Early Black migrants to Alameda establish community
Samuel G. Kimbrough fled Mississippi with his wife Mary and their children in 1915, fearing violence from the Ku Klux Klan. The family moved in with relatives in Alameda. By 1920, Samuel, a blacksmith, bought a home for the family on Lincoln Avenue near Grand Street.
Writer Rasheed Shabazz led a Black History Month home tour last Saturday titled: “Early Black Pioneers of Alameda.” More than 30 local residents gathered at Lincoln Avenue and Grand Street for the two-hour walking tour of Alameda’s north shore, where the first pioneering Black Alamedans built their homes in the late 1800s.
According to Shabazz, the first Black families were drawn to California and settled in Alameda for both the pleasant climate and employment opportunities. Initially Blacks lived in Alameda only as laborers in the homes of White people.
Alameda Island Poets’ monthly free reading Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., will celebrate Black History Month with local poets Amos White and Wanda Sabir.
White is an award-winning American haiku poet, author, producer, director and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. He has been published in several national and international reviews and anthologies.
The Alameda Island Poets will celebrate Black History Month Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. Speakers include the award-winning author of more than 30 books, Ishmael Reed, his daughter, Tennessee Reed, Fairfield’s first Poet Laureate, Juanita Martin and poet-singer-songwriter Boundless Gratitude, also known as Haussan Jones-Bey.
Students at the Child Unique Montessori School and Montessori Elementary School of Alameda marked National African American History Month (popularly known as Black History Month) with a series of campaigns designed to celebrate and share the achievements that African Americans have brought to the United States and the Bay Area specifically.
To mark Black History Month, the City of Alameda plans to place banners at City Hall, on Central Avenue and on Webster Street during the last two weeks of February. The banners illustrate the influential faces of John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Ruby Bridges, Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, James Baldwin and Elector Littlejohn.
At the Tuesday, Feb. 21, City Council meeting, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer will issue a proclamation, encouraging Alamedans to observe and celebrate Black History Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.