for some kind of organization. In addition, I was fortunate, uh, to have been selected to go to the National Alpha Kappa Nu meeting in Washington, 00:49:00D.C., to have been a delegate to the National, uh, Sigma Rho Sigma Honor Society meeting at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. And, as I indicated earlier, I attended, um, I participated in, on the debate team and we did travel throughout Louisiana and Texas. It was a very, very full, uh, undergraduate experience for me.

LEWIS: Well, I gather that you, uh, kept yourself busy, enjoyed yourself. But, on reflection, was there anything in particular that happened on campus or off campus, interpersonal or anything at all which underscored the rightness of your choice of political science as 00:50:00a major?

PRESTAGE: Well, on some of the exams that I took, uh, administered by Professor Barker, I wasn't sure that the decision was always right but, uh, we worked through most of those things all right because it simply motivated me to do better and, uh, I believe that the other students in political science had a very positive impact on me. I've already mentioned Professor Lucius Barker. There's another young man who was an excellent student named John Bridges who went on to become a, an administrator in public housing. There was Harold Davis who was my classmate as a freshman, who also has had a very, uh, successful 00:51:00career in public housing and in volunteer work. I think he's now the chair of the national board of the YMCA. There was my friend Marlene Lumas, a fellow, uh, female political science major. Um, I be-, also there was another student who didn't major in political science whose name was Clarence Larry who was an exceptionally good student at Sou--, as a freshman and, uh, my, uh, friend for life who became a very important political activist and educator, uh, Bonnie Tucker Johns. All of these, uh, encounters were very, very important. Dolly Desselle Adams who was my roommate for a spell, a mathematician 00:52:00named Carolyn Williams who was my roommate for a spell. And then, of course, out of that I developed some lifelong friends, uh, my roommate, Theresa. All of these people had a very positive, uh, impact on me. And there was the president of the university, Dr. Felton Clark, who was a great motivator. Who, uh, used to, uh, say to us that, uh, "The role of an educated person is to put what is in juxtaposition with what ought be and wherever there was any inconsistency between the two, the role of the educated person, especially in a democratic society, is 00:53:00to try to change, uh, the reality to the idea." And, of course, there is no way that I can fully explain the impact of Dr. Rodney Gonzales Higgins on my career development, not only as a student but later as a professional. He was an excellent teacher, an excellent scholar, public servant par excellent and he left a legacy, uh, following his untimely death from cancer that included not only my generation but yours. And, uh, I think that the cumulative impact of Southern 00:54:00University was to bring me into contact with these professional educators in a way that was very positive. But it also put me in the middle of a critical mass of exceptionally talented students, not only from all over Louisiana but from all over the United States and even, um, from foreign countries. H. Wilmot Dennis from Liberia, for example, uh, did a lot for all of us by expanding our horizons, helping us to understand another facet of the world. Whatever I achieved as a 00:55:00political scientist, as a public servant, I think the seeds were sown well at, uh, during those three years at Southern University.

LEWIS: Now, Jewel, you didn't indicate but it's a well known fact that you graduated at age nineteen, summa cum laude, and went on to graduate school. At what point, doing your undergraduate, during your undergraduate career, did you make the decision to go to graduate school? Uh, what influences were there in determining which graduate school you would attend?

PRESTAGE: I believe I made the decision to go to get a Ph.D. the first 00:56:00time I heard Dr. Felton Clark say that that was the right thing to do. And I was very fortunate because I came from not only modest economic circumstances but meager economic circumstances and there were six children in the family younger than I. I was the first to attend college and I knew that my parents intended for all of us to attend college. A scholarship from Delta Sigma Theta sorority at the end of my freshman year enabled me to attend summer school, which gave me the head start 00:57:00that I needed and I attended summer school the next year and took course overloads. Now, one reason for doing this was that I wanted to go to graduate school and get a Ph.D. but I felt that, if I completed the liberal arts curriculum that would prepare me for graduate school in three years. If I were not fortunate enough to get a fellowship, then I would come back and take courses needed to certify in education, do student teaching and, uh, take a job as a public school teacher until such time as I had the resources to go to graduate school. But thanks to, uh, efforts by President Felton Clark, Dr. Higgins and to, 00:58:00uh, I would imagine, everybody who knew me. I remember Dr. Clem, Dean Jenkins, Dean Harvey. All of them encouraged me to follow my dream, not to forget what it was I really wanted to do. And, of course, uh, uh, Dr. Barker. But, uh, I was fortunate inasmuch as the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation had a program designed to assist students from the South to go to graduate and, to graduate school, to work toward doctorate degrees. The fellowship was for only one year and I was torn between the University of Chicago and somewhere 00:59:00else. Uh, and it was through consultation with my departmental chair, Dr. Higgins, that I decided to go to the University of Iowa, the university from which he had received his, uh, his Ph.D. in 1942. With the funding from the Rockefeller Foundation General Education Board, I did enroll at the University of Iowa and to me that was a lot of money. It paid the tuition and fees, plus an allocation of a hundred twenty-five dollars a month, which was, uh, more than many of the teachers at my high school made per month.


LEWIS: Jewel, when you got to graduate school it was a very interesting period in the discipline; intense debate about normative theory versus behavioralism and here you were, a black female having gone through an all black school, at Iowa, in the midst of that debate. Uh, what did you make of it? How did you respond to, uh, what role do you think that you played even in shaping that debate?

PRESTAGE: Well, like most graduate students in that era, I suppose I prayed every night that I would not become a victim of that debate in that particular schism in the discipline. But my first, uh, semester I was fortunate inasmuch as I took a methodology course and, of course, 01:01:00in classical political theory. So, there was that kind of, uh, of balance. But, uh, you have to remember that when I graduated from Southern at age nineteen, summa cum laude, the state of Louisiana said to me that there was no graduate school in the state of Louisiana open to me as a Negro student. The University of Iowa or some university of equal distance was the only choice that I had. So, that, uh, when 01:02:00I went to the University of Iowa, I was, uh, apprehensive because I had never lived outside of the South. I had never lived in a climate that was so cold and, uh, it was just a very strange and new environment. However, I did learn that a friend who had graduated two years ahead of me was going to the University of Iowa to study speech pathology and, when I heard this, I sent in my dormitory room, uh, request form, indicating that I wanted her for a roommate. She had heard a similar 01:03:00rumor about me and she did the same thing. So that, when we got there, as roommates, we were very supportive of each other. At least I didn't have to get to know a roommate in the sense of having a stranger as a roommate. But the department was all white and all male and pretty nice. The, uh, faculty ranged from very young to, uh, professors emeriti and, uh, there, it was interesting because the oldest professor had the reputation for being the most liberal, uh, and, in many way, in 01:04:00many ways, uh, the reputation of being committed to British socialism. So that, uh, it was, it was interesting. The first really traumatic experience I had was the death of my advisor by a heart attack and I was, uh, very disconnected. However, a visiting professor by the name of Francis Aumann, who is the second oldest member of the American Political Science Association in terms of years of paid membership and who still lives in Columbus, Ohio, stepped in and served as my advisor and mentor in a relationship that still goes on.


LEWIS: Were there any particular courses or any particular works, either books or essays or articles of any sort that influenced the area that you chose to specialize in?

PRESTAGE: The area that I developed as an initial interest was influenced by that advisor who died. It was the area of social legislation and, uh, that had to do with studying, uh, trends in labor legislation and legislation affecting children and, uh, that kind of, the kind of emphasis and that was the area in which I did my master's thesis and then I, uh, selected public administration. That was a 01:06:00new and developing field and, as in the undergraduate experience, the students that I met in graduate school, all of whom were white males my, uh, first year, were, uh, they ranged from helpful to persons who simply did not acknowledge my presence to outright hostility on the part of at least one individual who was aggressive hostile and he was from the South and gladly pronounced that he was from the South, that his grandfathers had owned slaves and I understand, in my absence, referred to me a Negress. I don't even know where he is today. But 01:07:00the professors were, for the most part, I thought very objective in their treatment of me. I did not ask many favors, uh, and, in the case of the departmental chair at the time, he felt that I needed to be told pretty candidly and frequently the uphill battle that I would have as a woman in political science. I feel that he genuinely felt that, uh, 01:08:00in some way akin to truth in advertisement in today's times, that I ought to know that it was not going to be easy. And he counseled me to that effect. I remember his sharing with me a couple of letters from women's colleges in which the writer indicated that they did not want women teachers because the girls would not take women teachers, uh, would not take courses taught by women teachers to the extent that they would take courses offered by males. And, uh, so, each semester we had that particular encounter. I also had, uh, four or five courses with him. Uh, in the final analysis, um, I don't think that, um, whatever 01:09:00his reservations were about women in the discipline in any way affected his assessment of my work. Also, he had a policy of not granting teaching assistantships to women students. There was another woman who had done her undergraduate study there who had an almost perfect average, who, uh, had been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa; an older woman who had been in the Air Force, who was married, had a couple of children, who was proficient in Russian and she didn't get a teaching 01:10:00assistantship either. So that it was, uh, a very, uh, interesting time. It was a time when there was not a glass ceiling but a wooden ceiling because it was expressly stated, without apology, and, uh, nobody seemed to think there was much wrong with it.

LEWIS: Was there that same kind of ceiling, openly stated, having to do with race?

PRESTAGE: Well, since I was one of a kind--(laughs)--uh, I don't think the question of having the, serve as a teaching assistant ever entered the chair's mind. At the university, I don't know of but one 01:11:00African-American who served as a teaching assistant in any area at the university and that was in the area sociology. But I don't know of any area that had offered to an African-American the privilege of serving as a teaching assistant. Also, Iowa City was a very interesting city at that time. It was not possible for African-Americans to rent apartments or rooms. I lived in the graduate women's dormitory for two years and then I got married and it was impossible to find campus, uh, 01:12:00off-campus housing. Campus housing was very limited but the university was sensitive to the plight of African-American students and did short circuit the process to provide housing for, uh, married couples.

LEWIS: Um, Jewel, you have mentioned, uh, getting married while at Iowa and throughout this interview we have not talked about significant others in your life, uh, but with the knowledge that your husband, uh, also comes from Alexandria so that you knew him when, growing up. You knew him at Southern at least and then you married while you were in school at Iowa. Can you, uh, indicate just how significant that was 01:13:00in shaping your career in any way, that you, how did the marriage, uh, impact on your decision to go ahead and complete your studies to get your Ph.D.?

PRESTAGE: My husband was a student at Peabody High School. In fact, he was four years ahead of me and he enrolled at Southern University and shortly after enrolling was drafted into the Navy, spent two years in the Navy. So, by the time I got to Southern as a freshman, he was a junior in biology and he was the lab assistant in my biology lab class and while I knew him, as everybody did, because he was a football hero, 01:14:00a student leader, uh, an athlete in baseball and track and other things at the high school, I knew him. But I, he really did not, we really didn't meet each other until I was a freshman and he was a junior and lab assistant and, uh, he graduated one year ahead of me because I did my, uh, four year program in three years. Shortly after he graduated, the Korean War started and he was called back in the Navy Reserves and went back into the Navy. By the time he got out, I was in graduate school and, uh, after, uh, my second year, we got married. Now, that 01:15:00was very interesting, uh, Shelby, because I had planned to take that summer off in preparation for an August marriage. There were four male students who were Ph.D. candidates who were going to write their exams in July and I was going to write my exams in October. And one day my advisor called me in and talked to me about that decision and he encouraged me, urged me, advised me that if it were at all possible, it might be better if I could somehow take my exams in July since staying 01:16:00away for a summer, getting married and honeymooning and, uh, bringing a husband back to Iowa City who's about to start his first year in graduate school; that's just not good preparation for taking Ph.D. exams. And that probably ranks among the best advice I ever got in my life and my advisor, Dr. Russell M. Ross, is still associated with the University of Iowa, retired, uh, in May of 1991.

LEWIS: Would you say that, uh, Dr. Ross was the most significant faculty member at Iowa in terms of, uh, support, in terms of mentoring you?

PRESTAGE: Without a doubt. He was, uh, very supportive. I must have 01:17:00taken four or five courses with him, independent study. I served as his research assistant and he was always available which is very important when you're working on a dissertation. And, uh, around the clock, his house at 15 Prospect Place in Iowa City, uh, was a place where I was always welcome to go and bring, and take things that I needed to have him advise me about and, uh, he's just generally very supportive and, uh, over the years has always managed to monitor whatever I was doing and, uh, we're still very close today, in touch a 01:18:00lot and, uh, also been a good advisor to me, uh, in terms of whatever my research interests, uh, were. I could always, uh, involve him in it. Um, at the university, all of the professors in the political science department, I thought, uh, dealt with me in a very objective fashion. I don't think that they quite knew what to make out of a young black woman from Louisiana in the early 1950s, they didn't seem to bother about that too much. They went on and treated me like they treated everybody else.

LEWIS: Well, Jewel, um, was there anyone or any particular work that 01:19:00sort of shaped your perspective on the discipline, uh, during your graduate stay at Iowa? Any, any particular influence that you can cite?

PRESTAGE: I particularly enjoyed the, um, works of twentieth century political theorists. I was introduced to these works by Professor Lane Davis and particularly enjoyed reading the works of British socialists. They seemed to, uh, represent an effort to come to grips with the 01:20:00problems that had been created by and were inherent in capitalism and this was the first time that I had been introduced to, uh, to that particular dimension of the discipline. I also was, uh, of course, turned on by the studies in public administration designed to help the nation come to grips with what seemed to be an impossible to control national government situation, created in large measure as a result of the proliferation of new agencies to deal with the Depression and to deal with, uh, World War II. And the changes that were taking place 01:21:00in constitutional law and perhaps I should have put that first because there was so much in that particular era that was going on at, uh, in the judiciary, that would determine my future and the future of, uh, African-Americans as a group. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was made about three months before I got my Ph.D. I still have that particular headline from the Daily Iowan and I remember being invited by three or four of the teaching assistants who taught a course that 01:22:00was called Man and Society to come and share with, uh, the students in the class my perspectives on that particular decision. So, that, uh, I suppose those were the areas that were of particular concern to me. If you ask about any particular major work that, uh, stimulated me intellectually, uh, I don't know that there was any single one. Uh, but, in addition to the constitutional law courses that dealt with cases and the like, I was introduced to the area of jurisprudence 01:23:00as an academic, uh, sub-field in political science and that was with Professor Aumann to have the opportunity to get some understanding of how legal systems develop, how legal, uh, theories develop, and to see that law does not develop in a vacuum and to be, become acquainted with the philosophical underpinnings of various theories of jurisprudence, you know, that was interesting because, in trying to wrestle with, uh, which say the Supreme Court was going to go on certain kinds of decisions which were, um, just such a part of my own future, my own 01:24:00status in the society and at the same time look at jurisprudence as a broad academic discipline, uh, kind of put me in the middle of reality and theory in a very interesting, uh, kind of way. And on one of the train trips between Louisiana and Iowa, returning from the Christmas holiday in 1952, I came face to face with what it meant to be asked out of a railway car on the basis of race. Now, I had always, uh, been, in traveling, seated in the colored coach. On this occasion, I went 01:25:00to what I thought was the colored coach. It was empty, so I had no way of knowing that it wasn't. Made myself quite comfortable only to be told by the conductor that I had to move because I was seated in a coach reserved for whites. And, uh, another person from Alexandria, a male who was also at the University of Iowa, and I, uh, had taken seats in this coach and he was already asleep so that it was up to me to deal with the conductor and I refused to move and I don't know why but it was touch and go until we got to Kansas. And, uh, I guess you never really, I had never really understood because I had never been asked 01:26:00to move on the basis of race. Probably was the year and a half I had had in Iowa when I hadn't had to face that. That just kind of, uh, put a rod in my back and I was very stiff and assertive on this particular occasion and I had, uh, taken out my book which was The President, Office and Powers by E. S. Corwin and started to read in preparation for the closing of the semester which was in January when I got back to the university and, uh, we, we didn't move, in spite of all of the threats. It's a long kind of story about all of the ways in which we were cajoled and harassed but, um, but stayed in the seat and then when 01:27:00the train got to Kansas, we were told it was all right.

LEWIS: Jewel, it sounds like you were in graduate school at a very exciting time, both intellectually and in the developments, social developments, uh, political and legal, in this country and I suppose they, in addition to your academic courses and experiences, helped to shape your life. But you, um, you ended up being the first black woman to be awarded the doctorate in political science in the United States of America. Did you know it at the time and, if you did, or even if you didn't, did you see your, uh, degree as a milestone?

PRESTAGE: Um, that was, indeed, an interesting time, Shelby. As 01:28:00a matter of fact, I ended up serving on the student council. The representation was based on residence and I represented the graduate women's residence, uh, residence hall, and, um, that was very good because dealing with the problem of racial discrimination in housing was one of the things that, uh, I took a lead in on the student council. And also I was appointed to chair the effort to get the University of Iowa Student Council back into the National Student Association. So that was, uh, an extra dimension of my life in Iowa City. I also, uh, 01:29:00had, uh, a role in a play written for an all-black cast and, uh, this was fun. It was highlighted with a story that took up a whole page in the Des Moines Register so life wasn't all work there. With regard to, uh, the, becoming the first African-American woman to get a Ph.D. in political science, I did not know that until fifteen years later.

LEWIS: We will continue with this interview after we pause to change the tape. We will, uh, return to the question that was asked about the impact of being the first African-American woman to receive the doctorate in political science. This is tape two, Jewel Limar 01:30:00Prestage, the American Political Science Association Oral History Project. Conducted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 31st, 1992 by Shelby Faye Lewis.

[Pause in recording.]

LEWIS: Tape three of the interview with Jewel Limar Prestage, October 31st, 1992, the APSA Oral History Project. This is Shelby Lewis.

[Pause in recording.]

LEWIS: --that, uh, you were, uh, the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in political science until fifteen years later. How did that come about?


PRESTAGE: That's correct. Shelby, when, in 1969, when we had the Conference on the Status of Political Science in the Predominantly Black Colleges, we made a list of political science Ph.D.s. We were interested in finding all of the living African-Americans with Ph.D.s in political science and all persons living or dead, as a matter of fact, and when we completed the list, we had sixty-five names. Five of those were names of women and, when we examined the list and looked at the dates on which the Ph.D.s were awarded, mine was the oldest on the list. Now, that was in 1969, fifteen years after 1954. I didn't know 01:32:00then. I'm not sure if I had known whether it would have been a help or a hindrance.

LEWIS: All right. Um, what I'd like to do now is to move from the area of education, that is, your education, to your career as a professional political scientist, starting with your early career at Prairie View University, moving on to Southern and coming back to your new career at Prairie View University. What, uh, circumstances, uh, political and social circumstances, uh, led to your decision to accept the position at Prairie View immediately upon completion of your work at Iowa?


PRESTAGE: I was interested in working in a department where I would be restricted to teaching political science rather than having to teach history, sociology or some other course and Prairie View was one of the few universities that had a full program in political science. As a matter of fact, that program was developed by the late Dr. T. R. Solomon who received a Ph.D. from Michigan in 1939. He was the second African-American to receive a Ph.D. in political science. Only Ralph Bunche had preceded him and he had developed a political science program at Prairie View and I was offered a position, uh, that would restrict me to political science and also it was the best offer that I got.

LEWIS: A small aside here, Jewel, but, uh, you had mentioned Ralph 01:34:00Bunche and it's my understanding that you had the occasion to--you did meet him at some point when you were still in school. Is that correct?

PRESTAGE: Yes. At the University of Iowa, Ralph Bunche came as a visiting lecturer and he, uh, requested a meeting with all of the Negro students after his public lecture. The university officials arranged that and it was just, uh, a really wonderful encounter. He indicated that he was, uh, there and ready to do whatever he could to address any problems that we had. And, of course, we laid all of them on him--(laughs)--about special problems of, uh, Negro students at the University of Iowa at that time. After his meeting with us, he met again with university officials and he did, uh, convey the list 01:35:00of problems that he had gotten from us and he also went so far as to suggest to them some corrective measures.

LEWIS: Um, when you talked about going to Prairie View, you indicated that, uh, it was the university that had a full program in political science. But I'm wondering whether or not, uh, the existence of a segregated job market, uh, had an impact on where you went, what you were allowed to do and just how that entered into your decision to go to Prairie View versus another place.

PRESTAGE: It, uh, was, the existence of segregation was, in fact, the determining factor in narrowing my options. At the time, it was 01:36:00reputed that the placement bureau at the University of Iowa would send the application materials for Negro students only to, uh, the historically black universities and that was, uh, a given and I don't know whether that was true but I didn't hear from any universities except the, uh, predominantly black universities. And this, uh, was a very traumatic kind of thing for me because we had been married for just one year and my husband was a graduate student in zoology at the University of Iowa. It would have been very nice if I could have gotten a job in one of the universities in the state of Iowa and would have been available, uh, you know, on, to, and I was available to 01:37:00accept such a position if one had been offered.

LEWIS: But, uh, in spite of the limitations that you faced and, uh, the narrowness of the job market, I gather that your experience at Prairie View was, uh, a rewarding one. What was the, the scene like in your department and at the university?

PRESTAGE: It was exceptionally rewarding because, uh, it was a political science program that had been developed over a period of fifteen years by Dr. Solomon and it, uh, in 1954, the department became a separate political science department, headed by Dr. Earl Lewis who had come to Prairie View from Howard, after receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He was an excellent political scientist, an excellent chair and I felt very fortunate to have, uh, entered my 01:38:00professional career at a university with such an outstanding faculty. There was another person there with a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Dr. David Stratmon. There was a young woman who, uh, was, uh, working toward her Ph.D. at the time, uh, who, uh, went back to Berkeley to pursue that degree. Unfortunately, she, uh, died several years later of cancer. There was, uh, Dr. David Hazel. Um, it was just a very stimulating, uh, situation and I believe that that group of talented scholars ended up at Prairie View for the same reason that I 01:39:00did. That it was a place with a full schedule of courses in political science. As a matter of fact, um, I, I taught American Government, Texas Government, The Presidency, Comparative Government and Political Parties. Those, uh, courses were taught during the first two years that I, uh, worked at Prairie.

LEWIS: Did you have an option there or were those the courses that you were interested in teaching, uh, or were these the courses that, uh, were on the syllabus that students had to take and therefore, you ended up teaching courses that you would, that you were capable of teaching but would have preferred to teach other courses?

PRESTAGE: No, those were the courses that I, uh, chose to teach from the 01:40:00offerings at Prairie View. I was very, very satisfied with them and it was in that context that I taught Professor Wally Miles and Professor, uh, Maurice Woodard.

LEWIS: What were you particular research interests during this period, um, and what kind of support, uh, was available to assist you and I guess the other side of it, what constraints were there on doing research at that point?

PRESTAGE: Well, I, uh, was interested in doing research on, um, executive reorganization at the state level. But the opportunities were almost non-existent. That research was contingent upon the 01:41:00availability of, at a minimum, a research library and the research libraries in the area at that time included the University of Texas and Texas A & M University and they were a long ways from Prairie View, uh, both in terms of the distance and in terms of access based on racial constraints. So that, uh, I devoted those initial years to, uh, becoming a competent classroom teacher and to working with students, introducing students to existing literature, encouraging them to go to graduate school and we organized the first political 01:42:00science seminars at Prairie View, a political science club. The first president was a young man who went on to become the president of the National Bar Association. So they were very, very good years. In addition to high achievements by, uh, both, uh, Professors Wally Miles and Maurice Woodard, there was another person in that class who became an Army general, still another, uh, who is still a high level, uh, educational administrator in the school system in Dallas. Uh, another one who's a high level administrator in the Houston School System, so, uh, just, uh, getting to know students and try to, trying to encourage 01:43:00the students to do their very, very best. And I stayed at, uh, Prairie View for, for two years.

LEWIS: Jewel, when you talk about your experiences, uh, either in your career or in your studies at the pre-collegiate as well as the collegiate level, you very frequently talk about all of the good students, the high achievers, uh, the whole climate of support. But there are a number of people who suggest that, uh, you don't simply happen to enter into schools where this takes place but that you act as a catalyst. That you stimulate high achievement. Support high achievement. Uh, help to sustain high achievement wherever you are 01:44:00among those you work with, among those you study with, among those that you teach. Uh, and that, I think, is a very high compliment. Um, I know that after Prairie View you went on to Southern University and succeeded in producing and molding a number of high achievers. Uh, please tell us a bit about why you went to Southern and about the kinds of students that you worked with there and their achievements.

PRESTAGE: There were several factors that, uh, motivated me to leave Prairie View, one of which was a policy then in place, uh, in the Texas A & M University System which, uh, prohibited women from living 01:45:00in campus housing without their husbands. Now, the fact is that my husband came to Prairie View and taught at Prairie View while I was on maternity leave and then went back to the University of Iowa to complete his doctoral work. And this meant that I had nowhere to live at Prairie View because I had to move out of the campus housing that we had and there was no other housing available in the community, which, uh, did not give me much of a choice. Uh, also, like Prairie View, Southern, even though it did not have a separate department of political science, had had a full major in political science since 01:46:001948 and I was faced with the need to find other employment and, uh, I was offered a position by Southern. I also considered it a special privilege to come back to my alma mater and also to work on the faculty with Dr. Rodney Higgins as the chair. And I returned in 1956 and I was associated with that department for thirty-three years.

LEWIS: Jewel, the, uh, point that I tried to make and in your modesty, you overlooked was the extraordinary influence you have had on black 01:47:00political scientists. The number of students you have helped to mould and, uh, the people that you have supported over the years. Maybe the fairest thing to say is, the fairest question to ask is, if you would, uh, talk about some of the students that you taught and what their accomplishments have been over the years.

PRESTAGE: Well, Shelby, if there is trick question in this whole interview, this is probably it-- (Lewis laughs)--because I'm likely to, uh, leave out some individuals if I start to really name names but, uh, in the thirty-three years that I was associated with Southern, I had the special privilege of teaching and interacting with a cadre 01:48:00of gifted, talented and very special students and, at minimum, I was always determined not to do anything to dull that brilliance and talent. But I would, uh, think that probably a couple dozen Ph.D. holders in political science, at least a hundred attorneys, uh, considerable number of individuals who have made careers in politics, members of Congress, members of state legislatures, uh, persons who have had high level administrative positions at the national, state 01:49:00and local levels, persons who, uh, have become distinguished members of the federal, state and local judiciary, uh, male and female, and, uh, persons who have chaired or are now chairing departments of political science across the United States. Now that I live, uh, for a part of my life, at least the work week, in Texas and I turn on the television set to, uh, listen to the political gurus analyze elections and on two of the major network local affiliates, affiliates, when I listen 01:50:00I listen to two of my former students. Another former student who was the major architect of a Ph.D. program which, uh, has produced more, uh, African-American Ph.D. holders than any other in the United States. And today I have the special pleasure of being interviewed by a vice-president from a major university, the architect of a Ph.D. program in Africana Women's Studies, a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, an author and a distinguished, uh, feminist scholar in your own person and I believe that, um, we first met when Dr. Higgins and Dr. Barker 01:51:00came to me to tell me about this bright young girl from North Louisiana who was a political science major and they wanted me, uh, to consider serving as a mentor and they said to me, "Jewel, she's the best female student we've had since you were here." I couldn't wait to, uh, meet you and I found out that they were wrong; that, uh, you were perhaps the best female student that they have ever had. And so, uh, you and all of the other illustrious students who have served in high level 01:52:00positions in this country who have become excellent teachers and authors. Um, I just feel very, very privileged to have had, uh, the opportunity to work with you and when some of you are kind enough to say I had a positive impact on you, I'm grateful for that.

LEWIS: Jewel, I guess I should know after all these years that there's no way I can get you to say what I want you to say. (laughs) So, I will simply indicate that, uh, you are regarded as the dean of black political scientists. You are loved and respected by your colleagues in the field throughout the United States and especially by your former students who some years ago organized a special salute to pay homage 01:53:00to you and who, upon your retirement, came from all over the country and one person even from outside the country to pay homage to you. And so you have influenced a great number of political scientists. But you have also, as, as a professor and counselor, but you have also influenced your colleagues who have worked with you. Uh, people have sent those job seekers to Southern University because you were the best person for them to serve an apprenticeship with. Would you say a little bit about the colleagues that you worked with at Southern University, those you found there, those you hired on and, uh, worked with during the period of your thirty-three years at Southern University?

PRESTAGE: When I came to Southern University, the late Ernest Patterson, 01:54:00the late Cleveland Williams, uh, Dr. David Hazel, who is alive and well and in Ohio, uh, Rodney Burrows, William Nelson at Ohio State, Leslie McLemore. These are, uh, Festus Ohaegbulam, the late Moses Akpan, uh, Alex Willingham. Uh, maybe I ought to separate these, uh, individuals, um, Dr. Lewis, by stating those individuals who were here 01:55:00as my colleagues and others who were my students and later became my colleagues. And these, the latter category represented a special, uh, kind of experience; to see bright capable students become competent high achieving professionals. I suppose the person who has been with me for the longest period of time, uh, was, uh, Professor Penson who is still active at, um, is still active at Southern University in the political science department. He was, was not my student but Professors Thomas Earl Smith and Willie Johnson, Alex Willingham, 01:56:00Mack Jones, Shelby Lewis, Kathie Golden, Carolyn Sue Williams. Now I'm getting in real trouble, see. Lisa Aubrey, uh, who works with me now at, uh, at Prairie View, person--Joseph Brown, uh, who were my students and later, later my colleagues. And these persons are widely distributed now across the United States. Uh, Professor Willingham is at Williams College, Mack Jones at Prairie View, uh, Hoyt, uh, King, who was a former student, is at Tennessee State, Franklin Jones and Sanders Anderson at, uh, at Texas Southern, uh, and Elsie Scott, Dr. Elsie Scott is now the Deputy Commissioner of Police for New 01:57:00York City. And they are just, um, really doing very, very well and I believe, um, Dr. Lewis, that at the latest count, that we found that the undergraduate program at Southern had produced more, uh, African-American undergraduates to go on and get Ph.D.s in political science than any other department. We also, uh, had a master's degree program, master's degree in the social sciences, with a concentration in political science and many of the graduates from that program have gone on to get doctorate degrees. I think especially of, uh, Glen Doston who's now at Ohio University and, uh, but I had determined that 01:58:00I wouldn't call any names so I didn't bring any list with me but, uh, it's, it's just really quite a wonderful, uh, list. But, of course, that, uh, was simply in keeping with the rich tradition started by the late Dr. Rodney Higgins because I had as my role models both, uh, Twiley Barker and Lucius Barker whose, uh, records as undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals, uh, were so stellar that, uh, they cannot help but be an inspiration.

LEWIS: Jewel, that is a very impressive list of students and I suppose, uh, the students are the best indication of our, our work as teachers 01:59:00and the fact that you were able to name so many, uh, simply supports--

PRESTAGE: For all of those who hear this recording whose names I did not call, it was simply that I didn't have the time. (laughs)

LEWIS: Well, the fact that you were able to name so many simply supports the view that most of us have in the profession. Uh, that is, that you are the living repository of knowledge about black political scientists, who they are, where they are, uh, what they are doing and, uh, as you very well know, any time someone loses touch, they always say, "Call Jewel and she will be able to trace them for you." But you do that, not simply with your students and colleagues, not simply with black political scientists. You have had an impact on white 02:00:00political scientists as well. You, uh, taught for a number of years as a visiting professor at the University of New Orleans and I note and those who know you are aware that you continue your contact with the individuals that you worked with there and that you taught there and colleagues that you have known and worked with over the years. Would you like to say a word about that part of your career which, uh, was spent at the University of New Orleans as a teaching professor?

PRESTAGE: Well, one of the interesting parts, uh, aspects of that experience was that I taught at the graduate level some of the students that I had had in classes as undergraduates and I think also, uh, 02:01:00the opportunity to be involved in graduate level education at the University of New Orleans, while serving as department chair and dean at Southern University, gave me, uh, some experience that I could share with the undergraduates who were preparing for graduate study. And I think it also, uh, helped me a little bit as students went on to, um, do doctorate degrees and then ponder, uh, the selection of institutions with which to affiliate at the end of the Ph.D. experience. And it also helped me in sharing with them what was involved in, uh, 02:02:00preparing a master's thesis, doctoral dissertations and just a lot of information. And also the networking that was possible as you expanded your connections, uh, there and so when a student like Georgia Persons got ready to go to MIT or Michael Combs to Washington University or some of the other students to different kinds of places, it just gave me a better feel because my contacts were broadened, uh, by that. Now, at the University of, uh, New Orleans, um, I was a part-time professor for seventeen years. I commuted, uh, to do evening classes and to some 02:03:00extent it was very taxing physically. But intellectually it was very challenging and, uh, the rich and warm relationships that developed, professional relationships that developed with, for example, Professor Werner Feld, who was the long-time chair of that department, a young, um, dynamic professor and researcher, Richard Engstrom, um, and other, other individuals over time. Professor Jay Hakes. Uh, it was just, I think, very, very beneficial.

LEWIS: Jewel, um, during your time at Southern and of course you were at the University of New Orleans while at Southern University, there are a number of students and colleagues that you assisted in many ways. You helped some gain financial support to go back and finish degrees 02:04:00or to go on and get degrees. You introduced, uh, your colleagues and your students to the right people so that these contacts could be used to help them to move in their chosen areas. You wrote numerous, and still write, numerous letter of support. You involved faculty and students in research that you were undertaking and you involved them in projects. You simply made them a part of your life, your research, your teaching, your interests. And then you went on to develop programs on their behalf. One that I can think of is the Ralph Bunche Institute and I'd like you to talk a little bit about your philosophy, 02:05:00um, and the kinds of programs that you developed which provided students with a head start at the undergraduate level.

PRESTAGE: Well, the Ralph Bunche Institute was an American Political Science Association initiative designed to increase the number of African-Americans going into Ph.D. study in political science and earning Ph.D. degrees. This initiative, uh, was, uh, undertaken by the association in collaboration with Southern University, LSU and funded basically by the Ford Foundation. Uh, it involved a four-year program of bringing twenty-five, uh, undergraduate students from 02:06:00colleges and universities across the country to Baton Rouge to, uh, study political science. It was an intensive six weeks programs designed to, uh, better prepare them to go to graduate school in political science and in many ways to, uh, actually introduce students to what graduate study in political science actually entails. And we did that for four years, from 1986, '87, '88 and '89, with the culminating evaluative one-week conference in 1990. And through this program, uh, I would think that I got about ninety-five students that 02:07:00I wouldn't have had otherwise. We had four or five students from Southern who were involved in the program and I am in touch with a number of those students and, uh, attempt to, um, stay aware of what it is they're doing and, in those cases, uh, you know, where they ask for help I try to do whatever it is they ask me to do.

LEWIS: Well, Jewel, we've talked a bit about, uh, your colleagues, your contributions as a teacher, uh, as a role model and as a counselor to students and to colleagues. Uh, but we've not spent a great deal of time talking about your accomplishments as a scholar, uh, in the area of publications. Now I know you've done work in public administration, in women's studies. Uh, you have done work on the Kerner Commission, 02:08:00for example. You've even done work with your husband. Uh, would you be willing to share with us a bit about your research interests and, uh, the experiences you've had in getting works published and what you consider some of your best work.

PRESTAGE: Well, in the early years after I, uh, came to Southern University, I worked very closely with, uh, social studies education at the pre-collegiate level and it was in that context that I did my first, uh, publications in journals in teacher education. In 1964, 02:09:00I attended the National Science Foundation Conference on Mathematical Applications in Political Science and, in that context I met twenty- nine other political scientists who had received their degrees in the 1950s who were grappling with the new political science, the behavioral approach and the like. And, out of those encounters, uh, many, uh, new linkages were forged and, uh, as a result, I started to work in various political science professional associations in the region and at the national level. Uh, my, uh, work that, uh, grew out of 02:10:00that involved, uh, NDEA Civics Institute for social studies teachers from across the nation, funded as a result of competitive proposals submitted to the US Office of Education. It also entailed, uh, electoral behavioral studies, uh, beginning with an analysis of the 1964 presidential election in Louisiana and, uh, expanded later on into political socialization research, public policy research and, in 1977, uh, co-authored volume with Marianne Githens on Women and Politics; a 02:11:00Portrait of Marginality; the Political Behavior of the American Woman. And, since that time, my research efforts have been directed, uh, in large measure to, uh, women in politics interests and my husband and I have done some work on the politics of higher education, looking specifically at desegregation, uh, policies in Louisiana. I have also done some work on the development of the political science discipline and I hope to, at some point, um, do a more extensive study on the development of political science in the historically black colleges and universities. And I'm working now on, uh, a full length volume "In 02:12:00Quest of African American Political Woman."

LEWIS: Thank you very much Jewel. I'd like to turn now to some of your contributions to, uh, professional organizations and associations and you have been active at every level. Um, in the American Political Science Association where you served as a vice-president and you served on several committees. You've been president of the Southern Political Science Association. You've held office in the Southwest Political Science Association. You've been founding member and president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. So you've been just very active in these and other professional organizations. Um, how would you explain the impact of your involvement, your networking, your association with these organizations on your teaching and on your 02:13:00career development?

PRESTAGE: Uh, work in the professional organizations has had a tremendous impact on me and, uh, my, uh, work as a teacher and a researcher. In the case of the American Political Science Association, I was first elected to the executive council in 1969. My, uh, assumption of responsibilities was deferred for a couple of months because, um, that was when our last child was born. But that was a very, um, difficult time in America and a difficult time in the American Political Science Association. Under the presidency of David 02:14:00Easton, a number of new kinds of, uh, activities were initiated in the association and, among these, uh, were committees to deal with pre- collegiate education and with the status of blacks in the profession. There were debates on the executive council about investments in South Africa, about the establishment of a fellowship for black students, uh, to support graduate study, uh, what to do in the discipline about, uh, the challenge put forth to expand the focus to include the, uh, in a 02:15:00serious way, the political behavior of African-Americans and of women.

LEWIS: We pause to change the tape.

[Pause in recording.]

LEWIS: --the period you were describing was a very turbulent time in the American Political Science Association. Um, in what way and what were the major problems?

PRESTAGE: Well, there was, there were very frequent meetings of the executive council and, in fact, in 1969 when I, uh,was elected to the executive council, there was a mail ballot because it was a contested election. The analysis of the election, written in p.s., indicated that I was the leading vote getter and it described me as being a Negro and a woman. And then it went on to report that I therefore 02:16:00represented a one-man coalition so that the sensitivity to questions of, of, uh, gender had not developed, uh, to any significant extent. I also recall that I was frequently, uh, the lone vote on one side of an issue and, in the minutes, there, the vote would be recorded as the vote was unanimous except for Prestage. I raised questions about that, indicated that that was editorializing and that, and requested that the vote be, um, reported as thirteen to one or whatever it was. In any case, uh, the, uh, level of tension and stress associated with those 02:17:00meetings was, was quite high. It was a very interesting time to be a woman and an African-American. One day, uh, in the council meeting, the President Karl Deutsch indicated that I wanted to make a statement on behalf of the Committee on the Status of Women. I replied, "No, President Deutsch, at this time I want to talk about my major problem. This has to do with the status of blacks in the profession." And there was a struggle to develop some openness and candor and true lines of communication across, uh, all of the tension and trauma. One person who was very, very helpful in that process was Dr. Mae King. Dr. Mae King had come to the Conference on the Status of Political Science in 02:18:00Historically Black Colleges in April 1969 at Southern University and, when Dr. Kirkpatrick indicated that the association was interested in, uh, recruiting its first, uh, black staff member, Dr. King indicated that she was interested and did, in fact, uh, join the staff of the American Political Science Association where she was the staff person for the Committee on the Status of Blacks as well as the Committee on the Status of Women and, if memory serves me correct, the Committee on the Status of Pre-Collegiate Education. These were all committees that had been initiated by President David Easton to try to deal with, um, the new access and new attention that was being, uh, being demanded. Another interesting experience occurred in the Southwestern Social 02:19:00Sciences Association and the Southern Political Science Association where they were grappling with the same kinds of problems, but on, on a regional level. And, in both of those organizations, uh, my tenure as president, uh, was marked by some effort to come to grips with those issues and, in fact, in presidential addresses in both organizations, the research done focused on the status of blacks in political science at the national level, as well as the regional level. And I, uh, felt that, uh, one contribution that I could make was to look at the empirical data available and offer some generalizations about, uh, uh, 02:20:00that data and then to make some suggestions, uh, for ways and means to, uh, make the profession more responsive. In that, I, process, I discovered a number of, uh, lots of colleagues who were sensitized and, uh, responsive as a result of this. Later on, uh, I had the, um, opportunity to serve as president of the Louisiana Political Science Association, the Louisiana chapter of ASPA and that, those experiences too, were very gratifying to the extent that, uh, an effort was made 02:21:00to be a change agency. Uh, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists is, uh, now a major professional organization with a germ and, uh, a life of its own and, uh, a good citizen in the community of scholarly organizations in this country and I just feel real privileged and gratified, privileged and gratified to have been a part of that particular process.

LEWIS: Jewel, you certainly have an impressive academic and professional career. By any measure, empirical or otherwise, you have made significant contributions to the profession and to individuals who 02:22:00have crossed your path, either as students, colleagues or, in some instances, as individuals who were with you in your effort to act as a change agent in the women's movement and the black movement. But, apart from balancing being black, female and professional, you have had another balancing act. You certainly received honors and star billing for how well you balanced your life as a professional. And all the evidence suggests that you have, with ease, managed to deal with the other balancing act and that is the career and the family. We all know 02:23:00that you are a wife and a mother of five wonderful children. But we don't know whether or not managing this very impressive career and the family life had its toll and in what way it had its toll. So, could you talk a little bit about how you served as mother and wife as well as professional leader and what your children are doing and how you're interacting with them.

PRESTAGE: Well, Shelby, it was all very easy once I learned how to fit thirty hours of work into the twenty-four hour day. (laughs) But, as 02:24:00you said, my husband and I are the parents of five children. Terri, our oldest, received a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in political science and then went on to a career in the private sector. She is now the vice-president for financial claims for a multi-national insurance company with international headquarters in Miami, Florida. The second child is a civil engineer who is a county commissioner in Fort Bend County, Texas and he was the first African-American elected to public office in Fort Bend County since Reconstruction. He continues to serve in that capacity and the 02:25:00office of county commissioner is a full-time position in Texas. The third child, uh, received a bachelor's degree in business management from Southern University, a master's in urban studies from Trinity University and is, uh, now employed as an auditor in the finance division for the city of Atlanta. The third child received, the fourth child, I'm sorry you see, it's hard there--(laughs)--to keep an accurate count. The fourth child received a degree in business management and accounting from Southern University and is a senior financial analyst with General Dynamics. And the final child received 02:26:00a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and is now a second year graduate student in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. And I suppose, uh, the fact that they understood what I was trying to do and permitted me to, uh, be away from home and to do it, coupled with, uh, a housekeeper who, uh, was with us for eighteen years, good support from my extended family on both my side and my husband's side, and also, uh, the support that I have received from my husband in the work that I do. All of these factors contributed to, uh, my ability to do the things that I, uh, chose to do professionally 02:27:00and to, uh, managed to be, hopefully, a good mother in the process. Though, uh, the combination of work and home and work outside of the home, civic work and the like, was never discussed, uh, in professional, in, uh, educational circles then, but now some of the research that, uh, is now coming out on women's roles indicate that 02:28:00women who work outside of the home actually have two jobs and, uh, I would certainly agree with that. But I would say that, if you're going to do these kinds of things, certainly the support and cooperation of the husband, the children and the extended family are, uh, certainly, that's an imperative. And also, um, my husband had a very busy and full professional career of his own and, uh, we tried to talk about these things and balance it. For example, over the years, we managed to plan our professional activities so that one of us was always in the city. We were never out of the city at the same time.


LEWIS: Well, Jewel, you have managed to do and to do very well what few people manage to do and that is to be successful in both the public and the private arenas and, uh, I think this is because you are a special person and your philosophy and your style and your abilities, uh, all came into play and you've done very, very well. Um, but there's another dimension here and this really puts you in a special category. Not only have you been a successful family person, uh, a very, very successful husband and children, successful career person having made significant contributions, influenced a number of people, students 02:30:00especially. But you've been a good citizen of the community. You have been acclaimed by the community. You've been involved in public service in a number of ways and you said in jest a bit earlier that you managed to fit thirty hours into a twenty-four hour work day. You must very well have done that because there is a long list of accomplishments in the area of public service. Would you, uh, like to take about some of those that you see as, uh, seminal in the development of your notion about politics from the practical involvement angle? Uh, just what kinds of things have you been involved in the public service that you think were major in shaping you as an individual?

PRESTAGE: Well, when I became old enough to vote, I never stayed 02:31:00in a place long enough to be able to vote until coming to Southern University in Baton Rouge and I started off working with voter registration under the old complicated system in Louisiana and that, uh, involved going house-to-house, encouraging people to register to vote, teaching them how to calculate their birth date, for example, to satisfy the Louisiana registration laws and working with the Second Ward Voters League and then three or four different organizations created in, um, the, um, Baton Rouge community. I then, after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, served on the board of directors 02:32:00for the Louisiana Board of Education Project and on the board of directors for the Voter Education Project in Atlanta, a non-profit organization, uh, designed to enhance voter registration and voter education among newly, uh, registered black voters. I served on the board of directors of the Southern Regional Council which is one of the oldest civil rights organizations in the South. The, uh, National Advi-, I'm sorry, the State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights for Louisiana. I chaired that particular committee and, uh, we held public hearings, did research reports on a variety of issues, uh, from, uh, male adult prisons to school desegregation 02:33:00to, uh, civil rights dimensions of the, um, community block grant program and the like. Uh, and then, in 1976, I was the delegate to the Democratic National Convention, later served on the Judicial Council of the National Democratic Party and, uh, was appointed, uh, by President Carter, and confirmed by the Senate, to the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs for the US Department of Education. And I later became the first minority woman to chair that particular council. Uh, working with, uh, school desegregation with, uh, drop-out prevention. All of these things just made me feel the, that at least, 02:34:00uh, I was trying to be a part of the solution and therefore not a part of the problem and, of course, I had had more than my fair share of recognition as a result of that. I felt, on all of these occasions, greatly humbled by the, uh, level of appreciation expressed to me by, uh, by the community. And perhaps one of the highlights of all of that was the volume, for which you served as editor, um, entitled, Black Liberation and Black Survival: Essays in Honor of a Black Scholar and that particular volume was presented to me, uh, in the 1970s by 02:35:00students and, uh, I think that was, uh, as, uh, nice a tribute as anybody could hope to get, whether they deserved it or not. (laughs)

LEWIS: Well, Jewel, it's, uh, always desirable to receive the acclaim of others, from our families to professional colleagues. It's wonderful when we actually do receive acknowledgment and acclaim. And you have, in fact, received it and I think it's justly deserved. But equally important is your own satisfaction, uh, with your accomplishments, your job and with your life. And I want to ask you one basic question. Do you feel that you have attained the goals that you set for yourself 02:36:00professionally and socially?

PRESTAGE: To some extent. I decided early on that I wanted, there was some things I wanted to accomplish educationally and of course I feel gratified that I was, in fact, able to earn the terminal degree in political science. I, uh, am pleased that I have a wonderful family, I am pleased that I was able to, while at Southern University, develop the political science program in a way that I think might have pleased 02:37:00Dr. Higgins, if he could look down and see it and to carry on that tradition which he had started. I feel immensely pleased with the accomplishments of the students who came through as political science major and those with whom I had contact who were not political science majors. To the extent that I had some impact on their lives, I feel pleased. Um, I probably have an agenda that goes well past the life expectancy of, uh, those persons featured on Willard Scott's segment of the "Today Show." Uh, I am now the dean of the Benjamin Banneker Honors 02:38:00College at Prairie View, a responsibility I accepted after retiring, following thirty-three years in the Southern University system. I chose that particular venue to continue my career in the post- retirement phase because the major objective of the Benjamin Banneker Honors College is to increase the number of African-Americans choosing to enroll in graduate school and completing terminal degrees. It is an effort to address the dearth of blacks in the, on the faculties in American colleges and universities. At Southern University, I had worked primarily with students in political science but this is 02:39:00a challenge inasmuch as the program of the honors college covers all academic disciplines at the university. That is the challenge which I am enjoying at this time. Uh, I, uh, am hoping that, uh, within a period of five years, we can see a definite turn around at, uh, Prairie View in terms of the number of individuals who have chosen to, uh, pursue master's and Ph.D. degrees at the end of their academic career. I'm also, uh, uh, hoping that, in addition to those things, that I will be able to take care of some other things on my agenda. The volume on African-American women in politics, the volume on the 02:40:00development of political science in the historically black colleges and, uh, a volume which will examine the Ph.D. holders who received undergraduate degrees at Southern University. As you know, at one time, Southern University was second only to Howard University in the production of African-American undergraduates who went on to get Ph.D. degrees. This latter estimate is one undertaken, being undertaken now by my husband and me in collaboration and I hope that we will be able to do that. And I also hope to continue to serve in whatever capacity, uh, the development and the times require to be a good citizen in my 02:41:00academic community, in my civic community, within my family and, uh, in all of the dimensions in which the world comes to, uh, comes to me, whether it be as an academic, as a, uh, good neighbor or whatever.

LEWIS: Jewel, you've come full circle. Starting out with your career at Prairie View and now back at Prairie View, having retired from Southern University, this time as an administrator. And I think, uh--

PRESTAGE: I think also, Shelby, I should add that one special joy that 02:42:00I had. In 1987, '88, I was invited back to my alma mater as a visiting distinguished professor in the political science department at the University of Iowa and, as I mentioned, it was a great joy to have my former students come back and serve on the faculty at Southern. And to encounter them as peers in the profession across the years and I must say that I greatly enjoyed being back at my alma mater and serving on the faculty with those who, uh, had taught me as a graduate student. That was a very good experience.

LEWIS: Okay, um, having come full circle, uh, as I said again, you're back at Prairie View as an administrator and you have still tremendous 02:43:00energy, uh, a great deal of commitment and dedication, an extraordinary commitment to black higher education and to excellence in education. But, uh, during this career you have had opportunities to go to universities in the North, the East, and perhaps even the West, and you have chosen to remain at Southern and at Prairie. Would you talk about blacks in higher education or historically black colleges and how you see them developing, with particular emphasis on political science and historically black colleges? What is happening to the discipline 02:44:00and how do you see the future for black political scientists and black political science in these institutions?

PRESTAGE: I think that the future is bright at, uh, Southern University. Uh, the department is growing and, uh, students seem to, uh, be intellectually stimulated by the external political community. That is, they want to be able to understand it better and of course teaching and research represents--represent the means for doing that. I see the tripling of the cadre of Ph.D. holders who are African-American from 02:45:001969 to the present and, uh, I see in the political science profession, uh, openness to, uh, new ways of looking at political phenomena. And I see a good kind of interchange of African-American political scientists moving between the historically black colleges and the predominantly white colleges. I think, as in all other aspects of life in this country, that it's a matter of choice. I feel that, um, opportunities ought to be available for African-American political scientists to cast their lots where they may and to, uh, be judged on the basic and the 02:46:00quality of their work. And that, if diversity of personnel is, uh, to characterize American higher education, that same diversity must be acceptable in research interests, in teaching style and teaching emphasis and the like. And, uh, to, uh, this extent, I feel optimistic about the future.

LEWIS: Jewel, as you usual, you have been kind, generous and patient. You have answered a number of questions for a number of hours. Uh, it's been a pleasure to participate in this project and to have the opportunity to interview you. I would like to end it with one final question and that's a question on globalization. Uh, I, with 02:47:00encouragement from you, have been involved in international affairs and development for a number of years. And you have, uh, begun to do international travel. You've always been involved with people from around the world. You've always had an interest. But now throughout the nation and the world we can see this thrust toward internationalization. We can see that the global village is one that we live in and we can see that it's going to have some kind of impact on our lives. What, in your view, is the impact or will be the impact of globalization on the profession of political science, with special 02:48:00emphasis on black political scientists?

PRESTAGE: There seems to be no option except to accept globalization as a necessity and a reality and to prepare for it. All institutions of higher education would be derelict if they did not move expeditiously to alter the curriculum, to alter their, alter extra-curricular activities and to create a series of experiences that will, in fact, produce a student with a bachelor's degree able to exist and operate 02:49:00efficiently and effectively anywhere in the world because that is, indeed, I think, the future.

LEWIS: Well, you haven't lost your edge at all Jewel. Your vision is global and I'm very, very pleased that you shared it with us. Thank you very much, Jewel Limar--

[End of interview.]