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African Americans in Berkeley: Art, Entertainment, Literature, Sports, 1940–2010

Top: Glenn Burke (Mark Hundley/AP); Edythe Boone (Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle); Tramaine Hawkins (source unknown); Richard Pryor (Bob Riha Jr/WIREIMAGE)
Bottom: Relief by Sargent Johnson, Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley

The Berkeley Historical Society & Museum presents Year 3 of African Americans in Berkeley, building upon the foundation of African Americans in Berkeley: Four Families introduced in 2019 and African Americans in Berkeley’s History and Legacy presented in 2021. Highlights of Year 3 are significant contributions made by Berkeley African Americans in the worlds of art, entertainment, literature and sports from 1940 to 2010.

Some of the people featured are educator Ruth Acty (as a writer and performer), journalist Belva Davis, artists Mildred Howard and Edythe Boone, singers/musicians Tramaine Hawkins and Joshua Redman, and athletes Don Barksdale, Glenn Burke, and Steve Odom, among many others. 

On view are stars like Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Pryor who spent pivotal years in Berkeley. Also in the spotlight are gathering places like Rainbow Sign, the Black Repertory Group Theater, and the annual Berkeley Juneteenth Festival.

The exhibit was organized by Harvey Smith and Stephanie Anne Johnson with the assistance of Mary Jackson, David Knott, Byron Rumford III, and Tina Jones Williams.

Check back for related events throughout the exhibit.

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