From Left, Dr. Adrian Dove receives the Lifetime Civil Rights Advocate Award from Earl “Skip” Cooper II, BBA president and CEO (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

Los Angeles, CA – The Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California commemorated Black History Month or African American Heritage Month, during its Salute to Black History Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, February 27, at the California African American Museum CAAM.


In recognition of African American Heritage Month Theme for 2020 is “African Americans and The Vote.” Black History month, 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The Black History Month theme, then, recognizes the struggle for voting rights among both black men and women throughout American history. It is an ongoing struggle experienced by people of color that continues into the 21st century.

The BBA will pay honor to outstanding individuals who have made contributions in the advancement of the African-American vote.

From left, Sabastian Ridley-Thomas receives the Emerging Youth Voter Advocate Award from Earl “Skip” Cooper II, BBA president and CEO. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

Honorees for this year’s tribute were Hon. John Lewis, U.S. representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, serving in his 17th term in the House and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation; Rev. William Barber II , member of the national board of the NAACP and has been president of the NAACP’s North Carolina state chapter. Barber has served as pastor Greenleaf Christian (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina; Hon. Willie Brown

Dr. Adrian Dove, surrounded by supporters. holds his Lifetime Civil Rights Advocate Award given by the Black Business Association. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / Sentinel)

Former California State Assembly, spending 15 years as its speaker. He became mayor of San Francisco and was the first African American to hold that office; Honorees for this year’s tribute will be; Dr. Adrian Dove, a former field staffer who worked under Dr. King as a Voter Registration Worker in the Deep South during the 60s; Rev. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP and has been the pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco; Alice Huffman, president of California Hawaii NAACP and a member of the National Board of the NAACP; Hon. Karen Bass, U.S. Representative for California 37th congressional District in the United States House of Representatives; Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation (AAVREP) Political Action Committee. AAVREP is the longest continuously-operating voter registration and turnout organization in the State of California.

The event attracted business-minded Millennials eager to network with seasoned professionals. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis)

The event attracted community leaders, business owners and various members of society, eager to celebrate the immense accomplishments of these Black entrepreneurs.   This year’s theme was Black Migration.  The organization saluted community builders who have paved the way for and inspired successful Black entrepreneurs from around the world. 


BBA president, Skip Cooper, previously stated that “African Americans have made contributions that stand as a testament to their resolve, resilience, and courage. Over the course of our Nation’s history, African Americans have endured egregious discrimination and bigotry. They have, nevertheless, always been determined to contribute their earnest efforts to America’s greatness. This annual observance is an opportunity to remember the challenges of our past, but also to honor countless African-American heroes who inspire us to shape our country’s future,” said Cooper II.