Watch this program and other Historical Richmond
Programs on-line now (click link)
Exploration of Our History:
North Richmond Part II
The documentary chronicles North Richmond ’s history from the end of World War II through the beginning of the 1960’s.
During this period, the small community of North Richmond maintained a reputation throughout the Bay Area as an entertainment
hot-bed for blues musicians who performed in the various night clubs in the community ’s black business
district. The documentary film profiles the lives of some senior residents who share their fond memories of that
The film’s segments include:
• The American Friends Service Committee’s early work in the community that led to the establishment of the North Richmond
Neighborhood House (social services agency);
• The opening of West Contra Costa College (Kaiser
Shipyards), which enabled many North Richmond residents an opportunity
to pursue higher education;
• The establishment of the Parchester Village subdivision which enabled blacks their first opportunity to purchase new homes
during the period of restrictive covenants throughout the Bay
• The positive impact of Shields-Reid Park on the Richmond community at-large.
The film also profiles the lives of several legendary North Richmond icons
including: businesswoman Minnie Lou Nichols (restaurant/nightclub
owner) and famous Bay Area radio disc jockey Ollie Freeman (owner of Jazzland
A lengthy portion of the film focuses on the impact that recreation director/youth advocate Charlie Reid of Shields-Reid Park had on the kids
of the community. Primary research for the film series was conducted at the Richmond Public Library and from the writing of Dr.
Shirley Ann Moore, professor of history at California State University at
Sacramento, and author of “To Place Our Deeds ” about
the history of African-Americans in Richmond,
California, from 1900-1963.
The 58-minute film is a product of the Athletes United for Peace
(AUP) Digital Technology Academy ’s North Richmond Teen Video
Project. The documentary film was the final project of 11 North
Richmond teens that participated in the 10-week academy (digital video training
program) during the summer of 2000.The ongoing media arts program was developed in 1997 by
AUP, to expose disadvantaged youth to the ever-growing field of digital video
production. Participants received training in the areas
of: script writing, camera operation, lighting and audio and non-linear desktop
editing. At the conclusion of each training
session, teens are assembled into a production crew and team up to work as production
assistants on the community history film projects.