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Celebrating Black History Month

We honor the legacy and contributions of Black people to our industry and our country. In celebration of Black History Month, we’ve collected information on Black history as it pertains to both the building industry and to the Bay Area, where SC Builders was founded.

This month and every month, we stand against injustice and in support of the Black community. We are committed to building a better future, together.

Black History in the Building Industry

Judaline CassidyJudaline Cassidy: Tradeswoman, feminist plumber, founder of Tools & Tiaras, Inc., and Lean in Women in Trades. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Judaline is one of the first women to be accepted into Plumbers Local 371 Staten Island, NY, and the first woman elected to the Examining Board of Plumbers Local No. 1. > Learn More

Deryl McKissack: Owner of McKissack & McKissack, one of the few Black-owned architecture firms in the country. Projects include the Obama Presidential Center, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Lincoln, and several Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials. > Learn More

“Few realize that Blacks have made major contributions to so many fields in our country because we haven’t showcased them.”
Deryl McKissack

Robert Robinson TaylorRobert Robinson Taylor: First academically trained and credentialed Black architect in America, and first African American enrolled at MIT. > Learn More

“9 Brilliant Black Designers and Architects You Should Know”: Today’s top black designers and architects tell us about their design philosophies—and speak about diversity in the field—for Black History Month. > Learn More (Dwell article)

Norma Merrick SklarekNorma Merrick Sklarek: First registered Black female architect in New York and California. Most recognized for designing the United States Embassy in Tokyo, Japan in 1976 and the LAX Terminal One station in 1984. The first Black woman to own her own architectural practice. > Learn More



Black History in the Bay Area

William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr.: One of the earliest biracial-Black U.S. citizens in California and one of the founders of the city that became San Francisco. > Learn More

Charlotte L. Brown: American educator and civil rights activist. One of the first to legally challenge racial segregation in the United States when she filed a lawsuit against a streetcar company in San Francisco in the 1860s after she was forcibly removed from a segregated streetcar. > Learn More

Betty Reid Soskin: Oldest and longest-serving National Park Ranger in the U.S. Helped develop the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, honoring the contributions women made to the war effort. > Learn More

What gets remembered is a function of who’s in the room doing the remembering.”
Betty Reid Soskin

Big Five of Bayview: These five African American women were outspoken mothers and members of the Crispus Attucks Club and worked to improve their SF neighborhood in the 1960s-1970s. > Learn More 

Local Historian on San Francisco’s Black History: John Templeton, widely known as the authority on San Francisco black history, has led walking, bus, and boat tours for many years. > Learn More

Elbert “Pee Wee” Claybrook: Immense contributor to the Bay Area jazz scene for over 50 years. > Learn More

Belva Davis: First African-American woman to become a television reporter on the U.S. West Coast. > Learn More 

Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.”
Belva Davis

Kamala Harris: First Black and East Asian Vice President of the United States, and a Bay Area native. > Learn More

MLK Freedom Train: The Freedom Train was a Bay Area tribute to the civil rights era. The San Jose to San Francisco route was chosen by Coretta Scott King because this distance is roughly equivalent to the 54 miles traveled by King and his fellow protesters when they journeyed from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery over 50 years ago. > Learn More

Ron Dellums: Mayor of Oakland from 2007-2011 and first African American elected to Congress from northern California. > Learn More

Willie Brown: Elected 41st Mayor of San Francisco and 1st African American Mayor in 1995; re-elected in 1999. > Learn More

David Johnson: San Francisco-based photographer who trained under Ansel Adams. Known for his portrayal of society, urban life, and the jazz culture of San Francisco’s Fillmore District in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as 1960s figures of the civil rights movement. > Learn More

Willa Mae Sudduth: One of the founders of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. > Learn More

People from the South…changed California. We had a history of pulling together as a community and southern black women were always in the forefront of change.”
Willa Sudduth

Bay Area museums and Black History Month: Bay Area museums are helping patrons deepen their engagement with Black history and culture. > Learn More 


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