This is a special tribute to some of the legendary people who made significant contributions to North Richmond. Their hard work, dedication and leadership helped strengthen and improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.
Minnie Lue Nichols
Minnie Lue Nichols, a Georgia native, came to North Richmond in 1948 and started cooking at a local restaurant where she quickly developed a reputation for serving tasty sould food to many of the shipyard workers living in the community. As a savvy business woman, she later opened up her first restaurant in a small complex in North Richmond and later became the first black businesswoman to obtain a liquor license.
Minnie Lue's (as it was known) became one of the premiere niteclubs for entertainment and blues music, and attracted people of all races from all over the Bay Area to partake in the great food and entertainment coming out of North Richmond.
Charlie Reid was a famed pitcher in the Bay Area Negro Leagues for the Colored Pierce Giants based in Oakland. He became the recreation director at North Richmond's Shields Park in the 1940s where he organized recreation and sports activities for youth and adults in the community. Mr. Reid, as he was known, played an integral role in the development and growth of almost all the youth coming out of North Richmond.
Charlie Reid was instrumental in directing some of the most competitive leagues and tournaments for basketball and baseball that attracted top caliber players from all over the Bay Area to North Richmond.
Dr. Mattie McGlothen (right) came to Richmond in the 1930s where she and her husband George W. McGlothen held in-home church services throughout the community. In 1946, they opened the McGlothen Temple Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in North Richmond.
For 61 years, Dr. McGlothen served in the highest positions within the Church of God in Christ Women's Department, where she was appointed the National and International Supervisor of the COGIC's Women's Department. In her later years, she served as a longtime member on Contra Costa County's Parole Board.
Ollie Freeman came to Richmond in the 1930s as a decorated war veteran who served with the 761st Black Panther Tank Battalion of the Third Army. He first owned a popular shoe shine stand on Macdonald Avenue, and was known as the host of a popular radio show for station KTIM in Richmond.
In his later years, Freeman was the owner of Jazzland Records in North Richmond on Filbert Street. His record shop was a place where people could purchase the latest blues and R&B records, and also learn from him more about the history of music and black history.
Edwin "Red" Stephenson serves for 14 years as the executive director of the North Richmond Neighborhood House, a nonprofit social services organization started by the American Friends Service Commitee back in the 1940s. Under Stephenson's leadership, the Neighborhood House provided vital services to the community through programs that included: employment & training, health & wellness, childcare, youth activities, and education.