Black History Month
Every February since 1976, millions of Americans celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month. The City of Riverside joins this celebration of Black History Month all year long, as we take a deeper dive into the rich history, contributions, and achievements of some notable African Americans here in Riverside.
THINGS TO DO
Saturday, February 10, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Black History Expo & Parade: Every year, the City of Riverside takes part in the Black History Expo & Parade in Riverside which is a spectacular event that honors the legacy and achievements of African Americans in the region and beyond. This parade is one of the oldest and largest events of its kind in Southern California, celebrating 44 years and attracting thousands of people from different backgrounds and walks of life. This event is organized and hosted by the Adrian Dell and Carmen Roberts Foundation, a non-profit organization that fosters education, health, and community development among African Americans.
The theme for the 2024 parade is “It Takes a Village”, which highlights the importance of collective responsibility and solidarity in the African American community. The parade will feature floats, bands, dancers, and more from local schools, churches, businesses, and organizations. The parade will start at Riverside City College and end at the Riverside County Courthouse, where you can explore an expo with vendors, entertainment, and information booths.
Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG
Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG
Juneteenth: Juneteenth is a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. It is a day to celebrate Black culture and history, as well as raise awareness and support for Black issues. Here in Riverside, the annual Juneteenth celebration is hosted by The Black Collective and Iota Phi Theta Beta Zeta Omega Chapter, two local organizations that provide tools and a voice to the Black community in the Inland Empire. The event features family activities, live music, dancing, food, an artisan market, wellness programs, and local Black-owned businesses. It is free and open to the public, and takes place at Fairmount Park, 2601 Fairmount Blvd, Riverside, CA.
The organizers of this event are working hard to make this year’s 4th Annual Juneteenth Celebration bigger and better than ever. To stay updated on the details and announcements, you can follow The B.L.A.C.K. Collective on Instagram at @theblackcollective.co
RISE! MURAL: The RISE Mural is a stunning mosaic art installation that celebrates Black excellence and diversity in the City of Riverside, California. It features more than 30 portraits of influential African Americans from history and the present, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, and more. The mural was inspired by the story of Edison Kanatzar, a young Riversider who faced racial discrimination at school and found comfort in Maya Angelou’s poem “And Still I Rise”. The mural’s name and message are derived from this poem, which expresses resilience and empowerment in the face of adversity. The mural was created by a collaborative effort of 14 local artists, who worked individually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then assembled their pieces together. The mural was unveiled on July 21, 2021, at the corner of Market Street and 9th Street in Downtown Riverside, with the support of the City of Riverside and the community. The RISE Mural is a testament to the beauty and strength of the Black culture and a reminder to everyone that “Black is Beautiful”.
For more information on the RISE Mural, visit: https://riversideca.gov/press/rise-mural
Dr. Horace David Jackson: Dr. Horace Jackson was a pioneer in education and a leader in promoting cultural diversity in Riverside. Dr. Jackson earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1961, his master’s degree from USC and doctorate in education in 1976 from United States International University in San Diego. He started teaching at Lowell Elementary in 1961 and was hired as the first full-time Black principal in the Riverside Unified School District in 1968, at University Heights Middle School, and he later became the principal of John W. North High School from 1970 to 1976. He is credited with quelling racial unrest in RUSD during the 60’s and 70’s.
Dr. Jackson was a man of intellect, passion, and a principal who impacted generations of students and educators who were inspired by his vision and values.
To honor Jackson’s legacy, a scholarship was established in his name that is awarded to students from John W. North High School who are heading to a community college. Learn more about the scholarshipby visiting: https://www.horacejacksonscholarship.com/
Jack Clarke Sr.: Jack Clarke Sr. was a trailblazer who paved the way for generations to come. As one of the first full-time African American professionals hired at the California Youth Authority, he shattered barriers and inspired countless others.
His impact extended far beyond his professional career. In 1981, he became the first African American elected to the Riverside County Board of Education, followed by a groundbreaking victory in 1986 to become the City of Riverside’s first African American City Councilmember representing Ward 2 (Eastside, University, Sycamore Canyon, and Canyon Crest) from 1986 to 1993.
Councilmember Clarke lived and served his community by three core principles:
- Be comfortable with yourself.
- Have a strong belief in the intrinsic goodness of people.
- Cultivate good relationships with good people.
These values guided him as he championed initiatives like the construction of Victoria Manor Senior Apartments and the renovation of Riverside Park Apartments.
His legacy transcends his achievements and serves as a model for all, urging us to serve selflessly, bridge divides, and leave a lasting positive impact, regardless of your background.
Ameal Moore: Shortly after Councilmember Clarke’s term, Ameal Moore was elected to serve the people of Ward 2 from 1994 to 2006. Born in Mississippi in 1934, Councilmember Moore was a veteran, a postal worker, a civil rights activist, and an author and moved to Riverside in 1962. He was active in various community organizations and improved many areas of the city such as University Avenue, University Village, Sycamore Canyon Neighborhood and Wilderness Park, and revitalizing the Chicago Avenue Shopping Center leaving a legacy of service and leadership.
An advocate of green spaces, the city honored him by naming a nature center at the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park after him in 2014. The Ameal Moore Nature Center offers visitors a chance to explore and learn about nature. It features naturalist-led nature walks, exhibits, hands-on learning, and other events.
Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG
Rose Mayes: Since 1993, Rose has been an influential force in establishing equity in housing as the Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County. After more than five decades since President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Federal Fair Housing Ac, which sought to outlaw racial discrimination in housing, Rose continues to dedicate her life to this essential cause.
In addition to her fight for justice in housing, Rose is a co-founder of the Riverside African American Historical Society, which has been a guiding force for the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California and the erection of the MLK statue Downtown in 1998.
Stay up to date with Rose Mayes’ latest project: https://www.inlandcivilrights.org/
Dell Roberts: A legendary youth advocate and community icon, Dell Roberts worked for 38 years at the Riverside Unified School District as a football coach, campus supervisor, and assistant principal in charge of discipline at Poly High School from 1965-1989, and as assistant administrator in charge of discipline and campus security for RUSD from 1989 until his retirement in 2003. Roberts founded the Black Students Union at local high schools in 1968, the Riverside Black History Committee in 1979, and the Black History Parade in 1980. Roberts and his wife, Carmen, run the Adrian “Dell” & Carmen Roberts Foundation in Riverside, which creates and provides cultural activities throughout the year.
Dell Roberts was recently announced as the winner of the Frank Miller Civic Achievement Award for 2022. Roberts will be honored at a May 19 ceremony and dinner at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa.
Charles Bibbs: As one of the leaders in the African American art print market, acclaimed artist and Riverside resident, Charles Bibbs shares his perspective on the beauty of art and what it means to be an artist. Bibbs’ work fuses African American and Native American cultural themes that make powerful cross-cultural statements. You may have seen his artwork featured in exhibitions at the Riverside Art Museum. In his quest to preserve and develop the visual arts, you can find Charles serving on boards of museums and art organizations to support the art community.
To learn more about Charles Bibbs and view his artwork: https://www.cbibbs.com/
2112 Vasquez Place
Elizabeth and Robert Bonds Sr. moved to Riverside in 1957 with their four children. Rosie was a 1964 Olympic Hurdler, Robert Jr. and David were also top athletes. Bobby was one of Riverside’s most famous athletes. As a Pro Baseball player, he was legendary for power and speed. He was the first to hit at least 30 home runs and steal at least 30 bases in one season, a feat he repeated 5 times. He was also the first baseball player in the 20th Century to hit a Grand Slam in his first pro game. A 3-time All-Star, with 332 home runs,1024 RBI’s and 461 stolen bases, he played in the 1971 National League Championship Series, was 1973 All-Star MVP and won 3 Gold Gloves. His baseball legend son, Barry, was born in Riverside while the family lived here in 1964 who later became the MLB’s all-time home run leader (762 HR).
Born June 15, 1949, Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker grew up in Riverside’s Eastside neighborhood and has spent a lifetime in baseball. After a productive career as an outfielder for four teams (Atlanta Braves, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics,) over a 19-year career, Baker joined the managerial ranks and is current Special Advisor for the San Francisco Giants. Baker is the first manager to guide five franchises to a division title -- having done so with the Giants, Cubs, Reds, Nationals, and Astros. He is also the only three-time Major League Baseball Manager of the Year in League history. In November 2009, the City of Riverside named the baseball fields at Andulka Park in honor of the MLB legend.
Photo by Press Enterprise
Photo by Press Enterprise
Cheryl Miller took women's basketball off the court and into the air above the rim. Some of you may remember Cheryl Miller’s historic 105-point game against Norte Vista High School in 1982. After leading the Bears to a record of 132- 4, Miller graduated high school both a 4-time state champion and 4-time All-American, Cheryl then competed at the collegiate level at the University of Southern California (USC). At USC, she was a 4-time All-American, 3-time Naismith College Player of the Year, and led the Trojans to two back-to-back NCAA championships (1983 & 1984).
After college, Cheryl went on to win 5 Gold medals, and is credited as a pioneer of women’s basketball. She is also the first woman to dunk a basketball in a women’s basketball game and is the first female analyst to call a nationally televised NBA game (1996).
Cheryl’s younger brother, Reggie “Baby Ice” Miller cemented his legacy as one of the best all-around shooters in NBA history. While at UCLA, he ranked second on the all-time scoring list. Upon graduation he was drafted with the 11th pick in the draft and played 18 seasons all for the Indiana Pacers and shattered many NBA records along the way. By his retirement in 2005, Reggie held the NBA’s record for most three-pointers made with 2,560 threes.
The Miller siblings are the only brother and sister to both be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cheryl was inducted in 1995, while Reggie was enshrined in 2012.
STOP BY AND VISIT
Civil Rights Institute : Behind the Food Lab and right across the new Main Library, you will find the Civil Rights Institute located at 3933 Mission Inn Avenue in the Raincross District of Downtown Riverside. Now open to the public, the Civil Rights Institute serves as a repository that will include exhibit and archival space for historical civil rights documents, artifacts, videos and audio recordings of all of the communities and regions surrounding Riverside County. To learn more about the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California, visit: https://www.inlandcivilrights.org/
DID YOU KNOW???
- DYK: Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, started in 1875 in Riverside, is the oldest African American church in Riverside County?
- DYK: Lincoln Park was the place to be on summer days and nights from the 1930s through the ’50s, when you could watch the all-black Dukes play baseball, hang out at John Allen’s popular “Sweet Shop,” learn to dance at the recreation center run by the Stratton family or swim at the city’s only pool for blacks during segregation?
- DYK: The First street named for after an African American in Riverside was Langston Place? Langston Place runs between 12th and 14th Streets east of Victoria named for John Mercer Langston, the Dean of Howard University’s Law School. He and his wife Alice were large property owners in Riverside.
Is there anything we missed, should add or needs correction? Please email us at [email protected]