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

Glenn Burke (Mark Hundley/AP); Edythe Boone (Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle); Tramaine Hawkins (source unknown); Richard Pryor (Bob Riha Jr/WIREIMAGE)

The Berkeley Historical Society 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, musicians Joel Dorham and Joshua Reman, and athletes Don Barksdale, Glenn Burke, Ruppert Jones and Steve Odom, among many others.

The exhibit includes original drawings by Morrie Turner for his Wee Pals cartoon strip, photos of stars like Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Pryor who spent pivotal years in Berkeley, and memorabilia from gathering places like Rainbow Sign, the Black Repertory Group Theater, and the annual Berkeley Juneteenth Festival.

This exhibit celebrates the African American contributions to community and culture over the years in Berkeley.

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.

The exhibit is open, admission free, Thursday through Saturday 1 to 4 pm, through October 8, 2022.

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