Your newspaper did us all a great favor with its coverage of Dolores Wharton’s autobiography, which serves as a fine complement to her husband’s book. You have helped put the Whartons in their proper historical context – they were pillars in the advancement of minority meritocracy in the United States, moreso than any ballplayer in the Hall of Fame.
Because, while Jackie Robinson proved that a black man could play in the Major Leagues, the Whartons proved minorities could rise to the top in the real-world major leagues of commerce, international relations, finance, government and the arts. And, in so doing, they paved the way for the advancement of the next generation of minority leaders – Barack Obama,
Julián Castro and Kamala Harris.
The Whartons may well be the best President and First Lady that the United States never had.
COOPERSTOWN – Lee Brathwaite, a rising executive as NYTel evolved into Verizon, found himself in a tough transition – from operations to sales.
“It was the most challenging transition of my career,” said Brathwaite, now CEO of Apex Construction, a Harlem-based company building commercial and multiple-unit residential structures and a board member for the Golub Company, which operates Price Chopper.
Among other things, in sales, his salary and his team’s paychecks depended on results.
He discovered communications skills – sharpened at Dolores Wharton’s Fund for Corporate Initiatives (FCI) through interactions with other young execs and captains of industry – enabled him to pull his team together, to develop a rapport with clients, and to close deals.
By the end of the second year, his team was routinely winning his corporation’s sales awards.
“It was the best experience of my career,” said Brathwaite, he said of his FCI experience.
As it happens, Wharton – she and husband Clifton R. Wharton Jr., the former SUNY chancellor, have owned a home above Otsego Lake for three decades – considers FCI as the pinnacle of her wide range of achievements.
County Resident, Retired SUNY Chancellor Remembers
COOPERSTOWN – Clifton R. Wharton Jr., former SUNY chancellor, deputy secretary of state, Michigan State president, president of Fortune 500 TIAA-CREF and former Rockefeller Foundation chair, has published his memoir, “Privilege And Prejudice.”
As the book tour begins, he will be interviewed this week by Bill Moyers at an event at the TIAA-CREF headquarters, then will appeared at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at The Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium for a lecture and book-signing; retired SUNY Oneonta President Alan B. Donovan will emcee. To reserve seats, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 547-1433.
Editor’s Note: Here is an excerpt from “The Titan Among Us,” an examination of Dr. Wharton’s life and book that appears in this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.
Clifton R. Wharton Jr.’s archive, thousands of square feet set in a hillside off Glimmerglen Road, captures the scope of the enterprise: Row upon row of file cabinets; rows of shelving stacked with those heavy cardboard file boxes, hundreds of them, records of a life fully lived, fully achieved.
The final scene of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” comes to mind, where that government functionary boxes the invaluable artifact and rolls it down a long aisle, into oblivion, in a government warehouse that extends as far as the eye can see. Gone forever, the viewer concludes.
Not so with Dr. Wharton’s warehouse. Son of a ground-breaking black U.S. diplomat, pioneering Harvard undergrad, former Rockefeller Foundation emissary (and later, chairman), Chicago Ph.D., Michigan State president, SUNY chancellor, Fortune 500 CEO and assistant secretary of state, Wharton has spent his retirement, more than two decades now, turning millions of records – letters from his mother, reports and studies from academe, memos from the heights of commerce and government, even an occasional Hy Rosen cartoon – into a unique and compelling memoir.
“Privilege And Prejudice: The Life of a Black Pioneer,” was published Sept. 1 by the Michigan State University Press …
FOR FULL ARTICLE, SEE THIS WEEK’S FREEMAN’S JOURNAL