Ordinary People. Extraordinary Lives. The Untold Story.

American History


“I like to tell the truth as I see it.  That’s why literature is so important.  We cannot possibly leave it to history as a discipline nor to sociology nor science nor economics to tell the story of our people.  It’s not a ladder we are climbing, it’s literature we’re producing, and there will always be someone to read it.

-Nikki Giovanni


As our local schools teach history, particularly “Blacks in American History”, it is imperative young people be taught not only about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, the March on Selma, and the Civil Rights Movement that took place in the south.  They should also be taught about the movement that took place in their own back yard.


  • Teach them about Pro Golfer Cliff Strickland who held the course record at the exclusive Victoria Club Golf Course.
  • Teach them about black businesses that were thriving in the city.
  • Teach them about Anna E. Beverley, Fisk University graduate, Civil Rights Activist and one of the founders of Park Avenue Baptist Church.
  • Teach them about Neil Clisby, heavyweight prize fighter.
  • Teach them about Frances Hopkins Allen who instilled the unquenchable determination to achieve despite all odds.
  • Teach them about pioneer families like the Stokes, Decaturs, Dumas, Carters, Williams and others who migrated to Riverside over 100 years ago.
  • Teach them about Joe Winston, an Olympic Bronze Medal winner.
  • Teach them about Captain Charles F. Jamerson, a Tuskegee Airman.
  • Teach them about Anita Johnson Mackey, listed in five editions of “Who’s Who of American Women.”
  • Teach them about Captain Ed Strickland, Riverside’s first Black Fireman who invented the 1 1/2 inch preconnected hose that is in use all over the country today.
  • Teach them about Rosie Bonds who won the 1964 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 80 meter hurdles.
  • Teach them about Edward Francis Boyd, an American Marketing executive who helped break Corporate America’s color barrier and transformed U.S. Business.
  • Teach them that it was through the committed effort of the Black community that John Sotelo, the first Latino City Councilman was elected to office.
  • Teach them they live in a city where an entire community stood up and marched against injustice and inequality.


When teaching about “Blacks in American History”, why not invite members from the early Riverside family’s into the classroom to tell their story.

Young people need to know the legacy of these Riversider’s, The Truth.  The Truth will give them hope, encourage them to dream, instill a sense of pride and accomplishment, and reinforce the belief we truly live in a world of unlimited possibilities.  Teach them.

By Leslie Caroline

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