You can also
read a candid conversation with the author.
Barbara A. Robinson
was born in Alexander City, Alabama. After completing high school
in Columbus, Georgia, Barbara received financial aid to attend college
at a time when it was rare for African Americans, especially females,
to receive such assistance. After just one year at the then, Morgan
State College in Baltimore, Maryland, Barbara’s funding was depleted,
and she was forced to search for employment. Barbara worked in local
factories for several years, before finally securing a job filing
parking tickets in the Traffic Division at the Municipal Court for
In 1969, Barbara
and her family moved from Flag House Courts Projects in Baltimore
City to a house on Laurel Drive, in Baltimore County. That move
allowed her children the opportunity to attend a better school.
of the racial discrimination that existed, for eighteen years, Barbara
worked her way through different management and supervisory positions
in the Maryland court system, becoming the first woman, and the
first African American, to hold the positions of Chief Administrator
of the Traffic Division of Baltimore City, Deputy Administrator
of the District Court of Baltimore City, Deputy Administrator of
the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, which later became the Circuit
Court. Barbara continued to pursue her education, and in 1975, eighteen
years after she started college, she finally completed her Bachelor
of Science Degree in Business Management at the University of Baltimore,
the first of many degrees to come.
escalating professional career, she was continuing to pursue her
education. Earning a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration,
a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education from the Johns Hopkins
University, and post graduate credits from the Johns Hopkins University.
In 1985, she
resigned her position with the court and founded, Strategies, Tactics,
And Results Associates, Incorporated, known within the business
community as STAR. From humble beginnings in the basement of her
home, financed with an unemployment check, STAR is now nationally
and internationally recognized as a rapidly growing company in the
In 1987 the
Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee awarded Barbara the Key to the City.
In 1990 Barbara founded SelfPride, Incorporated, a non-profit company
dedicated to providing community-based residential care to people
with developmental disabilities. Barbara also started hosting a
weekly radio talk show on WEAA-FM radio aired in Maryland, Washington,
D.C., Virginia, Delaware, parts of Pennsylvania and thousands more
states via the Internet. The show, called "The Business Reachout
Forum, was developed and produced by Barbara and continues today.
In 1993, Barbara
published her first book, And Still, I Cry. In 1998, her second
book, Yes You Can, which focuses on entrepreneurship, was published.
Her third book, Eyes of the Beholder, a novel, released in 2002.
experienced the problems and negative impact of welfare-dependency,
Barbara devoted her time and energy to developing job training,
and placement programs, to reduce welfare dependency. These programs
are also designed to move individuals into career paths that will
provide a secure future for themselves and their families. Her focus
is to create job opportunities that provide medical benefits to
employees, further supporting an individual’s ability to remain
off of welfare rolls.
Barbara is acknowledged
as a "trailblazer," in her gallant efforts to prevent drug and alcohol
abuse. At one point, Barbara spent seven years as a teacher in the
Maryland prison system working with male inmates whose past included
either the use and or distribution of drugs and or alcohol.
extended herself into many facets of the community and has founded
or been a member of numerous organizations.
In 1992, Barbara
was voted Business Woman of the Year by the Ujima Society in Maryland.
In 1992 she was also voted Woman of the Year by 100 Black Women,
In 1995 Barbara
was one of five women nationally, who was a recipient of the Woman
of Enterprise Award. This was an annual event sponsored by Avon
and the U.S. Small Business Administration, that was held at the
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, and was called the Academy
Awards of Entrepreneurship.
1996 Barbara was awarded the Key to the City of her home town, Alexander
City, Alabama. In 1996 she was awarded the Key to the City of Watertown,
South Dakota, by the Mayor of that city. She was also awarded the
Key to the City of Memphis, Tennessee by the mayor of that city.
In February 1996, her company, STAR Associates, was awarded a citation
by Mayor Kurt Schmoke, the Mayor of Baltimore, as the "Company of
In 1996 Barbara
was inducted into the Maryland Women Hall of Fame. In 1998 she was
honored at the White House by President Bill Clinton and Vice President
Al Gore for her work in welfare reform. In 1999 she was voted "Welfare
to Work Entrepreneur of the Year," by SBA.