Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 29, 2010
Sen. Eason McIntyre thanks Currie Ballard for his public service.
Currie Ballard listens as his resolution is read.
Currie Ballard addresses his colleagues in the Senate and thanks
them for the special recognition.
Assistant Secretary of Senate Honored
The Senate on Thursday honored one of its own, Assistant
Secretary of the Senate Currie Ballard for his many accomplishments
and life of public service.
"It is quite an honor for me to present this resolution to
Currie. I'm very proud of where he came from," said Eason McIntyre,
author of Senate Resolution 105. "This is a true example of
just because you're born and have situations that put you behind
the Eight Ball, through determination and associating yourself with
people that can help you and inspire you, you can go on and do whatever
it is you need to do. I think you very much for all that you have
Ballard will be inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame
this Friday, April 30 for his dedication to preserving African American
history. He has collected African American artifacts and documents
for more than thirty years. His 1997 "The Ebony Chronicles"
documentary won him a Regional Emmy award for best historical documentary.
In 2002, Ballard was appointed by President George W. Bush to a
Presidential Commission to build an African American Museum in Washington,
D.C. Then in 2005, he was appointed by Speaker of the U.S. House
of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert to a special taskforce to study
the history and contributions of slave laborers in the construction
of the U.S. Capitol.
Ballard's love of history stems from his family's heritage. His
ancestors were slaves of the Choctaw Indians in Oklahoma and he
is the descendent of the two slaves, Wallace and Minerva Willis,
who wrote the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”.
Ballard was born in Los Angeles, California in 1958. He grew up
in the Watts area of Los Angeles, raised by his grandparents being
that both his parents were in prison. He frequented the Southern
Area Boys Club on 120th Street where he says he learned self-respect.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Langston University. From 1993
to 2006, he was the Historian-in-Residence at the university. Then
in 2009, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Oklahoma State
"I thank Jesus. He brought me a mighty long ways from Watts
to the White House," said Ballard. "I thank Pro Tem Coffee.
I work with a staff that is second to none. As my grandfather would
say to this magnificent body of senators, 'you may fight like cats
and dogs in a Croker sack', but at the end of the day you all love
Oklahoma. I thank you!"
For more information, contact:
Sen. Eason McIntyre: (405) 521-5598