Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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Ratibu Jacocks discusses moving to the Inland Empire in 1977 to find a job with Ralston Purina after his own failed businesses, becoming their first African American salesperson. He talks about his experiences moving to San Bernardino and working for Senator Ruben Ayala Jacocks, being involved with many community based organizations such as the West Side Action Group, meeting his wife Amina Carter, his involvement with protesting the KKK in Fontana, and creating a directory listing community organizations. Jacocks also emphasizes the importance of culture, Kawaida, and the influence that Dr. Maulana Karenga had on his life. He began going by the name Ratibu Shadidi, a name chosen with the help of Dr. Karenga, instead of William Jacocks. Throughout his life, Jacock’s philosophy always was “earn while you learn,” which he used as his own guide and for people who are trying to move ahead in life.


Interview conducted by Flora Williams.