The History of Black Excellence: 5 Examples of Black Brilliance, Black Excellence & Black Love
If I had to choose one word to describe Black History, it would be “triumphant.” The story of Black people is a story of Black excellence, Black Pride, and Black Love. Despite America’s racist roots and systems, Black people have overcome and continue to persevere. Every issue of Suite Life SoCal magazine chronicles this truth.
In this special edition on Black Brilliance, Black Excellence, and Black Love Suite Life SoCal looks at the history of Black success in California through the lens of Black-owned businesses that have persevered and who have for decades provided services to Southern Californians.
Despite the historical attempt to tear down confidence in Black-owned businesses, they are still created and sustained with community support and assistance from organizations like the Black Business Association. Today there are many well-established Black-owned businesses in every industry.
In Southern California, one business at the top of my mind, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs is a Black-owned law firm established in 1943 by a former Superior Court Judge, the late Earl C. Broady. In 1980 the law firm became Ivie & McNeill after two partners received their judicial appointments. The firm expanded again in 1991 to become Ivie McNeill & Wyatt and once again in 2019 when it became Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs.
The firm is the largest Black-owned firm in California. Ivie McNeill, Wyatt Purcell & Diggs’ years of Black excellence are due to their “hands-on” approach, commitment to professionalism, and care of clients. The firm is also known for its commitment to the community by raising money through its annual golf tournament gala to raise funds to support students. The golf tournament is held in honor of its co-founder, the late Robert H. McNeill Jr.
To connect with Ivie McNeill, Wyatt Purcell & Diggs, visit their website at imwlaw.com.
Excellence in Education
The field of education often goes unnoticed. There has been a push to recognize teachers, but Black-owned businesses like New World Education (NWE), founded by Education & Community Planning Consultant, Mandle Kayise in 2000, barely get recognized but significantly impact students' lives. These types of organizations fill the gaps that educational institutions miss. New World Education is one such organization.
New World Education focuses on college access, student retention, and student leadership development. Through workshops, programs, and workshop series NWE empowers students to advocate for themselves and help them navigate the educational landscape. In addition, it offers professional staff training and curriculum and program development for college access.
For more than twenty years, NWE has serviced students and staff at colleges like the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Cal Poly Pomona, and Cerritos College. For more information about New Word Education, contact Kayise at newworlded.com.
For The Love of Community
Since the Black Press is busy following the story and reporting to our communities, not much light is shined on the news outlets that have committed to ensuring the Black voice is heard, that Black people are informed, and the Black community is uplifted. Three weekly news outlets that have been consistently publishing weekly for decades are the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint (1960) - Dr. John Warren, Black Voice News (BVN) (1972) - Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, and the Los Angeles Sentinel (1933) - Danny Bakewell Sr.
Each of these newspapers committed to the communities they serve. The publishers each sacrifice to publish weekly for the love of the community. According to the BVN website, “As a newspaper that publishes in the spirit of the Black Press, the Black Voice News has given a voice to the voiceless and shined a light on systemic inequities and disparities since 1972.”
The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint states the publishers have “worked diligently with the community to make a publication that the people want.” While the newspaper covers news to a diverse market, they cover everything from the African American perspective. The Voice & Viewpoint is known for recognizing extraordinary everyday people making a difference in the community.
The Los Angeles Sentinel is just ten years shy of beginning the planning for its centennial.
The owner is known for bringing the community together through publication and events. He is a well-known activist, and like all the publishers, he understands the power of the word and the role of media.
Finally, speaking for all Black publications, it takes the community's full support to have a successful news outlet. The publishers commit to the community, and the community must consistently support these news outlets. Through Black Brilliance, Black Excellence, & Black Love, the above three outlets found a way to express dedication to the people, and the community responded with their ongoing support.