Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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James “Jim” Busby served 3 terms as the mayor of Victorville, California. To date (2021), Busby is the only African American to sit on the Victorville City Council, first elected in 1988. Here, Busby discusses why he moved to the high desert from Texas after serving in the Navy, his reasons for getting involved in local politics there, his experience on Victorville's City Council and his achievements as mayor. Busby also discusses the African American community in Victorville. As mayor, Busby focused on improving the lives of all residents, including making housing more affordable and strengthening welfare programs. He discusses his Christian faith was very important to him, and while in office he organized the Church of the Valley event, a oneness celebration to celebrate Christianity. Over 5,000 people attended. He also organized the largest March for Jesus march in the nation.

Though he lived in Victorville, he spent a good portion of his adult life in San Bernardino where he became active in community politics. Busby became a WAG member and served as president of the Board of Directors for the San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club. In the interview, Busby names the San Bernardino community leaders he encountered during that period, including Frances Grice (founder, Operation Second Chance), William "Bill" Jacocks (aka Ratibu Jacocks) of Westside Action Group (WAG), and Dr. Mildred Henry, founder of the Provisional Accelerated Learning Center (PAL).


Interview conducted by Carolyn Tillman.