Article and Photos By John Coleman
RIVERSIDE, CA- In 1965/66, Riverside was the first largest school district in the US to voluntarily integrate their schools and to go forward despite, weeks later, the arson burning of its Lowell Elementary School. The 2015 Riverside Black History Parade and Expo will, in part, celebrate the 50th anniversary of that decision and the part it continues to play in Riverside’s becoming a ‘world class city’.
Dignitaries who participated in the 2015 Black History and Culture Parade included: Rusty Bailey, Mayor; Sergio Diaz, Police Chief; Michael Moore, Fire Chief; David Hansen, Supt, RUSD; Stan Sniff, Sheriff; Richard Roth, State Senator; Jose Medina, Member, State Legislative Assembly.
Other Parade participants included: community leaders, educators, business owners, ministers and members of their churches, college and youth groups, community service and activity programs, NAACP, Tuskegee Airmen, Prince Hall Masons and Shriners, car clubs and their prize auto collections, and many other people who march with their organizations to have fun.
There has to be recognition for those crowd pleasers that have their own ‘groupies’ who follow them whenever they parade, these include The Ex-Plosive Drill and Drum Squad;
The Black Diamond Step Team; Black Diamond Cheer and Dance Team; and of course the San Bernardino Westside Steppers Drill and Drum Team.
Craig Goodwin, Wanda Scruggs, & Jeanie Gaines were announcers at the viewing stand, across from the historical County Court House.