1. See especially, Joint Center for Political Studies publications: National Roster for Black Elected Officials (1970-1994); Black Elected Officials (1984); Black Political Participation; Black Politics (1980); Election '78: Implications for Black America (1979); Facts and Figures (1987-88); Focus vols. 10, 14, 18, 22 and 23; JCPS Congressional District Fact Book (1986); The JCPS Guide to Black Politics, 1976; and Elected and Appointed Black Judges in the United States (1986). Also see, Directory of African American State Legislators (Washington: National Black Caucus of State Legislators, 1994 and 1995), and William L. Clay, Just Permanent Interests: Black America in Congress, 1870-1991 (New York: Amistad Press, 1992).

  2. A word here about magnetic fields, static and the use of electrical cords with tape recorders. Early in the VRADP, I encountered a problem that caused irreversible damage to two important interviews. Initially, the Project used a Bell and Howell tape recorder. Although the machine was older, bulkier and heavier than the newer technology, it worked just fine and was mechanically capable. However, the use of the Bell and Howell ceased the week it twice acted as a radio receiver during the interview taping within a mile of a radio tower. While this problem is certainly not particular to Bell and Howell recorders, it was the fact that I used the machine's electrical cord to plug it into an a/c outlet that set the trouble into motion. Unaware that the machine was acting as a radio receiver during parts of the interview, when I replayed the tape to check it, there were disc jockeys talking and music playing over the recorded interview. While the machine would have worked on batteries, the decision to use the a/c cord was a practical one in that the machine, microphone, tapes, cords, forms, extra press releases, etc. really weighed my backpack down. In nearly twenty years of conducting interviews this had never happened to me. A word to the wise: invest in equipment with state of the art circuitry, and most important, invest in alkaline batteries or rechargeables and stay on top of their use and power drainage. In response to the recorder problem, the MSRC invested in a new, much lighter weight Marantz recorder and appropriate microphone. Fortunately both interviews were in the Washington area and both interviewees agreed to a repeat interview upon learning of the technical difficulty.

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November 1999