Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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Wilmer Amina Carter shares stories of her childhood growing up in Neshoba County, Mississippi and the lessons she learned from her grandfather Anderson Carter about the importance of education, land and independence in the segregated south. She tells the story of her family’s migration to San Bernardino in 1952 and lessons she learned from family members as they built new lives in the city. She talks about overcoming racial barriers as she became the first black employee at Sears, worked at Cal State San Bernardino in the EOP office, and for Congressman George Brown, and as the first Black member of the Rialto school board where she served for 16 years. She discusses how she became a founding member of the National Counsel of Negro Women (NCNW), a member of AKA, and was elected to the State Assembly in 2006. Amina Carter explains why she started the archive to show younger generations how their ancestors paved the path for them. She shares the story of her marriage to Ratibu Jacocks, his contributions to the community, and her struggles with his recent loss. She emphasizes the influence of her religion and the important life values she has learned from others, most importantly, the motto she learned from her grandfather: “If you serve people, people will serve you.”


Interview conducted by Carolyn Tillman.