Herbert G. Ruffin II

Academic Historian

Herb Ruffin is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Syracuse University.  He holds a Ph.D. in American History from Claremont Graduate University, California. His research examines the African American experiences in Silicon Valley (California), San Antonio (Texas), and in particular, the process of Black suburbanization in the American West from 1945-2010.  Professor Ruffin’s book Uninvited Neighbors: African Americans in Silicon Valley, 1769-1990 was published by the Oklahoma University Press in 2014. In addition, he has authored numerous articles, book reviews, and online academic publications that focus on African Diaspora History and Culture, the Black West, Urban Studies and Social Movements. Moreover, Ruffin serves as an appointed committee member on the Organization of American Historians Committees of Committees, and on BlackPast.org’s advisory board. He has also been an active consultant in regard to organizing curriculum, public exhibits, and historical presentations on Africa and African Diaspora history and culture, including work with the Smithsonian Institution, Africa Initiative, and serving as U.S. Historian Delegate to South Africa.

Charles R. Stith (1949- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Ambassador Charles Richard Stith, a diplomat, minister, professor, and urban reformer, presently serves as the Director of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University in Massachusetts. In 1998, President Bill Clinton named him ambassador to Tanzania. Stith was … Read MoreCharles R. Stith (1949- )

W. Beverly Carter (1921-1982)

William Beverly Carter at Lincoln University, 1943 Ambassador William Beverly Carter is the first Ambassador-at-Large, and the second African American, to be appointed an ambassador by three Presidents. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon appointed him ambassador to Tanzania. Four years later, President Gerald R. … Read MoreW. Beverly Carter (1921-1982)

Aurelia Erskine Brazeal (1943- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Ambassador Aurelia Erskine Brazeal was a career diplomat and the first black woman to be named ambassador by three Presidents. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed her ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.  Three years later President Bill Clinton … Read MoreAurelia Erskine Brazeal (1943- )

East Palo Alto, California (1925- )

East Palo Alto, California is a town of 28,155 residents (2010 Census), located on the San Francisco Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. Originally occupied by the Ohlone nation (1000 BCE-1770s CE), early Spanish settlers called the area Rancho de las Pulgas (or Flea … Read MoreEast Palo Alto, California (1925- )

The California Fair Housing Act [The Rumford Act] (1963-1968)

Demonstration Against Proposition 14, 1964 Image Ownership: Public Domain The California Fair Housing Act of 1963, better known as the Rumford Act (AB 1240) because of its sponsor, Assemblyman William Byron Rumford, was one of the most significant and sweeping laws protecting the rights of … Read MoreThe California Fair Housing Act [The Rumford Act] (1963-1968)

Sarah Massey Overton (1850-1914)

Sarah Massey Overton was a leading black freedom fighter and women’s rights activist in post-Gold Rush San Jose, California.  Massey was born in Lennox, Massachusetts and came to California with her parent in the 1880s while she was still a young girl. The Masseys moved … Read MoreSarah Massey Overton (1850-1914)