Homepage of the Reid, Turner, Galt, Parker, Allen, Breaux, Johnson, and Lashbrook Families of Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, Sacramento, and Angels Camp California, Griffin, Georgia, Norfolk, Virginia, St. James Parish, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas, among other places

 

CALIFORNIA'S BLACK PIONEERS

Introduction


THE ALLEN-BREAUX PAGES


THE REID, TURNER, GALT, PARKER, AND PATTERSON PAGES


FAMILY OBITUARIES


WILLIAM L. PATTERSON PAGES
(1890-1980)

Noted Social Activist and African-American Leader in the Communist Party USA; Longtime Friend of the Great Paul Robeson; First Cousin Of Virginia (Jennie) Parker Reid; Grandson of William Henry Galt and Elizabeth Mary Turner


JOHN HENRY LEWIS PAGES
(1904-1974)

Lightheavyweight Boxing Champion of the World
(1935-39)
Husband of Florence Reid Lewis


THE CHARBONNET PAGES

Paternal Family of Betty Reid Soskin


ENGINE 22

The Story Of The 1940's-1950's Era Struggle To Integrate The Oakland, California Fire Department (In Which Ernest Allen Sr. Played A Major Role)


LINKS TO OTHER FAMILY INTERNET PAGES

In Alphabetical Order


ANTONIO ALLEN

Hip Hop M.C. and Producer
Son of Ernest Allen Jr. and Irma McClaurin (Allen), Grandson of Ernest Allen Sr. and Maybelle Reid Allen

Myspace Page


CYRIL ALLEN

Progressive Political Activist; UC Berkeley Ice Hockey Coach; Son of Frederick Allen Sr., Grandson of George Allen III

UC Berkeley Ice Hockey Page
Brief Biography Of Head Coach Cyril Allen


ERNEST ALLEN JR.

Professor of History, University of Massachussetts; Son of Ernest Allen Sr. and Maybelle Reid Allen

Recent Published Writings


FONTA ALLEN
[Pictured with her son, Gerald]

Daughter of Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor and Diane Harley Cheeseboro, Granddaughter of Ernest Allen Sr. And Maybelle Reid Allen

Myspace Page


JESSE DOUGLAS ALLEN-TAYLOR

Columnist, Journalist, and Writer; Son of Ernest Allen Sr. and Maybelle Reid Allen

Homepage

Collected Writings


ZENA ALLEN

Folksinger and Guitarist; Daughter of Ernest Allen Jr.and Irma McClaurin (Allen); Granddaughter of Ernest Allen Sr. and Maybelle Reid Allen

MySpace Page

Service of Song (cd)


ALONZO DAVIS

Visual Artist; Extended Family Member; Father of Paloma Allen Davis (Granddaughter of Ernest Allen Sr. And Maybelle Reid Allen)

Alonzo's Homepage


PALOMA ALLEN DAVIS
[Pictured with her son, Ernest]

Daughter of Alonzo Davis and Bonnie Allen, Granddaughter of Ernest Allen Sr. And Maybelle Reid Allen

Myspace Page


ROSIE REID FUNK

Daughter of Bob Reid, granddaughter of Mel Reid and Betty Reid Soskin

Rosie Reid Funk and CreoleRox Jewelry


J. TARIKA LEWIS
Visual Artist, Musician, Author, and African-American Activist; the first woman to join the Black Panther Party for Self Defense; Daughter of former Lightheavyweight Boxing Champion of the World John Henry Lewis and Florence Lewis; Granddaughter of Tom Reid Sr. and Virginia Parker Reid

"Panther"--The Movie
Newmarket Press Website


NADIA LEWIS-DE PAULA-LIMA

Singer and Musician; Daughter of Tarika Lewis; Granddaughter of former Lightheavyweight Boxing Champion of the World John Henry Lewis and Florence Lewis; Great-Granddaughter of Tom Reid Sr. and Virginia Parker Reid

Ama Evolution Band Website


GEOFFREY PETE

Son of Herman Pete and Dorothy Reid Pete; Grandson of Thomas Reid Sr. and Virginia Parker Reid

Geoffrey's Inner Circle

Geoffrey Pete, Owner and Operator

A World-Famous Oakland, California Nightspot


RENARD PETE
(aka King Zuberi and GQ Noonie)

Son of Dennis Pete and Rhodessa Robertson, grandson of Herman Pete and Dorothy Reid Pete

Myspace Page


BOB REID

Composer, Singer, and Musical Performer; Son of Mel Reid and Betty Reid Soskin; Grandson of Thomas Reid Jr.

Bob Reid Music.com


DAVID REID

Son Of Mel Reid and Betty Reid Soskin

Reid's Records
Longtime Family-Owned Business That Spans Both The Reid And The Allen Families
Shop Online For Gospel Music, African-American Based Movies, And More David Reid, Current Owner & Proprieter


THE DANYEL SMITH PAGES

Former Editor of Vibe Magazine; Author of the novels "More Like Wrestling" and "Bliss"; Daughter of Reggie and Janelle Balugo Jones; Granddaughter of Lottie Charbonnet Balugo Fields; Great-Great Granddaughter of George Allen III

Naked Cartheels & Journal Scraps & Contentious Cursive
Danyel Smith's Blog

Random House Publishers Danyel Smith Page
Information on Danyel's Two Books: "More Like Wrestling," and "Bliss"

More Like Wrestling Excerpt

From California Authors.com

Bliss Excerpt

From Powells.com online booksellers


THE BETTY REID SOSKIN PAGES

Daughter of Dorson and Lottie Charbonnet, Granddaughter of George Allen III and Julia LaRose Allen, Great-Granddaughter of George Allen II and Leontyne "Mama" Breaux Allen of St. James Parish, Louisiana


NILE TAYLOR

Actress; Daughter of Jesse Douglas Allen Taylor; Granddaughter of Ernest Allen Sr. and Maybelle Reid Allen

Myspace Page

Filmogrophy


JUDITH WILSON

Assistant Professor of Art History and African-American Studies, UC Irvine; Daughter of Robert and Elaine Allen Wilson; Granddaughter of Ellis Allen Sr. and Mable Allen

University of California-Irvine Faculty Page


Email Me

SEND ME AN EMAIL (to safero@earthlink.net)

 

   

CALIFORNIA'S BLACK PIONEERS
THE "OLD-TIMERS"


19th Century San Francisco

Most Black California families came to the state during the Great Migration of World War II. They were escaping from the Anti-Black Terror of the South and looking for jobs in the shipyards and other wartime industries.

But a handful of African-Americans had been living in California for many years before the 1940's. Some had come West as far back as the time of the Civil War. They came by railway car. Or by automobile or on the bus. Before that, they came in covered wagons. Some traveled by steamship down the eastern coastline to Panama, walked across the Isthmus on foot, and caught another boat up the west coast to San Francisco. When they arrived in California, they had to build a home for themselves and their families in a land that often shunned and despised them. They were California's Black Pioneers.

In later years, these Black Pioneers came to be known to us at the "Old-Timers," African-Americans whose presence in California predated World War II. It is upon their rock that we now stand.

Photos from those early days show a people often-poor but always-proud, unbent by America's racial oppression. "We were segregated, of course," Betty Reid Soskin now says laughingly of growing up black in the East Bay Area of Northern California in the 20's and 30's, "but we thought it was only because we preferred our own company."


Creole Californians in the late 1920's (Mable Johnson Allen, wife of Ellis Allen Sr., is the woman in the center with the hat on her head and her chin on her hand)

Ellis Allen Sr., one of the sons of Civil War era Louisiana Native Guard veteran George Allen II and Leontyne Breaux Allen of St. James Parish, Louisiana, came to California sometime around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, working as a Pullman waiter out of the West Oakland Pullman headquarters, living in the East Oakland flatlands in the 29th Avenue Jingletown neighborhood that was later partially demolished by the building of the 880 freeway. It was a time when much of the city west of International Boulevard (then East 14th Street) and south of High Street was marshland that lay open all the way to the estuary. Ellis Allen was joined in Oakland by one of his sisters, Isobel Allen Warnie, and the eldest Allen brother, George Allen III, and between them the three siblings became the founders of the large East Bay Allen clan.


East Oakland In 1910: Looking north on 23rd Avenue from E. 12th Street

The Reid-Galt-Parker-Turner branch of the family came to California even earlier. Thomas Reid, Sr. came across the country by covered wagon in the 1880's from his native Griffin, Georgia, working as a bouncer in the saloons and dance halls of San Francisco's notorious Barbary Coast. Edward Parker, Sr.—the father of Tom Reid's wife, Jenny—came somewhat earlier, perhaps in the 1870's or before, from Virginia, opening up a bootmaking shop in San Francisco and serving on the San Francisco Colored Convention Executive Committee that worked for the rights of African-Americans in the difficult post-Civil War period. And even earlier to California than Edward Parker were William Henry Galt and his wife Elizabeth Turner Galt, Jenny Parker Reid's grandparents, who came out of slavery in 1860's Virginia to settle in Sacramento. William Henry Galt was one of the leaders of the Sacramento Zouaves, the African-American militia unit that worked in the struggle to keep California out of the Confederacy. The Galts' three children, Richard, Mary, and Annie, came with them to California out of slavery. Annie later married Edward Parker, Sr., and was the mother of Jenny Parker Reid. From Jenny and her husband, Tom, came Northern California's Reid clan.


Reid Sisters and Sister-in-Law in the Berkeley Hills, 1919: Leila, Irma (first wife of Charlie Reid), Ruth, and Alberta

California's Black Pioneers Page is the homepage for those two families: the Allens and Breaux's of Louisiana, the Reids of Georgia, and the Turners, Galts, and Parkers of Virginia. It is both a documentary of their journey and a celebration of their spirit.


NOTE:This webpage is operated for the benefit of all members of the Allen/Breaux and Reid/Turner/Galt/Parker clans. The operators of this page know that we don't have all of the information...we're just sharing what we have. If you have anything to add, or if you think something we've said is incorrect, please let us know. We don't think we're the experts. We're just a couple of more stones, making a way for our families to step across difficult waters.

It should not be surprising that the Allens and the Reids have come into frequent contact over the years, given the fact that for the first 50 years of the 20th century, they were two of the largest African-American families living in Northern California. Betty Soskin and Doug Allen-Taylor, the operators of this website, represent two of the four (known) links between these two clans. Betty, an Allen descendant, was originally married to the late Mel Reid, and their children, including Bob Reid, share ancestry in both families. Doug's father was the late Ernest Allen, Sr., and his mother was the late Maybelle Reid Allen.

We are currently in need of pictures, narratives, birthdates, family trees, addresses, web links, and anything else related to the steadily growing branches of our two families. For further information, or to pass on information to us, please contact Betty Reid Soskin (cbreaux@earthlink.net), Bob Reid (bob@bobreidmusic.com), or Douglas Allen-Taylor (safero@earthlink.net). Thanks much.