[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 124 (Friday, September 14, 2012)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1528]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                            HON. BARBARA LEE

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                       Friday, September 14, 2012

  Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the 
enduring legacy of two extraordinary, trailblazing women journalists, 
the late Delilah Beasley and retiring Bay Area icon Belva Davis, as 
they continue to inspire future generations of young women of color, 
many of whom will be part of the new Alameda County headquarters of 
Girls Inc. in Oakland, CA. This extraordinary occasion, hosted by the 
Progressive Oakland Women for Empowerment and Reform (P.O.W.E.R), is a 
testament to what is possible when we work together to celebrate, 
connect and transform the lives of women: past, present and future.
  Today, supporters and friends, including esteemed California 
Governor, Edmund Gerald ``Jerry'' Brown, Jr., and venerable faith 
leader Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., have gathered to pay tribute to 
women who changed the face of journalism in the Bay Area and beyond 
through their intellect and tenacity. Moreover, event proceeds will be 
donated to the Girls Inc. Building Fund.
  In honor of the first annual tea in her name, we recognize American 
historian and Oakland Tribune newspaper columnist Delilah Leontium 
Beasley as a true Bay Area unsung hero. Born in 1871, Ms. Beasley's 
journalism career began by writing short pieces for a black Ohio 
newspaper called the Cleveland Gazette. In her over 50-year career, Ms. 
Beasley spent 25 years as a resident of Oakland. And, California and 
Bay Area communities are forever changed as a result of the far-
reaching effects of her transformative work.
  She spent nine years scouring University of California, Berkeley 
library archives to produce The Negro TrailBlazers of California, a 
groundbreaking and prolific chronicle of California Black History 
throughout the 1800s. Published in 1919, her book focused on the 
achievements and sacrifices of black pioneers including prominent 
stories of women. From 1925 to 1934, she continued her commitment to 
championing communities of color as the first African American woman to 
be published regularly in a major newspaper. As an Oakland Tribune 
columnist, Ms. Beasley gained local acclaim for her positive stories 
about the Black community and her ability to reach mainstream 
audiences. She was also a longtime local activist who fought for 
integration in every level of civic and social life, including helping 
to spearhead California's first anti-lynching bill. Delilah Beasley 
should be in the halls of every museum and on the pages of every 
American history book. This annual event represents a new opportunity 
make her story and achievements known far and wide.
  Today, this legacy continues with the presentation of a P.O.W.E.R 
Lifetime Achievement Award to eight-time local Emmy winner Belva Davis. 
As the first African-American woman TV journalist in the Western United 
States, Ms. Davis is a living legend who tore down media barriers and 
defied racist stereotypes. For nearly five decades, Ms. Davis has 
continued to forge ahead, protecting the legacy of women like Delilah 
Beasley and paving the way for girls like those in Girls Inc. She began 
her bold career in 1964--the midst of the Civil Rights Movement--
ignoring risk and personal attack to cover history in the making.
  A respected anchor for news programs on KPIX-TV and KRON-TV, Ms. 
Davis has covered high-profile local, national and global news events, 
interviewing world leaders and U.S. presidents over the decades. Famed 
for her strong, 19-year presence as the host of public television's, 
``This Week in Northern California,'' Ms. Davis will be sorely missed 
by a bevy of fans, including community leaders, celebrities, colleagues 
and Bay Area residents. Though her final broadcast will air November 9, 
2012, she will continue her role as a long-time community advocate.
  Therefore, on behalf of the residents of California's 9th 
Congressional District, I thank Ms. Belva Davis for a lifetime of 
service and congratulate her upon receipt of this honor. I thank 
P.O.W.E.R for their vital work to support the achievement of women and 
girls, and wish them many more years of successful celebrations of the 
commemorative, ``Ms. Delilah Beasley Tea.''