ABC7 Celebrates Black History Month 2017

2/1 - 2/28

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017
black history month

In honor of Black History Month, ABC7 celebrates the amazing achievements in black culture and history here in the Bay Area.

February 28, Anthony Khalil, Literacy for Environmental Justice

Anthony Khalil is one of a very few field-based biologists of color and he works diligently to share his environmental knowledge to educate youth at the Literacy for Environmental Justice nonprofit in Southeast San Francisco. LEJ has been educating youth about their environment and leading volunteer groups to restore green parts of the Bayview & Hunter's Point neighborhoods for almost 20 years. They also run a native plant nursery that provides plants for many conservation projects in San Francisco. And LEJ is currently restoring an area of Candlestick Point and building 6 campsites, making it one of only two places in San Francisco that allows camping! Thank you for your leadership and dedication, Anthony! Photo courtesy of LEJ. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #anthonykhalil #LEJ #literacyforenvironmentaljustice #sanfrancisco #southeastsf #camping #plantlife #bayview #hunterspoint #candlestickpoint

February 27, Ashley Bryan at SF Public Library

Ashley Bryan is a one-of-a-kind artist, writer, storyteller, and humanitarian! He has written, illustrated and published over 50 children's books, most of which focus on the African American experience. Some of his titles include "My America," "Walk Together Children: Black American Spirituals, Volume One," and "Ashely Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry." Some of his inspiring work is now on display in the Children's Center at the San Francisco Public Library (@sfpubliclibrary)! Check it out! Photo courtesy of SFPL. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #ashleybryan #SFPL #sanfrancisco #publiclibrary #sfplchildrenscenter #author #illustrator #childrensbooks #spirituals #poetry

February 26, Mahershala Ali

Oscar nominee Mahershala Ali (@mahershalaali) is a proud Bay Area native celebrating his first Oscar nod for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at today's Academy Awards (@theacademy) festivities. Born in Oakland, he grew up in Hayward, and later attended St. Mary's College (@stmarysca) in Moraga on a basketball scholarship for his undergraduate degree. He's made a name for himself in both film and television, and has earned Emmy nominations in addition to his exciting Oscar nomination for the film "Moonlight." Good luck, Mahershala! Photo courtesy A24 Films. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #mahershalaali #mahershala #academyawards #oscars #oakland #oaklandnative #hayward #StMarys #moonlight

February 25, Angela Davis, U.C. Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz Professor Angela Davis is internationally known for her historic and ongoing civil rights work, fighting oppression in the United States and abroad. Her social activism started in the 1960's, and she came to national attention when she was fired from her teaching position at UCLA due to her outspoken work. She was falsely accused of murder and kidnapping in 1970, placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, the subject of an intense manhunt, imprisoned for 16 months, and then acquitted in 1972. She has spent the decades since speaking out on prisoners' right. Former California Governor Ronald Reagan once vowed that Angela Davis would never again teach in the University of California system. Today she is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at UC Santa Cruz. #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #WhereYouLive #AngelaDavis #UCSantaCruz #SantaCruz #Professor #socialactivism #feminist

February 24, Madam C.J. Walker

The amazing Madam C.J. Walker was is renowned as one of the first self-made millionaires in the world when she invented a line of hair care products specially designed for African Americans in 1905. The child of Louisiana sharecroppers, Madam Walker developed her own scalp conditioning formula after suffering from an ailment that caused her to lose most of her hair. Her hard work and success still inspires today, as can be seen in the annual Madam C.J. Walker Luncheon of the Oakland-Bay Area Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. The luncheon raises funds for the organization's work to provide programs that increase the participation of African American women in economic, civic, entrepreneurial, and human services activities. Photo courtesy of Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture. #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #WhereYouLive #MadamCJWalker #NationalCoalitionof100BlackWomen #Oakland #rolemodel #millionaire #haircare #entrepreneur

February 23, Victory Salute at San Jose State

The next time you are visiting San Jose State University, swing by the "Victory Salute" statue which commemorates the civil rights protest made by Olympic athletes - and former San Jose State student athletes - TommieSmith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. After having won the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter track event, the 2 men stood on the podium shoeless, wearing black socks on their feet only, and with their heads bowed, and one arm in the air with a black-gloved fist. They said their raised fists gesture was meant as a human rights salute, and that their black socks represented black poverty. Their political protest at an international event made headlines around the Globe and was poorly received by many people. Both athletes received hundreds of death threats when they returned home. It wasn't until 2005 that San Jose State University erected this monument to their brave protest. The statue even leaves room for visitors to stand on the podium with the 2 athletes in solidarity. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #sanjosestate #tommiesmith #johncarlos #olympics #civilrights #victorysalute #protest

February 22, Michael Johnson/Joyce Gordon Gallery

Time is running out for you to experience a beautiful photo exhibit at Oakland's Joyce Gordon Gallery. "Mali: Keeper of Memories" offers a photo series by artist Michael Johnson, which will be on display through this Saturday, 2/25. As Michael has stated, "To portray Mali solely in accordance with its place as one of the poorest countries in the world would do it an injustice. The people, though reserved, were warm, welcoming generous, and curious about those from outside Mali, especially a Black American. They have a long and storied history that is carried from generation to generation through their music...It was a very enlightening trip on many levels... My interaction with Africans in Africa made my status as a product of American history and culture quite clear, while allowing me to embrace them even more." Learn more about the artist's photographic adventures at the closing reception this Thursday, 2/23, from 6-8pm. #WhereYouLive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #MichaelJohnson #JoyceGordonGallery #Mali #photography #Oakland

February 21, Berkeley Public Library

Visit the Berkeley Public Library (@berkeleypubliclibrary) North Branch to see the photo exhibit celebrating the publication of the upcoming book "The Picture Man: From the Collection of Bay Area Photographer E.F. Joseph." His dynamic and inspiring historical photos document 50 years of the Bay Area's African-American community, from 1927 through 1979. And you can meet the authors Ruth Beckford & Careth Reid at a special event this Saturday, February 27th. Don't miss it! Photo courtesy of Oakland Public Library. #WhereYouLive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #Oakland #EFJoseph #photography #ThePictureMan #RuthBeckford #CarethReid #BerkeleyPublicLibrary

February 20, Buffalo Soldiers

In 1899, African-American army regiments known as Buffalo Soldiers were among the first stewards of some of California's largest national parks. The group pictured here, from the 24th Infantry regiment, patrolled Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. The nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" was given to a regiment of black cavalry soldiers in 1867 by Cheyenne warriors out of respect for their fierce fighting during the American Indian Wars. Over time, all African American soldiers became known as Buffalo Soldiers. Despite second-class treatment, these soldiers became well respected and had the lowest desertion rate in the Army. Today, you can visit the graves of the 400 Buffalo Soldiers buried in the Presidio. #WhereYouLive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #buffalosoldiers #Yosemite #sequoianationalpark #parkrangers #Cheyenne #presidio

February 19, Pastor Raymond Lankford, Healthy Communities, Inc.

Pastor Raymond Lankford, pictured in the center, developed a prescription drug addiction after a sports injury in college. That led to harder drugs and thoughts of suicide. But a concerned friend encouraged him to get help, and getting clean helped him find his spiritual side. In the 30+ years that he's been sober, he became a pastor, founded the VOICES of Hope Community Church in West Oakland, and he helped co-found the nonprofit he now runs, Healthy Communities. The organization offers a wide variety of services, including a low-cost state-license community health clinic (the first African American faith-based to do so in California!). Pastor Lankford is a beacon of light, compassion, and spirituality for countless local communities. You can see Pastor Lankford on an upcoming episode of ABC7's "Beyond the Headlines with Cheryl Jennings," as he discusses prescription drug abuse and sobriety. #whereyoulive #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #pastorraymondlankford #pastorlankford #healthycommunities #healthyoakland #voicesofhope #soberlife #oakland #cheryljennings

February 18, California Hotel in Oakland

If you listen closely when you drive down the 580 freeway in Oakland, passing the California Hotel, you may hear the distant echo of the jazz and blues music that used to ring through this historic landmark. Upon opening in 1930, the hotel welcomed numerous African American performers and artists, but they weren't allowed to stay in the rooms of the hotel due to segregation of the time. That changed in 1953, when a grand re-opening under new management made the California Hotel the ONLY full-service hotel that welcomed black people in the entire East Bay. Over the years, the block-sized building on San Pablo Avenue drew big-name performers including Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and many more. After several decades, the building fell into disrepair. But thanks to the Oakland nonprofit EBALDC (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation), the building has now been refurbished into low-income housing, with many of the tenants having been formerly homeless. #WhereYouLive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #CaliforniaHotel #VisitOakland #Oakland #EBALDC #segregation #BillieHoliday #RayCharles #JamesBrown #MahaliaJackson #locallandmark

February 17, All Stars Project

Dr. Elouise Joseph, pictured center right, is a Stanford-trained physician and the City Leader of the All Stars Project of the San Francisco Bay Area. A resident of the SF Bay Area for 40+ years, she grew up poor, isolated, and limited in Louisiana. As a pediatrician she began to recognize that young people needed more than traditional medical care - they need development - experiences that help them to see and act on new possibilities. Dr. Joseph believes that we need to address the way in which poverty isolates young people and locks them into narrow identities. She left clinical practice and joined the All Stars to reach and engage thousands of young people in developmental afterschool programs and enlisting caring adults from affluent and corporate communities as their partners.

#whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #AllStars #AllStarsSFBayArea #development #drelouisejoseph #rolemodel #mentors

February 16, Bessie Coleman

If you've driven into the Oakland International Airport, you may have noticed a large blue sign that says "The Port of Oakland honors Bessie Coleman, first African-American female aviator." Bessie was a trailblazer and an inspiration for many. Not only was she the first African-American woman to earn an international aviation license back in 1921, she was the first American - of any gender or ethnicity - to earn such a license! She learned to fly in Europe and upon returning to the United States, thrilled audiences with her stunt pilot & barnstorming skills. She spent part of her short career in Oakland. Tragically, she died in an airplane crash in 1926 at the age of 34. Photo courtesy of NASA. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #BessieColeman #femaleaviator #oakland #oaklandinternationalairport #OAK #stuntpilot

February 15, Hack The hood

Hack the Hood (@hackthehood) helps youth of color launch their tech careers by hiring and training them to build websites for small local businesses. During 6-week boot camps, participants build these free websites, while also learning to see themselves as entrepreneurs and change-makers in their community. They leave the program with a toolbox of skills, confidence, and ideas that equip them to flourish in whichever industry they choose. And right now, they're up for an award by The Atlantic. You can help them win $20,000 right now by voting at DOUBLE TAP to help us cheer on the great work of Hack the Hood! Photo courtesy of Hack the Hood. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #hackthehood #tech #youthofcolor #inclusion #smallbiz

February 14, The Afro American Council of Oakland

The National Afro-American Council was established in 1898 in Rochester, New York. It quickly grew with chapters across the country, such as this one featuring the Oakland membership in 1907. The AAC spoke out against lynching, disenfranchisement of black voters, and racial discrimination. Two important historical facts of note about the AAC are that it was one of the first black organizations to welcome women as equal members and that it was also the first black group to meet regularly with a U.S. President. Today, the AAC is recognized as having laid the groundwork for independent black political action and as a precursor to the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. Photo courtesy of Online Archive of California. #whereyoulive #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #AfroAmericanCouncil #AAC #NAACP #Oakland

February 13, Code 2040

Each summer San Francisco-based Code2040 @CODE2040 welcomes dozens of Black and Latinx computer science students to the Bay Area to be a part of their 10-week Fellows Program. The organization has set the goal for the year 2040 of building a more equitable, innovative, and prosperous country. The Code2040 Fellows Program builds bridges between top, college-level Black and Latinx engineering talent and companies who are in need of this talent. Participants work in both a full-time internship at top tech companies and summer-long programming hosted by Code2040, covering topics ranging from professional development to overcoming "imposter syndrome." Congrats on building a brighter future for all of us, Code2040! Photo courtesy of Code2040. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #Code2040 #Fellows2040 #computerscience #engineers #tech

February 12, OMCA Black Panther Exhibit

Don't miss Oakland Museum of California's (@oaklandmuseumca) must-see exhibition "All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50" and discover untold stories of the Black Panther Party. Learn how the Party continues to inspire grassroots social justice and community empowerment efforts locally, nationally, and internationally. The charismatic and often controversial Panthers created programs to benefit local communities (such as the food program pictured here), stood up against power and earned the admiration of other struggling communities in the US and around the globe. The exhibition ends on 2/26/17. Photo courtesy of OMCA. #ABC7Celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth #WhereYouLive #BlackPanthersAt50 #Oakland

February 11, Shirley Gorden, PBWC

Every Spring, the Professional Business Women of California - or PBWC - Conference (@pbwcfollowers) takes place in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Over 5,000 women from companies and schools across the Bay Area come together to learn and be inspired. Shirley Gordon is one of the incredible volunteer board members who help make this event happen. Shirley is a Vice President at State Farm Insurance (@statefarm), but also dedicates many hours to serving as PBWC's Academic Scholarship committee chair. Each year, under Shirley's guidance, the PBWC give out several scholarships to high-achieving female high school seniors. ABC7 is a proud sponsor of the PBWC Conference, and we hope to see you there on March 28th! #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #pbwc #shirleygordon #statefarm #scholarship #inspiringwomen #givingback

February 10, Angie Coleman, Reboot Safety

Angelica Coleman, pictured at the far left, is a local entrepreneur, problem-solver, and digital activist with a passion for tech, racial equality, and empathy-led design. She is currently living and working in Oakland as the co-founder of Reboot Safety, a non-profit that serves as a think-tank focused on quickly developing community solutions for public safety. Reboot Safety hosts Hackathons across the country to brainstorm new ideas for making public spaces safer for everyone. Angie also works as a local activist and organizer in Oakland and is currently building digital resistance and advocacy tools with the Stay Woke org. She previously built a BuyBlack Chrome extension to help users find black-owned businesses while they browse online. Photo courtesy of Angie Coleman. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #AngieColeman #RebootSafety #Oakland #hackathon #staywoke #buyblack

February 9, San Francisco Black Infant Health Program

In San Francisco, African American babies die at three times the rate of the general population in the first year of life. Babies die because they are born too soon and too small. Thankfully the San Francisco Black Infant Health Program is a great resource for black families, working to improve birth outcomes and health disparities affecting African American women and their infants. They focus on contributing factors such as chronic stress, social isolation, racial inequities and economic hardship. The program encourages a commitment to self-love and healthy living through its group education program and individual client services. Photo courtesy of the SF Black Infant Health Program. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #sfblackinfanthealth #babies #infanthealth #sanfrancisco #healthymoms

February 8, Spencer Christian at African American Literature Read-In

The Oakland Education Fund (@oaklandedfund) believes that Oakland school students deserve opportunities to see themselves - and all of their classmates - in the books they read. So, in honor of Black History Month, they host an annual citywide week of appreciation of African-American writers and illustrators. And earlier this week, Kaiser Elementary School in Oakland welcomed our very own Spencer Christian to their classrooms, where he read his children's book, "Can It Really Rain Frogs?: The World's Strangest Weather Events," and answered lots of weather questions! #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #oaklandreads #readingispower #oaklandeducationfund #spencerchristian

February 7, The Hidden Genius Project

These young men are taking part in an exciting program in East Oakland called The Hidden Genius Project. Founded in 2012 by five black male tech entrepreneurs, the Hidden Genius Project connected young black males with the skills, mentors, and experiences they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders themselves. This particular photo represents one of the pillars that the program is built on: "ubuntu." Ubuntu is an African philosophy that means "I am because we are." As you can see from the photo, these young men have formed a community of brotherhood, respect, and love toward each other. Bravo, gentlemen! Photo courtesy of The Hidden Genius Project. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #hiddengeniusproject #eastoakland #ubuntu #entrepreneur #techjobs #mentors

February 6, Drag Queen Mercedes Munro

Former Miss Gay United States Mercedez Munro considers herself an "old school female impersonator," and she works tirelessly in Bay Area communities to support charities such as the Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation (REAF) and the Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation. She even had the honor of being asked to do the makeup and costuming for Hollywood star Alexander Skarsgard at a San Francisco movie premiere in 2015! She's now in the running for the title of Empress of San Francisco, in an election held by the Imperial Council of San Francisco. The Imperial Council has a long history of fundraising efforts for a wide range of causes that help Bay Area residents. Voting for the Empress title takes place on February 18th. Photo courtesy of J. Conrad Frank. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #mercedezmunro #missgayusa #imperialcourtofsanfrancisco #empress #drag #LGBT

February 5, Playwright Robert O'Hara

From February 15th to March 5th, San Francisco's Brava Theater presents the Northern California premiere of playwright Robert O'Hara's latest work, the semi-biographical tale, Bootycandy. Robert's subversive comedy weaves an engrossing story of one man's experience growing up black, gay and as an artist. From his boyhood home, his church, dive bars, motel rooms and even nursing homes, this show will take you on a fun, enlightening, and sometimes risqué journey. Be sure to catch this limited engagement at the Brava Theater, presented in association with BlackArtists Contemporary Cultural Experience. For over 30 years, Brava! for Women in the Arts (@BravaTheater) has produced, presented, and cultivated the artistic expression of women, people of color, youth, LGBTQIA, and other underrepresented voices. Photo courtesy of Zack Dezon. #abc7celebrates #whereyoulive #blackhistorymonth #RobertOhara #BravaTheater #Playwright #LGBT

February 4, Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce

Have you ever had a great idea for a business, but didn't know how to make it succeed? The Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce has been answering that question and helping to grow jobs in Silicon Valley since 1989. The SVBCC primarily focuses on growing economic development opportunities for African Americans and minorities throughout the South Bay. They also work to educate the community about financial planning and economic empowerment. They have created a network of business owners, like those pictured here, that encourage and uplift each other to achieve the true American Dream! #WhereYouLive #abc7celebrates #SVBCC #SiliconValleyBlackChamberofCommerce #BlackChamberofCommerce #Entrepreneurs #SiliconValley #SouthBay

February 3, Blind Babies Foundation

Meet Brandon! He was born with low vision, but thanks to the Alameda-based Blind Babies Foundation he doesn't have to miss out on traditional egg hunts. BBF works all year long to serve the diverse communities across the Bay Area. Each Spring, their annual Beeper Egg Hunt makes it possible for local children like Brandon to find special "beeping" eggs by following their sound. Want to help? You can be a #BBFHero by sponsoring a "beeping" egg and bring joy to hundreds of babies with vision loss this spring.

Click here to visit their site to learn more. #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #whereyoulive #blindbabiesfoundation #juniorblind #beeperegghunt

February 2, Supervisor Malia Cohen

Supervisor Malia Cohen inspires local youth and communities as a twice-elected member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 10 (which includes Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, Bayview/Hunter's Point and Visitation Valley). She is committed to improving the health and safety, and creating economic opportunities for not only the residents of her district, but for the entire City of San Francisco. One way she's working on that is as the new Chair of the Budget & Finance Committee. Supervisor Cohen has said, "Chairing the Budget and Finance Committee is no small feat and a role that comes with great responsibility. This role is even more important under the new federal administration, which has threatened so many of our City's progressive values, such as providing affordable healthcare, access to homeless services and serving as a sanctuary city for our diverse immigrant population. Under my leadership, the Budget Committee will work hard to protect these values. Additionally, the Budget Select Committee will investigate potential federal funding and policy changes and, working with City departments and other leaders, help plan San Francisco's defense of our funding priorities." Photo courtesy of the office of Supervisor Malia Cohen. #whereyoulive #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #maliacohen #thefutureisfemale #womenlead #femalerolemodel #sanfrancisco

February 1, Akoma Arts

The South Bay-based Akoma Arts has been entertaining and educating audiences all across the Bay Area since 2011. Founder Keith Hames brings together musicians, singers, dancers, and spoken word artists to bring communities together through African arts. They have taught African drumming to many children, including teens in San Jose Juvenile Hall. They have regular dancing and drumming classes, just like the one pictured here at San Pedro Square. The word "Akoma" comes from the country of Ghana in West Africa, and it means patience, endurance, consistency, and faithfulness. Those qualities guide Akoma Arts as they offer positive and informative messages through their arts. Photo courtesy of Akoma Arts. #whereyoulive #abc7celebrates #blackhistorymonth #akomaarts #djembe #africandance #sanjose #spokenword #ghana

Archive: Black History Month 2016

Archive: Black History Month 2015