124. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Brown) to Secretary of State Kissinger1

The Black Caucus

The group of blacks who want to meet with you consider themselves the representatives of blacks in State who have made it. Their preoccupations are largely with the educated blacks in the system who want quicker advance and greater recognition.

I have talked to many of them on an individual basis but have not tried to divert them from you as a group because such action would only disturb them more.

Here are some of their preoccupations:

[Page 438]

1. Blacks are not well served by the present director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (Fred Pollard, former Olympic star with little drive). The office should be revitalized and the 7th floor should pay it more attention.

Comment: This is true. The Black Caucus has to say this. Once it does, we can move on the problem.

2. Blacks are not getting the right jobs.

Comment: We sometimes take pride in having a good number of black Ambassadors. Unfortunately, we send the career blacks to black countries in Africa and the Caribbean. This bugs them. What we need to do is name a black to a white country. We have an opportunity with Costa Rica. We do not have blacks in top-level DCM jobs in Europe, Asia, or elsewhere. What we should do is take a first-class black like Terry Todman (now Ambassador to Guinea) and make him DCM in Paris, London, or some other important Class I post.

3. The lower blacks get nowhere.

Comment: Largely true, despite efforts to upgrade. Our mail sorters, cleaners, secretaries, etc., are lucky to move up one or two pay notches during their entire service with State. Perhaps the best way to cope with this is to get an energetic director of the Equal Opportunity Office and have him put pressure on us in an intelligent way.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, General Administrative Correspondence Files of the Deputy Under Secretary for Management, 1968–75: Lot 78 D 295, 1973–74 EEO . No classification marking.
  2. On January 31, Kissinger met with a group of African-American employees from the Department, AID, and USIA to discuss career advancement opportunities for black officers. Following the meeting, an unsigned January 31 memorandum was sent to Kissinger suggesting he “continue to recommend Black officers for appointment to Ambassadorial and other senior level positions on a worldwide basis,” develop an “upward mobility program” for minority Departmental personnel, strengthen mid-career recruitment and lateral entry programs in all foreign policymaking agencies to increase the number of African-Americans at middle and senior level positions, and elevate the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity to Deputy Assistant Secretary level. (Ibid.) Samuel M. Pinckney was designated the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Equal Employment Opportunity on January 15, 1975. Pinckney’s appointment coincided with the creation of the Department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office (M/EEO ) through the combination of the former Office of Equal Employment (M/EP) and the Office of Women’s Affairs (M/WA).