Earl “Skip” Cooper 

(Ian Foxx Photo) 

Gwen Moore 

(Ian Foxx Photo) 

On Saturday, hundreds of business owners, elected officials and community advocates piled into the ball room of the recently renovated Los Angeles Downtown Hall to celebrate the accomplishments of one of the African American Community’s most crucial business advocate organizations, the Los Angeles Black Business Association (BBALA).

Earl “Skip” Cooper, president of the BBALA brought together a host of honorees that represented nearly every aspect of the Black Community, Black Business and Black Leadership.

The honorees included noted Civil Rights Advocate Reverend James Lawson, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas received The Chairman’s Award, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Dr. George McKenna received the Presidents Award, former City Councilman Robert Farrell received the Freedom Riders Award.

Additionally, famed photographer Bill Jones received the Historian Award , the Los Angeles Sentinel received “The Institutional Pioneer Award”, Consolidated Realty Board received the Organizational Pioneer Award and 27th Street Bakery who received the Business Pioneer Award.

“The work that Earl ‘Skip’ Cooper and the Honorable Gwen Moore (chairperson of the BBA Board of Directors) is vital in continuing to promote Black Businesses and helping seize the business opportunities that are vital in restoring the economic power of our community,” Ridley-Thomas said.

“’Skip has been the driving force behind continuously promoting and advocating for Black business here in Los Angeles and throughout the country,” said Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. – chairman and executive publisher of The Los Angeles Sentinel.

“The work that skip and the BBA does in advocating for our community and for promoting Black Business is critical in insuring that our people, our community and our families benefit from the trillion dollar economic engine that is Los Angeles.  On behalf of the entire Sentinel Family and the 150,000 people who read our papers each week we are honored to receive this award,” Bakewell Jr. said.