Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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Cheryl Brown describes growing up in Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. before moving to San Bernardino in the late 1950s. She describes her experiences facing racial and gendered barriers at San Bernardino High School and struggles finding work in the city where Black people were excluded from most jobs. She also shares many positive memories of growing up in a vibrant Black middle class neighborhood on the westside of the city, stories of key community leaders, the Black History Parade, NAACP, NCNW and memories of Black businesses in the area. She discusses her memories of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, and how early experiences taking care of her grandmother led to her to be a lifetime advocate for the elderly. She shares stories of how desegregation and redevelopment (especially building the freeway) affected the westside of San Bernardino. She describes her work with the Black Voice and her work in the community which helped pave her path to becoming a member of the California State Assembly.


Interview conducted by Hailey McKenzie and Romaine Washington.