The Barbara Lee Papers consist of legislative bills and working files, correspondence, speeches, constituent case files, audiovisual
material, subject and administrative files documenting Barbara Lee’s six years as state assemblywoman for California’s 16th
District, two years as a state senator for California’s 9th District, and records created by the California Commission on
the Status of Black Males (CCSBM).
Barbara Jean Lee (née Tutt) was born on July 16, 1946 in El Paso, Texas the daughter of Mildred Adaire and Garvin Alexander
Tutt, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army. In El Paso, the family lived with her maternal grandparents, William
Calhoun and Willie Parish, and she attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School taught by the Sisters of Loretto, a religious order
that taught the virtues of peace and justice. The family moved from Texas to the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles, California
in 1960. While attending school at San Fernando High School, she sued the school district with help from the local chapter
of the N.A.A.C.P. change the school’s procedures for selecting cheerleaders which would allow the entire student body to vote
for cheerleaders rather than a small clique. In 1963, she was selected as the school’s first black cheerleader. She graduated
from San Fernando High School in 1964 and shortly thereafter followed her husband Carl Lee to England where he was stationed
in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire.
80 linear feet
Permission to publish from the Barbara Lee Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Constituent case files closed to the public. Rest of collection is open to the public.