The Future of Young African-American Men: Business Owners, Leaders (2006), Ronald Vernie “Ron” Dellums (born November 24, 1935) served as Oakland’s forty-eighth (and third African-American) mayor. From 1971 to 1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northern California’s 9th Congressional District, after which he worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C..
Dellums was born into a family of labor organizers, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps before serving on the Berkeley, California, City Council. Dellums was the first African American elected to Congress from Northern California and the first openly socialist successful non-incumbent Congressional candidate since World War II. His politics earned him a place on President Nixon’s enemies list.
During his career in Congress, he fought the MX Missile project and opposed expansion of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber program. When President Ronald Reagan vetoed Dellums’ Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, a Democratic-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate overrode Reagan’s veto, the first override of a presidential foreign policy veto in the 20th century.
Alvin Francis Poussaint (born May 15, 1934 in New York City) is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of numerous books on child psychiatry, with a particular focus on the raising of African-American children.
Poussaint is a Haitian-American, born to Haitian immigrants in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1952. As a youth, he took ill with rheumatic fever, which left him unable to engage in the physical activities of his peers. He graduated from Columbia University in 1956 and earned an M.D. from Cornell University in 1960. Poussaint completed postgraduate training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied psychopharmacology and served as chief resident in psychiatry.
After his initial academic accomplishments, Poussaint took part in the civil rights movement, which solidified his notion that racism resides at the core of mental health problems in the black community. Later in life, Poussaint served as a consultant for The Cosby Show and currently combines an advocacy for responsible media programming with his academic work.
Along with Bill Cosby he co-authored the 2007 book Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.