Four Alumni Featured as History-Making African Americans from Bay Area

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Actor and activist Danny Glover was born in San Francisco and attended San Francisco State University, where he was in the Black Student Union and participated in the 1968 student-led strike on that campus that led to the creation of the nation’s first Black Studies program at a university. He also trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in its Black Actor’s Workshop.

Willie Brown, best known for his service as the first African American mayor in San Francisco's history, moved to the Bay Area from Texas in 1951. He originally wanted to attend Stanford University, but he was recruited to go to San Francisco State University. In 1955, he graduated from there and earned a law degree from University of California Hastings College of Law a few years later.

Ron Dellums was born in Oakland to a family of labor organizers, including his uncle C.L. Dellums. After attending Oakland Technical and McClymonds high schools, he enrolled in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for two years.

Upon his return from the Marines, Dellums studied at Laney College (when it was called Oakland City College), SF State and UC Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley, he began a career as a social psychiatric social worker and community activist in Oakland on his way to a long career as an elected official.

Dellums’ 40-year political career started when he was elected and served on the Berkeley City Council from 1967 to 1970. Starting in 1970, he was elected to 13 terms as the U.S. House of Representatives’ congressman from Northern California’s Ninth District. Dellums was one of 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He retired from Congress in 1998 and began a career as a legislative lobbyist that continued until 2006, when he was elected as the 48th mayor of Oakland. He served as Oakland’s mayor until 2011.

Poet, educator and political activist Sarah Webster Fabio grew up Nashville, where she attended Fisk University and studied under legendary Harlem Renaissance poet Arna Bontemps. Starting in 1963, she attended San Francisco State, where she earned a master's degree in language arts with a focus on poetry. She went on to teach Merritt College in Oakland, where she taught, among others, Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and Maulana Karenga.