By Jennifer Baires Posted October 15, 2012 3:33 pm

Richmond is a city that celebrates its history. On Saturday, the sixth annual Home Front Festival in the Craneway Pavilion at Ford Point, paid homage to the importance of World War II in the shaping and growth of the city. Hundreds came and went throughout the sunny day, enjoying the interactive history booths, live music, and displays.

The Home Front Festival featured volunteers like Francisco Mijango, part of the Walking Ghost Exhibition, who dressed in WWII era garb and visually told the story of Richmond's home front history. Mijango said everything he was wearing was made by Rosies -- American women who worked in factories during the war. (Photo by: Jennifer Baires)









 Photos from online sources









Richmond Juneteenth parade draws thousands

By Robert Rogers
Contra Costa Times

Posted:   06/16/2012 02:54:42 PM PDT

Updated:   06/16/2012 03:46:41 PM PDT



Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                     June 19, 2009



On this day in 1865, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, those who found themselves still enslaved in Galveston, Texas had their hopes realized and their prayers answered. Contrary to what others had told them, the rumors they had heard were indeed true. The Civil War had ended, and they were now free.

General Gordon Granger issued the call with "General Order No. 3" saying "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” June 19, or Juneteenth, is now observed in 31 states. Nearly a century and a half later, the descendants of slaves and slave owners can commemorate the day together and celebrate the rights and freedoms we all share in this great nation that we all love.

This moment also serves as a time for reflection and appreciation, and an opportunity for many people to trace their family’s lineage. African Americans helped to build our nation brick by brick and have contributed to her growth in every way, even when rights and liberties were denied to them. In light of the historic unanimous vote in the United States Senate this week supporting the call for an apology for slavery and segregation, the occasion carries even more significance.


Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. 


The Host City, RICHMOND, CA 

 In a diverse city that pride's itself on its ethnic festivals, Juneteenth may be the granddaddy of them all.

Richmond's ninth annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival on Saturday drew thousands of revelers, who lined the parade route and massed at Nicholl Park for live music, youth performances, ethnic foods, craft vendors and community booths.

"It doesn't get any better than this," said Charles Evans, owner of CJ's BBQ & Fish Restaurant, a longtime local favorite, as celebrators lined up for ribs and catfish at his stand in the park. "This event is special because it brings together all the different neighborhoods. You can see the pride in people's faces."

Juneteenth is a tradition dating back to the end of the Civil War and celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. The day commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the slaves were free.

Saturday's parade began at 10 a.m. near the corner of Cutting Boulevard and Marina Way, then proceeded east on Cutting. Among the parade participants were members of the Richmond Youth Academy, a Corvette car club, African-American cowboys on horseback, African-American firefighters, the NAACP's Richmond chapter, and various city and county agencies.

2012 Grand Marshal Clarence Van Hook waves to spectators during the annual Juneteenth Parade 

 2012 Grand Marshal Clarence Van Hook, center, atop a classic car, and other participants

 Richmond residents Demesha Johnson, 20, left, Jaychelle Price, 19, and their uncle Albert Lee

Deborah Emery, strolling, of the Oakland Black Cowboys Association, and Heritage Riders Horsemen 

Thousands of residents, many on lawn chairs on their front porches or sidewalks, lined the route and cheered the parade. The parade turned north on 37th Street and west on Macdonald Avenue before ending at Nicholl Park.

Richmond hosted civic-sponsored Juneteenth festivals as far back as the 1970s, but tough budget times put the funding on hold in the 1990s, said Jerrold Hatchett, one of the festival's chief organizers.

About 10 years ago, "The National Brotherhood Alliance," a group of residents that Hatchett chairs, succeeded in getting city funding and an assortment of private sponsors to restart the festival, which has grown to become one of the largest in the state.

"It's important to celebrate this great day in a great way," said Joe Fisher, a longtime resident and member of the Black American Political Action Committee (BAPAC). "And this turnout is bigger than last year, it seems to me."

Police Chief Chris Magnus, on hand at Nicholl Park, said the crowd numbered "thousands and thousands."

Among the celebrity guests scheduled to perform on stage in Nicholl Park late Saturday afternoon was George Clinton and his legendary band Parliament Funkadelic. U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, county Supervisor John Gioia, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and several council members were on hand and addressed the crowd. 


 Photos By
Richard R. Lee & Christian Wimmer


Presented by 

the National Brotherhood Alliance,
City of Richmond &



The Premiere of the Motion Picture


04 Febury 2012

Marin, CA


 A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.

Director … Anthony Hemingway    George Lucas .... Executive Producer

 Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Major Emanuelle Stance   Terrence Howard ...Colonel A.J. Bullard

Nate Parker ...Marty 'Easy' Julian David Oyelowo ... Joe 'Lightning' Little  
Daniela Ruah ... Sofia   

Tristan Wilds ... Ray 'Junior' Gannon    Ne-Yo ... Andrew 'Smoky' Salem

and Gerald McRaney ... Lieutenant General Luntz

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Lucasfilm
















 The combat record of the Tuskegee Airmen speaks for itself:

                                  over 15,000 combat sorties (including 6000+ for the 99th prior to July '44)

                                 111 German airplanes destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground

                                 950 railcars, trucks, and other motor vehicles destroyed

                                 1 destroyer sunk by P-47 machine gun fire (Lt. Pierson's flight)

                                 sixty-six pilots killed in action or accidents

                                 thirty-two pilots downed and captured, POWs

                                 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses earned

                                 744 Air Medals

                                 8 Purple Hearts

                                 14 Bronze Stars

The following is a summary of the combat record for the four squadrons of the 332nd Fighter Group. The list includes each pilot's name and official credit for enemy aircraft destroyed.


99th Ftr Sqn                                                        

Edward L. Toppins, 4 
Charles B. Hall, 3 
Leonard M. Jackson, 3 
Clarence W. Allen, 0.5 
Willie Ashley, Jr., 1 
Charles P. Bailey, 1 
Howard L. Baugh, 1 
Thomas P. Braswell, 1
Wm. A. Campbell, 1 
John W. Davis, 1 
Lemuel L. Curtis, 1 
Robert W. Dier, 2 
Elwood T. Driver, 1 
Wilson V. Eagleson, 2
James L. Hall, 1 
Clinton B. Mills, 1 
Daniel L. Rich, 1 
Leon C. Roberts, 1 
Lewis C. Smith, 1 
Hugh J. White, 1

100th Ftr Sqn

Raul W. Bell, 1 
Charles V. Brantley, 1 
John F. Briggs, 1 
Roscoe C. Browne, 2 
Richard W. Hall, 1 
Jack D. Hosclaw, 2 
Carl E. Johnson, 1 
Langdon E. Johnson, 1 
Earl R. Lane, 2 
Clarence D. Lester, 2 
John H. Lyle, 1 
Walter J.A. Palmer, 1 
Geo. M. Rhodes, Jr., 1
Robert W. Williams, 2 
Bertram W. Wilson, Jr. 1

301st Ftr Sqn

Joseph D. Elsberry, 4 
Carl E. Corey, 2 
John E. Edwards, 2 
James H. Fischer, 1 
Fred. D. Funderburg, 2
Alfred M. Gorham, 2 
Claude Govan, 1 
Thomas W. Jefferson, 2 
Jimmy Lanham, 2 
Armour G. McDaniel, 1 
Walter P. Manning, 1 
Harold M. Morris, 1 
William S. Price, III, 1 
Harold E. Sawyer, 1 
Harry T. Stewart, 2 
Charles L. White, 2

302nd Ftr Sqn

Lee A. Archer, 4
Wendell O. Pruitt, 3 
Roger Romaine, 3
Milton P. Brooks, 1
Charles W. Bussey, 1
L. D. Wilkins, 1
Edward C. Gleed, 2 

Wm. W. Green, Jr., 2 
Weldon K. Groves, 1 
William L. Hill, 1 
Freddie F. Hutchins, 1
Melvin T. Jackson, 1 
Felix J. Kirkpatrick, 1 
Charles E. McGee, 1 
Luther H. Smith, Jr., 2 
Robert H. Smith, 2 
William H. Thomas, 1 
Hugh S. Warner, 1 
Luke J. Weather, Jr., 2

 The aerial victories of the Red Tails have also been the source of some dispute, notably the totals for Lee Archer; some sources show him to have shot down 4.5 or 5 airplanes.

The attached pdf document, 112 Victories: Aerial Victory Credits of the Tuskegee Airmen, by Dr. Daniel L. Haulman, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Condensed Version 31 March 2008, seems to me to be the final, authoritative word on the matter. Dr. Haulman notes that Archer, Elsberry, and Toppins, each with four confirmed aerial victories, were the highest-scoring pilots among the Tuskegee Airmen.

              All photos, drawings and artwork 
                        from online sources
                    & Larry Thompson / CBD

Bridges out of Homelessness Conference 
in Richmond, CA 

 The Craneway Pavilion

“Bridges Out of Homelessness:

Vocations, Health, and Housing”

May 10, 2010, Craneway Pavilion
Richmond, CA

 Our first annual conference "opened the door" for new, employment-focused solutions to homelessness in the Bay Area. "Bridges Out of Homelessness: Vocations, Health and Housing" on May 10, 2010 at the Craneway Pavilion, brought local stakeholders and regional and national experts together for a unique, unconference-like event. Along with new and useful information on key elements of the homeless challenge there was live music, good food, and opportunities for community leaders and professionals to network. 

Results of our on-site "Overall Evaluation" conference participant questionnaire show the value of "Bridges Out of Homelessness." Who participated: More than 200 conference participants included a wide range of professionals and others working with or in frequent contact with homeless people in Richmond, other West Contra Costa communities, and communities throughout the Bay Area.  

 Their areas of professional expertise included health care, law enforcement, public education, and workforce development. Their job titles included education and training specialist, social worker, counselor, program coordinator, teen-parent coordinator, volunteer, and others. Conference participants also had diverse educational backgrounds, including a variety of social science and health care bachelor's and master's degrees, with licensed clinical social workers and other certified specialties, and at least one with a background in information technology and business systems consultation. 

Questionnaire respondents had considerable other conference experience: All had attended at least one conference in the past year and more than a quarter (28%) had attended as many as four conferences. They chose to attend "Bridges Out of Homelessness" for a variety of reasons, with "professional development" (36%), "workshops" (21%), and "recommendation of colleague or employer" (21%) ranking highest. 

Their opinion of the conference: Results of the questionnaire showed that 100% of respondents rated the overall quality of "Bridges out of Homelessness" as "excellent" (67%) or "good" (33%). No one rated the conference quality as "average," "below average," or "poor." Respondents especially appreciated the quality of the conference workshops, with 100% of respondents rating the workshop quality "excellent" (71%) or "good" (29%). 

All respondents approved the timing of the conference (Monday in early to mid May) as "excellent" (17%) or "good" (83%). There was a wider range of response among other general conference questions, but still the overwhelming response to the conference was positive.

Professional-level education in Richmond: "Bridges out of Homelessness" met all its goals and provided an extraordinary opportunity for many to participate in the highest quality learning about homelessness. For professionals and others working with the homeless in Richmond and other West Contra Costa communities, our conference was an opportunity for professional-level education and networking without having to travel far or pay a lot. 

"Bridges Out of Homelessness" took place in Richmond, which remains home to one of the highest concentrations of poor and homeless people in the Bay Area. As Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin pointed out, Saffron Strand's conference was a great example of the great things that are possible in "a city of unlimited possibilities."


 Richmond, CA: Craneway Pavilion

A soaring industrial-chic interior, landmark architecture, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and breath-taking Bay views, set the stage for cultural events, public gatherings and private affairs as unforgettable as the San Francisco Bay Area itself. Featuring open space design, variable capacity and a staggering number of programming options.

What is it that makes Craneway Pavilion award winning? It’s world-class MEYER Sound, BARCO 8mm I-Lite Video, StagingConcepts, full bar, catering, 110-seat restaurant, private dock, ferry and helicopter accessible and ample secure parking are just a few of the reasons.

The awe-inspiring Craneway Pavilion is as state-of-the-art as it is historic – the famed architect Albert Kahn designed the building in 1931 as a Ford Motor plant and today original floors, brickwork and an entire crane are left as artifacts to adorn the interior.

Craneway is designed for maximum sustainability combining 21st century’s most forward-thinking green technologies with the structure’s original environmentally friendly features – saw-tooth roof design with 40,000 glass panes which fills the building with natural light and supports a one-megawatt rooftop solar power plant.

Photos from the Craneway Pavilion Website

Grand Opening of
American Legion Post 875 in Richmond, CA


Our Neighbors: Richmond welcomes new American Legion Post

By Chris Treadway
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 03/26/2010 03:55:25 PM PDT

Updated: 03/27/2010 07:00:52 PM PDT

At a time when the chapters of many veterans organizations are closing or consolidating, a new facility in Richmond will try to buck the trend when it officially opens this week.

When American Legion Post 875 holds its grand opening from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at 1401 Marina Way South, it will be different from the traditional veterans facility used for meetings and events. The post will have 30,000 square feet at a location near the waterfront that formerly served as Richmond's interim city hall.

The spacious building will have facilities such as event and banquet rooms, a health and wellness room, a gymnasium and bingo hall. The public is welcome to come for tours, food and information at the open house, which will include a ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m.

More important, its organizers say, it will offer one-stop services for veterans including job placement, counseling and financial assistance. The time may be right to offer such a facility for a new generation of veterans, particularly those who have seen combat.

"We're establishing this to provide resources to veterans looking to assimilate back into civilian life," said Greg Cantrell, executive director of the post. The center will provide assistance in career and life-skills training, job placement, counseling, troop support, temporary financial assistance and scholarships.

Plans also call for offering youth programs
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