(May 7, 2007) -- Ernest McBride, Sr., a co-founder LB's NAACP in 1940, has died at the age of 96.
LB Mayor Bob Foster said in an emailed statement, ""Ernie was a constant force against racial injustice here in Long Beach more than twenty years before the civil rights movement took hold across America. Whether fighting against racially restrictive housing covenants or pushing for equality in the workforce, Ernie's legacy is one that serves as a
reminder of the power of one remarkable person to impact a city, a community and a movement for an entire generation."
Long-time LB community member Kelton Reese (a 36 year city employee, now retired), told LBReport.com: "He was small in physical stature but a giant of a man." Mr. Reese, who managed Dee Andrews' run for 6th district City Council), added "He stood up for justice and fought the fight when it was very dangerous to do so. He was a man of principle, someone I admired very much. He served as an example to many young people of what can be achieved if you fight for what you believe."
Sharon Diggs-Jackson, LB Airport's Public Affairs Officer, shared the following with LBReport.com:
"I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. McBride all of my life. He and my father, the late Rev. Joe Croom, worked side by side during the early days of the Civil Rights movement and our families have shared many memories. Mr. McBride inspired many young African Americans who grew up the Central District, such as myself, to go to college and then come back and put our new skills to work in our community. He was a fighter and he won many of his battles with his big smile."
CSULB's Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive website records that Mr. Bride, born in 1910, "came to Long Beach seeking work during World War II and found it in the shipyards. Observing how the local Black community was routinely harassed by the police, he organized a chapter of the NAACP and used it to mobilize support for the civil rights movement that was developing after the war. He was active in fighting against restrictive covenants and segregation in both neighborhoods of single family homes and in a local Navy housing project."
To hear Mr. McBride's recollections in his own voice from CSULB's VOAHA website, click here.