LBT Celebrates Black History Month

It’s the small businesses that have Moved us Through the last year when everything was all but normal and we thank them.

What does Black History Month mean to you?


In honor of Black History month, LBT employees from all different departments share what Black History Month means to them and how they choose to honor the many men and women who have paved the way for justice, equity and equality.

Upcoming DLBA Events


The Downtown Discussion Webinar Series

On February 23, 9-10:30 AM, Downtown Long Beach Alliance will be hosting an exciting webinar titled “The Black Experience in Long Beach: Past, Present, and Future.” in honor of Black History Month. Join in for this free roundtable discussion where a panel of local Black activists, faith leaders, municipal professionals, business owners, and community leaders will convene to discuss the history and contributions of the Black community in Long Beach, as well as the past and present challenges it faces and what the future may hold for this community.

Learn more and register to participate in the Zoom session at www.downtownlongbeach.org/downtown-discussions

Taste of Downtown Long Beach  

In celebration of Black History Month, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s, next Virtual Taste of Downtown is featuring a variety of Black-owned businesses based in Downtown, as well as performances by local Black artists. Tune in Friday, February 26, from 6-9 PM for a memorable evening of entertainment that includes demonstrations of barbering services, self-defense techniques, New Orleans cooking, and insightful and fun performances ranging from spoken word poetry to fashion shows and hip-hop music. Stream the event live on DLBA’s Facebook Page: @DowntownLongBeach and RSVP today by visiting this link http://bit.ly/FebVTOD

Emerald Austin, Royal Gourmet Cookies
Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, CA 90807 US

Throughout the last year, Emerald has been focusing even harder on her business and has pivoted by starting cookie decorating kits for children who are stuck at home virtual learning. Despite big challenges, the last year has brought such almost not being able to secure ingredients & supplies, she’s persevered and has even been able to give back to the community! Out of the goodness of her heart, she’s given cookies and cookie decorating kits to a Women’s Shelter in Long Beach in hopes it’d bring a smile to their faces. We’re lucky to have such a warm-hearted business owner in our community!

Yuri Williams, A Future SuperHero and Friends
4470 Atlantic Ave #7843 Long Beach,CA 90807

After losing his mother to cancer in 2009, Yuri wanted to show love and compassion to others he encountered while also helping the underserved in his community and therefore had the idea to create A Future SuperHero and Friends. Yuri now works throughout Long Beach communities feeding the elderly, children, veterans, the homeless, and also visiting ill children dressed as various vigilant Superheros. Throughout the last few years, Yuri has completed several projects including blood drives, movie-nights, toy drives, feeding and clothing the homeless, and also visiting other states to help those in need.

Yuri Williams, A Future SuperHero and Friends
4470 Atlantic Ave #7843 Long Beach,CA 90807

After losing his mother to cancer in 2009, Yuri wanted to show love and compassion to others he encountered while also helping the underserved in his community and therefore had the idea to create A Future SuperHero and Friends. Yuri now works throughout Long Beach communities feeding the elderly, children, veterans, the homeless, and also visiting ill children dressed as various vigilant Superheros. Throughout the last few years, Yuri has completed several projects including blood drives, movie-nights, toy drives, feeding and clothing the homeless, and also visiting other states to help those in need.

Gretchen Shoemaker, Georgia’s
4101 McGowen St., Suite 155, Long Beach, CA 92630

Today we feature a major player in the food scene here in Long Beach, Georgia’s. Small businesses tell a unique story rooted in hard work and focused on community, that’s why we’re excited to share more about this delicious establishment. Georgia’s is run by the passion of Gretchen and her daughter Nika alongside her husband Marlon Machado. This powerhouse family quickly became one of the coastal cities’ favorite barbecue soul food restaurants. With the importance of good food being passed on throughout generations in their family, it’s no surprise they’ve been able to see fast success. One thing’s for sure, there’s no lack of soul in this soul food. We wish them continued success and are happy to have them as part of the Long Beach community!

The Black community’s exceptional contributions to the transportation industry throughout the decade is something to be celebrated!

Garrett Augustus Morgan Jr., Inventor

Garrett Augustus Morgan Jr., made one of the most prominent advancements to traffic control with his invention of an improved three light traffic signal.

After Morgan witnessed a major car crash in 1922, he applied for and received a patent for his new traffic invention which included a third warning light to the present two-light traffic signal system.
Morgan’s T-shaped invention would now allow traffic to come to a slow halt and stop which prevented abrupt collisions unlike the previous two-light system. Morgan’s patented innovation was a catalyst of the traffic lights we see today and has made the streets safer for all.

Granville T. Woods, Inventor

Known famously as the “Black Edison”, Woods invented over 60 patents throughout his life but his acclaimed invention was the Induction Telegraph, also called the Block System. This revolutionary device allowed men to communicate with one another by voice over telegraph wires which helped speed up important communications between trains and prevent both minor and serious accidents.

Granville T. Woods, Inventor

Known famously as the “Black Edison”, Woods invented over 60 patents throughout his life but his acclaimed invention was the Induction Telegraph, also called the Block System. This revolutionary device allowed men to communicate with one another by voice over telegraph wires which helped speed up important communications between trains and prevent both minor and serious accidents.

Lois Cooper, Engineer

In 1953, Lois Cooper became the first Black female transportation engineer to be hired at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Although her engineering role came with hardships from her peers at the time, Cooper didn’t let others’ thoughts affect her work and she persevered due to her love of mathematics. This passion would ultimately give her an edge over other engineers and allow her to work on some iconic transit developments and inventions such as California’s I-105 and directing the construction of the first ever Diamond Lane on the freeway which was the precursor to all carpool lanes to come.

Rosa Parks Day & Transit Equity Day

In honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday, February 4th, a network of transit rider unions, community organizers, environmental groups, and labor unions have come together to create National Transit Equity Day, declaring that public transit remains a civil right. Rosa’s historic resistance to give up her bus seat remains the catalyst for transit equity, driving efforts to ensure high-quality public transportation is accessible for all.

Rosa Parks Day & Transit Equity Day

In honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday, February 4th, a network of transit rider unions, community organizers, environmental groups, and labor unions have come together to create National Transit Equity Day, declaring that public transit remains a civil right. Rosa’s historic resistance to give up her bus seat remains the catalyst for transit equity, driving efforts to ensure high-quality public transportation is accessible for all.

Remembering Congressman John Lewis

We remember and honor the late Congressman John Lewis, who began his activism as one of the original 13 freedom riders and continued on his path as a steward of justice, a leader in the progression of civil rights, and a dedicated advocate for investing in national public transit. 

His career consisted of many notable achievements and the work he accomplished will never be forgotten. For those of us who work within the transportation industry, we’ll remember him as a champion of providing equal access and opportunity through public transportation.

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