Assembly Member Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles speaks after she was sworn in as the 67th Speaker of the Assembly at the State Capitol in Sacramento CA, Tuesday May 13, 2008. Bass is also the first African American female Speaker in the country's history.(Sacramento Bee/ Brian Baer / BBAER@SACBEE.COM) Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
Dororthy and Michael Benjamin in an undated family photo. They founded the first African American theater in the area -- Sacramento Repretory Theatre -- in the 1970s. Michael served as instructor of technical theater and black drama at Sacramento City College from 1972 to 1995. He currently teaches stagecraft part-time at Sacramento State. Dorothy helped start Black Culture Day at the California State Fair in the early '80s. She also led the effort to establish the local Martin Luther King Jr. March in 1987. In the 1970s they operated the downtown Capitol Infant Toddler Center, which became the current nonprofit Rainbow Day Care. The Benjamins continue to be active in community organizations. Courtesy Benjamin Family
FILE--Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, shown in this March 27, 1991 file photo, was in fair condition and resting comfortably on Saturday, March 23, 1996, after recovering from a heart attack he suffered earler in the week. Bradley, 78, served as mayor of the nation's second largest city for 20 years. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, Files) AP
California Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003, at a hearing on her nomination to be U. S. circuit judge of the District of Columbia. Brown is the first black woman and one of the most conservative jurists on California's Supreme Court. Civil rights and abortion rights groups are pushing Democrats to add her to the list of Bush nominees they are blocking through Senate filibusters because of rulings limited abortion rights, corporate liability and affirmative action programs.(AP Photo/Dennis Cook) AP
Former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Monday, January 10, 2011. Bee file, 2011
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, the first African American woman to represent the West Coast in the U.S. House (1973-79). (1978 photo) Dick Schmidt
Sharon Cadogan is the first African American captain of the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, retires after 32 years of service. She was the first African American female sergeant in 1994 and ten years later, the first African American famale caption, Thursday, January 11, 2006. (Sacrament Bee/ Michael A Jones) Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
Ray Charles, first African American appointed Sacramento Fire Chief (Nov. 1, 1986).
Undated file photograph of Sacramento attorney Nathaniel Colley. SACRAMENTO BEE/LEILANI HU
Angela Davis Sept. 9, 1972
AP Photo Afros
Cottrell Laurence "C. L." Dellums was one of the organizers and leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He is the uncle of former Congressman and Mayor of Oakland Ron Dellums. (1983 photo) Dick Schmidt
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums speaks the the launching of the Bank on California, a first-in-the-nation program designed to help Californians without checking or savings accounts open starter accounts, during an event at the State Capitol, Friday Dec. 12, 2008. The cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Fresno and Oakland are the first wave of California cities joining Bank on California. email@example.com
LEDE Four years ago, Mervyn Dymally - the first African-American lieutenant governor of California and a former congressman -- came out of retirement to take a seat in the Assembly. The Legislature's Black Caucus was dwindling and the only members were from Los Angeles County. There were fears among African-Americans that in the not too distant future, with Latinos becoming majorities in what were once predominantly black districts, there would be no African-American legislators in the state. As chairman of the Black Caucus, Dymally is making room for three new members who were victorious in the primary. If they win in November -- and they are running in Democratic-friendly districts -- the Legislature would have a record black nine members. The Sacramento Bee/ Anne Chadwick Williams/ June 12, 2006 Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
Calif. Attorney General Kamala Harris makes an announcement during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Harris announced the creation of the eCrime Unit to investigate and prosecute identity theft, child exploitation and other cyber crime. (AP Photo/Paui Sakuma) AP
ME.1112.Obit.Hawkins.2-- Augustus F. Hawkins, the first African American from California to be elected to Congress and a champion of workers, cheap housing and civil rights issues, died Saturday Nov.10, 2007. He was 100.
LAT file photo. Los Angeles Times
Former Sacramento City Councilman, Grantland Johnson, speaks in an interview in his Sacramento home about an upcoming honor. Hagginwood Park will name their soccer field after him. He grew up playing baseball at the park and later became the county's first African American supervisor. March 18, 2011. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed the first woman to head the California National Guard, the nation's first largest guard unit. General Mary Kight will be the first black woman to become adjutant general of a state's National Guard. She takes command Tuesday after a swearing in ceremony. California National Guard,
Archy Lee was a Mississippi slave brought to California by his owner Charles Stovall in 1857. Lee fought successfully in court to secure his freedom after Stovall attempted to take Lee back to the South in 1858.
Dr. William Lee (cq) , center, stands with his son Larry Lee (cq) , 27, at the office of their Sacramento Observer newspaper Wednesday October 25, 2000. The painting at right, a favorite of the William Lee, is symbolic of the continuous struggle of the black man and his hope for the future. Lee has had the painting hanging in his offices since the late 1960's. William Lee is working on stepping down and handing the 38-year-old newspaper to his son who has various expansion ideas. The Sacranmento Bee / Randy Pench Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
William Alexander Leidesdorff was a debonair seafarer who became a business and civic leader in San Francisco before owning 35,000 acres in what is now Rancho Cordova and Folsom.
Wiley W. Manuel was an associate justice of the California Supreme Court, 1977-81. Sacramento Bee
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITONS OF MARCH 8-10--This is an undated photo of Mary Ellen Pleasant who was known as the "Mother of Civil Rights in California." (AP Photo/State Capitol Museum, HO)
FILE-- Former state schools chief Wilson Riles, seen in undated file photo at State Capitol news conference, died Thursday night at a Sacramento, Calif., hospital from a lung infection. Riles, 81, who in 1971 became the first black statewide elected offical, served three terms as schools superintendent before being defeated by Bill Honig in 1982. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) AP
Frederick Madison Roberts was a newspaper editor, educator and businessman who became the first African American elected to the California State Assembly in 1918.
Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton (1968) Black Panther Party poster.