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Orange County had a very small black population only about 25000 residents or 1.3 percent of the county's two million population. The black community of 25000 has grown greatly from the few black families most of whom lived in the Santa Ana area 40 years ago. They're not black citizens residing all over Orange County. The Orange County black community is made up of many high achieving and successful people whose contributions are important to all of us. I'm Jim Cooper and in honor of Black History Month I'll talk to some of these interesting people and hear their ideas.
We have some interesting Orange County black leaders as our special studio guest today. But before we meet them let's go into the field where we took our cameras to meet some black people who are perfect examples of high achievement and important contributions to the community. They represent medicine the law education and the performing arts. Plano backer Michael Mumford is a physician in Santa Ana specializing in cardiology and internal medicine. He and his wife Anita and their 15 year old son reside in or and his wife a teacher for handicapped children. OK my foot is also on that clinical faculty at UC Irvine Medical Center and it is also the medical director at the third Street Clinic in Santa Ana and clinic for treatment of drug abuse. You completed a two year fellowship in cardiology at UC Irvine Medical Center in June of 1982. Dr. Mumford you came from a relatively low income black family and yet you made it successfully in the medical field. How easy is it for other young black men and women to do that in the medical profession today.
Well today I think we're looking at a different set of circumstances when I came along and I came along a lot of the medical schools not only the few medical schools but the white medical schools were going out and actively recruiting blacks. And plus in addition to that there was a lot of federal aid and some state aid. And today I wonder is a lot more competition and two there are less federal dollars going into education so I would say is probably more difficult for a young black person to make it into medicine and to make it into medicine for those reasons and the reason also that there's just more physicians more white physicians more black physicians. What advice would you have for young black men and women who want to make it professionally want to would she want to be successful. What are the qualities that you would say they've got to demonstrate. Well I would say you know one has to reel that realized one has to defer gratification. You have to admit I'm still different now myself. So
if a person approaches their goal with the realization that there's going to be a lot of deferred gratification and he's willing to work hard and I think he can be successful in whatever field he chooses. To continue going over a legal brief is mine glas attorney at law seated in or law office in Cyprus on the right as Cali nominee for legal secretary. She's highly succeeded in a profession where 35 years ago there were few women and fewer blacks. She received Rahm a degree in special education at the University of Kansas and a lot of red Western State University in Fullerton. She specializes in criminal defense family law and personal injury cases. She was named a pioneer black woman of Orange County in 1080 by the Board of Supervisors. She had three sons one a police officer one an attorney and another who worked in data processing. Her husband is an electrical engineer. Your own three sons are very successful and professions and business. Is there any magic secret that you have that you conferred upon them. You and your husband to make it and society was
always important from your work and lessons came first. My husband and I were wrong discipline Ariens. All three of our boys had part time jobs while they were in high school either working over at nots or selling shoes at pennies. They worked and even my son who was in college at UCLA dug ditches one summer for one of the telephone companies and the work was not a stranger a stranger to them. The condition of the black community in Orange County much better than many other places where blacks are living. I would think because of the. Opportunities that are in Orange County I'm not saying it's a panacea for minority people or blacks in particular. But I do notice that blacks are now live in almost every city in Orange County. A lot of blacks have
some very good jobs with the companies and it seems the door seems to be opening every day for this and I think that's a positive sign for the county or thought he had 21 percent of the population which is black and they live in all 26 cities. There doesn't seem to be any one sense of black community. Do you find this to be true and where is it me. Well yes I do I. I feel that it has a fragmenting effect on black people. Sometimes you feel like you're isolated in your own portion of the county. And I think what it means is that it calls upon black organizations to reach out more to bring blacks together. Networking programs that seminars things that can invite black professionals blacks from also stratas of the society in Orange County to get together become more aware of each other. Because I feel that the county blacks in this county have a lot to offer this county.
Dr. Horace Mitchell Ph.D. is the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California at Irvine. He talks here with some staff members in his office where his department is responsible for the overall management of all student affairs for the university ranging from housing to counseling to student activity prior to 1078 he was director of black studies at Washington University in Missouri where he obtained his doctoral degree in counseling and psychology. He's also associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UC Irvine Medical School. He and his wife and three children live in Irvine. Documents will you come to your high position in education after a low income background in St. Louis you made it. How easy is it for a young black man or woman to make it today. That's a very interesting question Jim because I think the assumption held by many people is that it's much easier today than it used to be and certainly when I was going through college and preparing for my current
career it was at a time when access to higher education for blacks and other minorities was very limited. In the late 60s and into the 70s access increased greatly. But unfortunately what we have at this point is that we're seeing access slowly beginning to be reduced again because of cutbacks in support for education support for student financial aid and other kinds of programs and so essentially there was a period in which there was a kind of window in which opportunities were available. But I see that window as having come shop in large measure now and we are surprisingly bike at a point that is much more analogous to the pre 60s than most people would acknowledge. How important is counseling. I think it's extremely important and I think it's often undervalued just by way of
example I've recently been appointed to a national commission of the College Board that is looking at the quality of pre-college accounting and guidance in the country. And the reason for the commission being put together is a recognition that. Access to post-secondary education college or university particularly for minority students is so much a factor based on what happened to them in high school and the counseling is extremely important. If a student doesn't take the right kind of courses in terms of math and they don't qualify to get in the science courses they need to be entered. And I can't overemphasize the importance of counseling and I think parents have to be involved with their schools to make sure that their kids are getting the kind of counseling they need to have. Now let's drop on a practice session from a production by addling Hunter founder and artistic director of the intercultural Committee for the Performing Arts. OK let's run. My God you lose. Ain't that bad. Byron take that
church might you take my darling take my three and wrap it up. OK all right. Dance in the funky chicken. Eaten ribs into. Taking all the ladies sounds and drinking gin and sits. DOWN OUR do rag. Tight enough micro. Wrapping up in blackness. I don't our shining glow. Stevie Wonder cooking rice going to the office. Check it out Leon team prize it down Jesse Jackson dance on Alvin Ailey. Tough Miss Barbara Jordan groove miss pearly babe. On the tennis court. Muhammad Ali in the ring. Andre Watson and two young black men doing this thing. Dressing in. Her pose in pinks and greens exotic as rum and cokes live in a flash and style Bangui colorful folks not a we bet.
We bet in a week and a wee wee black and a wee. All rar That's it that's a comma so my aren't you wrote about the performers are part of the intercultural Committee for the Performing Arts and their instructor at lane hoggers constantly encouraging them to excel in their work. Atlanta is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton and theater arts. He's a producer of a number of original plays and sees theatre as an important way to help youthful black performers to reach for success and self attainment. For the past four years that you've been involved in the intercultural Committee for the Performing Arts. How many black people have you involved in and what has been your objective. Well I would say we've probably involved somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred individuals. And our primary objective has been to provide opportunities and choices for black artists here locally. I've understood that you coalesced and brought more black people together as
audiences in these activities than perhaps any other black activity that's going on in the last several years. How does it make you feel. Well it's a good feeling because I grew up in Orange County. I grew up in Santana and I can you know honestly say that there was a time that I definitely did not occur. So we've tried to put on functions so that they feel a part of it and they they feel it's something that reflects them in their culture they will come out and so I think we've proven that we've proven that the interest is here and that the desire to have something of this nature is definitely here in Orange County. One of the values aside from that one of the values that. Accrued to the young performers who get up and dance or sing or perform in the drama and dramatic sense in a dramatic sense right off the bat we're more concerned with the cultural thing and the historical thing we want them to rediscover their history and their culture through the arts. But of course just the benefits of getting up and performing we're talking about self-esteem we're talking about pride we're talking about being able to articulate themselves in a better fashion. Present themselves in a
more positive way so you know the benefits are just. They just go on and on and on. Give me your dream for the future what is your dream for what might happen out of what you're doing. Oh gosh and now it's you know the dream it's still a dream too it still seems kind of that unreachable thing. I would like to see a performing arts complex here in Orange County where all the various cultures come together. And we have that diversity at the same time we have a sharing of a run is there in terms of the arts. But where we can all have a home and share one physical home together and without the limitations and the restrictions and that sort of thing. It was a very stimulating experience for me meeting these very exciting people and hearing some of the very interesting ideas and I was going to have some interesting ideas from the studio. So let's meet our guests. Joyce Owen Smith is president of the Orange County chapter of the Urban League she holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Washington. She was formerly vice president of program for the Urban League of Portland Leon Berry is convening for the National
Breakfast Club of Orange County made up of a group of black leaders. He's part owner and director for Neo-Tech Institute of Santa Ana a retraining program for minorities and low income residents. He was formally active in the Fair Housing Council in the NAACP and was president of the black Businessmen's Association. Bruce Fox and her husband Taft and their two small children moved to Orange County in Santa Ana in the 40s before the war when the total black population of the county was estimated at about 200. She was the first black to enter beauty school and became the first black president of the Santana High PTA. She was one of the founders of the educational extension Club of Orange County which for thirty nine years has raised scholarship funds for minority students. Robert Bobb has been Santa Ana city manager for the past 13 months at 38. He's already received other job offers but preferred to stick with Santana. His goals include cleaning up neighborhoods upgrading housing standards and developing the downtown areas he once worked as a laborer in the cane fields of Louisiana.
But by a determination the obtained a B.A. and an M.A. degree and is now known as a dedicated is a workaholic city manager I've heard that where the music for You Tube you've heard since Saturday ideas about the black community of Orange County and it's an interesting question to me because Orange County has another distinction and that is that the black community in Orange County is the smallest of any black community in a metropolitan area in the whole United States of America. I wonder what does that mean to be black and be in Orange County and such as when it's only that little one or 1.3 percent. Ruth you've done been doing it for over 40 years 45 years. Tell us about that vision. What's it like. Well the reason we are denied the educationist stance from Crabb because blacks were not encouraged to do anything. The only god only older they all did. Yes that was in and 1940 in the 40s and they only jobs they were encouraged to do
this to work. And shoeshine part of the clean up buildings and so forth. We thought our children deserve. Better So we are going to ise the scholarship glad to happen to go on to school and learn a guarantee of higher education. And now you're measuring it in the hundreds of thousand yard lives. Yeah that you've generated here. Is there a sense of isolation you have the sense of lack of community if you were if we were talking about the black community of Los Angeles or the black community of Detroit or the black community of Chicago the very large black community could articulate its needs and concerns. It doesn't seem to be the case in Orange County we have blacks in 26 different cities. Is there there is a lack of community sense of black people in our county. Bob I think that there is. I've lived in several metropolitan cities across the United States and this is the first area where and I've lived where there is not a homogeneous tie of blacks.
Blacks are scattered throughout the county. It's very difficult to meet black social you know when you do just the same individuals I think there is a tremendous need in this area and in our county in particular for blacks to network. Network that's a good word Leon. What about it what is it like to be a black in Orange County when there is no one place to send and used to have a lot of the black but that's no longer fair to say that they're in 26 cities. Well I find this a very positive point in the fact that black people now well actually we all started in Santa Santa Ana. We've since the end moved out to the 26 different cities and it's because we're growing and we you know we are able to move people from the central core out to the outlying cities and still come back you know in enjoy each other on special occasions. Joyce What about that I think the burden on a group like the Orange County Urban League. I think we should make it clear that we don't call the San An Urban League or the Anaheim Urban League it's the Orange County Urban
League which has only been here what three years now. You know I would think that in 1900. It poses a big challenge for that group because what other group is there to articulate and define the black concerns of this county. For us we are viewing our community as an attitude as opposed to a physical area where people live and within that sense probably aren't as articulated is very true. You find that at Orange County's population black population has grown and become more mature politically more economically stable they have done the same things that other Americans traditionally do. They have scattered but they maintain because of their racial and cultural identity an attitude of community which says that they return to certain neighborhoods to churches they return to certain neighborhoods to stores they have certain attitudes that they may live in Mission Bay Hill but they are still reminiscent of the neighborhood in which they grew up. Notice for example are a cultural efforts to put things together I think in Santa Ana. City of Santa Ana I was on there having a bar of museum black cultural experience
tomorrow. Yeah and so is that kind of thing effective in coalescing the disparate black. Residents of Orange County that is very community I think it helps to foster the the attitude the sense of blackness if you will and a dominant culture and in within the Orange County culture you have overshadowed the general American culture. It does help to maintain that. JIM Yes I think you know piggyback on that. I think that the National Breakfast Club came about as a result of what Joyce is saying because we felt a need a kinship to come together and you know community that they have yes you know it's like it's a survival technique. And you know where we moved on to perhaps bigger and better things. But yet you know other words we want to communicate and we want to keep our st some of our values most of our values because they were good values and we just wanted to improve on that and how do you keep in touch with for example black businessmen who might live and in Tustin and they might live in San Clemente or they might live up in the Los Alamitos.
Well I'm very fortunate we have a National Breakfast Club because on the second any good for much of that actually. Well I would have thought on the second I say or do I mean I'm sorry the second seer to be too much you know I know that I will see at least quite a few of my neighbors that well used to be my neighbors and now they're my neighbors from afar because they all come to come to the meeting. Well listen let's let's make a case for any black people there listening that want to convert as a as a just black business people or black What kind of people are welcome to come to the people of all walks of life from doctors lawyers ditch day man women men and women and we encourage you to come out and to kind of communicate and network and socialize over breakfast. OK let's get on the practical stuff we got a pencil and paper out let's get as great for them. What is it now when you think we need a second say or day of each month and where at. Neo-Tech in the address is 6 6 6 East 17th Street Santa Ana California. OK the second Saturday of each month. What
time. Nine o'clock sharp and it's over at 10:45. OK so the Neo-Tech in the phone book in the house. Yes I was I was interested in a couple of the things that were a little on the negative side but they were going candidly and one of the one of them was our interview with Dr. Mitchell who talked about the window for education opening for blacks in the 60s and 70s when it was very prevalent for financial assistance for blacks for example in the in the area of education I'm talking about. And he talked about something is very concerning to me and that is the closing of that window. A matter of concern to me. What about the closing of that went to do it in you that more difficult now and I believe that it is a tougher time. Yes it is more difficult. I believe that it is much more difficult for blacks to enter the institutions of higher education. And because the financial assistance is still no longer available and more a part of the black colleges are struggling so those of us who are professional blacks have a responsibility to maintain the financial strength of black colleges.
And we have to make sure that our black colleges survive. Black colleges are still graduating Proxima 70 percent of all black. In college graduates today I'd like to go back to the other question with respect to blacks having opportunities to move out of the core city area. Of course I viewed a question from a very selfish standpoint because what it means to me is that Santa Ana for example was the Mecca for blacks and that as our economy has grown and extended and blacks have become more successful economically. Yes they've moved away from the core area. And on one hand it's good to come back into the core area for church but on the other hand it is more important for the community for professional blacks who have been successful in Santa Ana to return to the core city area to live. I don't believe that blacks will in Orange County will achieve the political strength that blacks have achieved in other metropolitan areas
simply because as we move out into the larger areas we lose the opportunity to to have a to become a political force in any one area. Yes. And therefore unless we as blacks are able to have significant impact on the political system. Then blacks and social life will never be able to to reach the standards that the likes of you are achieving in other major metropolitan areas. So for example in Los Angeles where there's large areas and they can get blacks elected to political after school boards or city councils due to library boards do it through the assembly and so forth. It's difficult for that to happen in Orange County you're saying because that 1 and a half percent or what a 1.3 percent isn't enough to get people elected to key key offices for example. I believe that's the case and I think that blacks have to realize that the political system is the driving force for progress. The educational windows have closed simply because through the political process the grants UNAIDS
are no longer available for disadvantaged students. Principal a climax I think is a good time to think about dreams and goals and I'd like to start with you Joyce What are the European leagues objectives right now. What would you like to get accomplished for Orange County blacks in Orange County we have identified three areas that we think are important for the betterment of the total Canaria throughout the black community. The first did the area of employment economic stability is important to any family and individual so we will be focusing a lot on assisting minorities who although they are a very small percentage of the population overall they represent twice if not three times the average. And unemployment statistics the second area will be working as community education simply getting the ideas the concerns the issues that confront these communities black community. There's been a community in front of the general population in the third area is then youth services particularly academic excellence and leadership development. We feel that the young people
who are growing up in the Santa Ana's in Mission avail without a sense of this community are the future. They're going to carry the loss if you will of that community or they're going to take the seed that was left there and transplant it and form that they may be the professionals that Bob is talking about who moved back to Santa Ana and understand that they were certainly moving back and contributing to them. Ruth Fox what is what is your dream that for your generation you know maybe your children maybe your grandchildren what your dream. Well I was I still my dream is still the same as it was when I started. I find now that there is some complacency among the younger people and not have the drive for them to really get down to business and get the education and get on with the education I'll say and be serious about it. I think that to me to encourage them to really get serious and make
something for me and what's your goal. Personally your group or your breakfast club or whatever. What are your goals would you like to get done. Well I would like to see us come more into the economic up Main Street. I'd like to see us as a people perhaps you know purchase some buildings not to go bankrupt that become a part of the system you know the American the monetary things that make make make America happen and economic impact a year or so. Bob and besides your job as city manager and all those goals what are your goals as. As a black citizen who concerns himself with the party this will be the blackness concern. My goal is to be a role model for blacks not only for my son and I for my children but also for other black youth in the community of Santa Ana and also to represent the position of minorities and in a larger sense to make sure that Santa Ana is the type of community where all citizens
Jim Cooper's Orange County
Orange County Blacks
Producing Organization
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PBS SoCal (Costa Mesa, California)
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Jim Cooper and his panel discuss the current state of affairs in the black community in Orange County.
Jim Cooper's Orange County is a talk show featuring conversations about local politics and public affairs.
Talk Show
Race and Ethnicity
Copyright 1985
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Director: Ratner, Harry
Guest: Fox, Ruth
Guest: Owens - Smith, Joyce
Guest: Berry, Leon
Guest: Bobb, Robert
Host: Cooper, Jim
Interviewee: Mumford, Michael
Interviewee: Glass, Marne
Interviewee: Mitchell, Horace
Interviewee: Hunter, Adleane
Producing Organization: PBS SoCaL
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: AACIP_1046 (AACIP 2011 Label #)
Format: VHS
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:30:00
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Chicago: “Jim Cooper's Orange County; Orange County Blacks,” 1985-02-22, PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 15, 2019,
MLA: “Jim Cooper's Orange County; Orange County Blacks.” 1985-02-22. PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 15, 2019. <>.
APA: Jim Cooper's Orange County; Orange County Blacks. Boston, MA: PBS SoCal, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from