Guide to the Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers

Sean Dickerson
African American Museum & Library at Oakland
659 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0198
Fax: (510) 637-0204
Email: aamlo@oaklandlibrary.org
URL: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland
© 2013
African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers

Collection number: MS 203

African American Museum & Library at Oakland

Oakland, California
Processed by:
Sean Dickerson
Date Completed:
February 8, 2017
Encoded by:
Sean Dickerson
© 2013 African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers
Dates: 1962-2008 (bulk 1966)
Collection number: MS 203
Creator: Van Dyke Bello, Savannah A.
Collection Size: .25 linear feet (1 box)
Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland, CA 94612
Abstract: Beginning in the Civil Rights Movement during the early 1960's, Bello became politically involved and was active with local school board elections and city council meetings. In 1963, together with Charlesetta Braggs-Ford, she founded the Richmond chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to address discriminatory practices in local housing and employment. As a representative of Richmond CORE, Bello participated in training institutes, educational leagues and programs for the purpose of helping the public become better informed on the problem of de facto segregation in the Richmond Unified School District. The Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers consists of pamphlets, reports, flyers, strategy and progress reports, papers, action plans, correspondence, meeting minutes, newsletters and newspaper clippings related to Bello’s founding and involvement with the Richmond chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), as well as her extensive work involving desegregation in the Richmond Unified School District.
Physical location: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.) Oakland, CA 94612
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

Access Restrictions

Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish from the Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

Preferred Citation

Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello papers, MS 203, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the African American Museum & Library at Oakland by Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello on September 1, 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Sean Dickerson, February 3, 2017.

Biography / Administrative History

Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello was born May 5, 1922 in Idabel, Oklahoma the daughter of farmers Richard and Rebecca Van Dyke. After graduating from high school in Lawton, Oklahoma she moved to California to work for the United States Civil Service Commission in San Francisco. There she married Albert Bello and they became the parents of three children, Stalfana, Albert, and Gwendolyn. In 1955, after recovering from tuberculosis, she decided to go to nursing school. In 1961, she became a nurse and worked at the Contra Costa County Medical Center until her retirement in 1984. In addition to work with the America Red Cross for 20 years, Bello also served as president of the Western Student Movement Richmond Tutoring Program, board member of the Progressive Education League and on the Executive Committee Board of the Ronald Dellums for Congress campaign. Beginning in the Civil Rights Movement during the early 1960's, Bello became politically involved and was active with local school board elections and city council meetings. In 1963, together with Charlesetta Braggs-Ford, she founded the Richmond chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to address discriminatory practices in local housing and employment. Richmond CORE focused on issues related to fair employment and housing, schooling, accurate newspaper coverage, and police brutality towards African Americans and other minorities. Bello served as spokesperson for the Committees on Education, Storm Drainage, and Public Housing and was involved with working on California Fair Housing initiatives. Bello was active in sit-ins, picketing and negotiation projects with the Richmond Housing Authority and the Richmond Unified School District. As a representative of Richmond CORE, Bello participated in the 1966 Civil Rights Training Institute for the purpose of helping the public become better informed on the problem of de facto segregation in the Richmond Unified School District. Bello was invited on the basis of her activities in the Richmond Unified School District and with Richmond CORE to enroll in the Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation offered through the University of California Extension beginning in 1966. Of the sixty-nine adult participants, 37 were teachers and 11 were community persons. The Institute workshop, which afforded the participants the opportunity for interpersonal relationships across race, class, and age lines, was held from June 23 to July 14, 1966 in Olympic Valley, CA. During her enrollment, Bello served as a committee member of the Strategy Planning Team on Grouping and Marking to advocate heterogeneous grouping throughout the Richmond Unified School District. Federally funded, the two-year Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation program was directed by Dr. Marie Fielder, a pioneering educator and civil rights leader who was the first African-American woman with a doctorate to teach in the Bay Area and one of the first researchers to prove cultural bias in IQ tests. She was also instrumental in making Berkeley public schools the first in the nation to desegregate through two-way busing, and advised civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Whitney Young, and government and civil-rights organizations, including the U.S., Department of Education, the Black Panther Party for Defense and Justice, and the National Organization for Women. Fielder had created the two-year program to develop objectives centered on techniques, skills, and understandings necessary to solve problems incident to desegregation. Bello left her work with CORE during the National CORE Conference of 1967 held in Oakland after George Innis and other members of the Harlem NY chapter made demands for CORE to begin promoting a platform of militancy. The conference had brought together representatives from a range of political organizations: representatives of the local CORE chapters led by Wilfred Ussery, Floyd McKissick and James Farmer from the national CORE, Afro-American Association leader Donald Warden, Elijah Turner, California Assemblyman Willie Brown, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Chairman H. Rap Brown and Muhammad Ali. As members began participating with Black Power movement groups in community organizing, Richmond CORE was officially disaffiliated from the national organization at a meeting of officers and delegates to CORE’s Western Regional Conference on August 30, 1968.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Savannah A. Van Dyke Bello Papers consists of pamphlets, reports, flyers, strategy and progress reports, papers, action plans, correspondence, meeting minutes, newsletters and newspaper clippings related to Bello’s founding and involvement with the Richmond chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), as well as her extensive work involving desegregation in the Richmond Unified School District. The collection documents negotiation projects with the Richmond Housing Authority and the Richmond Unified School District around fair employment, housing and school integration. Included are Bello’s materials from the Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation program, directed by Dr. Marie Fielder, to develop objectives centered on techniques, skills, and understandings necessary to solve problems incident to de fact desegregation. The papers are organized in three series: CORE Richmond activities, School integration in the Richmond Unified School District, and assorted print materials.

Arrangement

Series I. CORE Richmond activities Series II. School integration in the Richmond Unified School District Series III. Assorted print materials

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
African Americans--California--Richmond--Social conditions--20th century.
African Americans -- Civil rights.
African Americans--Civil rights--California--Oakland Region--History--20th century.
Busing for school integration--United States.
Congress of Racial Equality.
School integration--California--Richmond.

Related Material

Charlesetta Braggs-Ford Papers, African American Museum and Library at Oakland. Congress of Racial Equality records, Wisconsin Historical Society.

Collection Contents

 

Richmond CORE activities

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes pamphlets, reports, flyers and newspaper clipping related to Bello’s work with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Richmond. Also included are lists of Richmond CORE projects and a time line of events related to the history of the chapter.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:1

The relationship between racial balance and sound education in the San Francisco Unified School District 1962-09-01

Box 1:1

CORE sit-in songs pamphlet 1965

Box 1:1

The Campus CORE-lator,vol. I, no. 4, table of contents 1965-03-13

Box 1:1

newspaper clipping "Discriminatory Hiring," from the Flatlands newspaper [photocopy] 1966-05-21

Box 1:1

U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1968: As it applies to California (Title 8: Fair Housing Law) 1968

Box 1:1

Let's walk that walk and talk that talk public meeting flyer circa 1960s

Box 1:1

Richmond Housing Authority Equal Opportunity Housing Program agreement to CORE circa 1960s

Box 1:1

Interview with Michael Jones conducted by David Lance Goines transcript 1994-02-15

Box 1:1

Congress of Racial Equality Richmond, California time line of events and projects 2008-04

Box 1:1

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Richmond and San Francisco Bay Area list of projects undated

Box 1:1

CORE boycott list [photocopy] undated

Box 1:1

Handwritten list of Richmond CORE projects undated

 

School integration in the Richmond Unified School District

Physical Description: 4 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes files held by Bello as participant in the Civil Rights Act Training Institute and Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation, and as board member of the Progressive Education League and Western Student Movement Richmond Tutoring Program. Included are strategy and progress reports, papers, action plans, correspondence, meeting minutes, and copies of the Leadership Training Institute’s Strategy newsletter.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by organization.
 

Civil Rights Act Training Institute 1965-1966

Box 1:2

Secondary school course offerings and related policies for the Richmond Unified School District brochure 1965-07

Box 1:2

Responsibilities of the Citizens Advisory Committee on De Facto Segregation, enrollment data and considerations for secondary schools of the Richmond Unified School District 1966-02-24

Box 1:2

Community awareness data parade of segregation witnesses [two copies] 1966-01-28

Box 1:2

Community awareness data Citizens’ Advisory Committee on De Facto Segregation 1966-03-02

Box 1:2

Community awareness data Citizens for Improved Education 1966-04-05

Box 1:2

Community awareness data Congress on Racial Equality submitted by Savannah Bello 1966-05

Box 1:2

Roster of invited community resource persons 1966-06

Box 1:2

Desegregation-integration strategy team progress report 1966-07-12

Box 1:2

“Richmond Unified School District faces the challenge in education” conference program 1966-11-12

Box 1:2

Paper on the Civil Rights Act Training institute and its impacts for civil rights groups circa 1966

 

Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation circa 1960s

Box 1:3

Statement by United States Senator Thomas H. Kuchel on Civil Rights 1963

Box 1:3

"Guidelines for school desegregation; A summary explanation of the revised statement of policies for school desegregation plans under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964" 1966-03-01

Box 1:3

Statement by Harold Howe II in connection with announcing revised school desegregation guidelines 1966-03-07

Box 1:3

Stanford University News Service release on Stanford doctoral dissertation by Theodore W. Parsons [two copies] 1966-03-24

Box 1:3

Letter from Dr. Marie Fielder and Dr. James L. Merrihew to certified personnel and school related (by board action) citizens re: Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation formal application 1965-05

Box 1:3

Pre-institute questionnaire Pre-institute questionnaire

Box 1:3

Imperatives of school desegregation held at Walter Helms Jr. High School 1966-06-27

Box 1:3

University of California Extension presents Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation: For selected persons in the Richmond Unified School District community information day event release 1965-06

Box 1:3

Letter from Gus Guichard to institute participants re: resident accommodations at Squaw Valley 1965-06

Box 1:3

Some considerations with respect to grouping in schools, with special reference to schools predominantly attended by individuals from non-dominant culture groups prepared by Peres School Parents for Better Education, Peres Elementary School, Richmond 1966-03-26

Box 1:3

Strategy newsletter 1966-07-03

Box 1:3

In-Service education progress report 1966-07-12

Box 1:3

Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation resident portion schedule 1966-07-12

Box 1:3

Desegregation committee – strategy planning secondary school desegregation 1966-07-13

Box 1:3

Strategy newsletter 1966-07-13

Box 1:3

Strategy newsletter [two copies] 1966-07-15

Box 1:3

Strategy newsletter 1966-08-22

Box 1:3

Blowing in the wind” lyric sheets [two copies] 1966

Box 1:3

Did you know-negro history [two copies] 1966

Box 1:3

Discussion groups [Squaw Valley] 1966

Box 1:3

The function of the sensitivity group demonstration in the staff training program [two copies] 1966

Box 1:3

General information sheet of details involving resident portion of the institute held at Squaw Valley 1966

Box 1:3

In-service education collaborative work session on “change agentry” 1966

Box 1:3

Leadership skit, issue: corporal punishment [two copies] 1966

Box 1:3

Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation bibliography [two copies] 1966

Box 1:3

Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation participant positions 1966

Box 1:3

Lines from readings 1966

Box 1:3

Materials distributed to date 1966

Box 1:3

Memo from Gus Guichard to institute participants re: communication among all participants 1966

Box 1:3

Memo from Gus Guichard to institute participants re: “mopping-up details” 1966

Box 1:3

Negro history teaches’ guide [three copies] 1966

Box 1:3

Project potential: interpretative guide for the tests of creativity 1966

Box 1:3

Report of the Strategy Planning Team on Grouping and Marking 1966

Box 1:3

Report from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 1966

Box 1:3

Room assignments for strategy planning 1966

Box 1:3

Social interest guide 1966

Box 1:3

Squaw Valley State Recreation Area map 1966

Box 1:3

Strategy planning on history and literature 1966

Box 1:3

University of California Extension presents Leadership Training Institute in Problems of School Desegregation discussion groups roster 1966

Box 1:3

Why the in-service education fellows ’66-’67 1966

Box 1:3

Visitation weekend schedule 1966

Box 1:3

Visitation weekend schedule (revised) 1966

 

Progressive Education League 1968

Box 1:4

Progressive education league minutes 1968-11-03

Box 1:4

Progressive education league minutes [two copies] 1968-11-17

 

Western Student Movement Richmond Tutoring Program 1966

Box 1:5

Board of trustees meeting 1966-07-14

 

Assorted print materials

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes assorted newspaper clippings and a letter from the notary public to the Van Dyke family.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "Back to school in Richmond…with lots of problems: New superintendent at odds with black community," from the Freedom News 1969-09

Box 1:6

Letter from the notary public of Alameda County to the Van Dyke family re: estate of Rebecca Van Dyke 1969-12-26

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "Protestor on Richmond Police back" circa 1960s

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "Making History: Former activities remember the movement," featuring photograph of Savannah Van Dyke Bello, from the Sunday Times, vol. 8, no. 281 1984-10-07

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "Ex-Justice Bird content off the bench" circa 1990s

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "It's all there in black and white," featuring photograph of Savannah Van Dyke Bello and Charlesetta Braggs-Ford circa 1990s

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping Samuel Burns Jr. obituary circa 1990s

Box 1:6

Newspaper clipping "A day of recognition, honor, and thanks," from The Post 2005-02-23—2005-03-01