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Berkeley in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Frances Albrier

(1898-1987)

 

— Champion of Equal Rights and Social Justice —

 
Frances Albrier Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 19, 2012
1. Frances Albrier Marker
[Photograph at bottom center]
6. Albrier was one of the first local leaders to emphasize African American history. She organized exhibitions on black achievements in Bay Area department stores windows in the 1950s and 1960s.
Inscription.  
It was just automatic for me to stand up and tell a person, “You’re wrong. You’re mistreating me. You’re discriminatory. Why don’t you give me a chance?”
Great generosity coupled with anger at injustice guided the life of Frances Albrier. In 1920 she moved from Alabama to Berkeley. She had left the highly segregated South with a college education, but still faced discrimination in housing and jobs. She worked as a maid and union organizer on the Pullman trains, married and made her home a few blocks east of here. Albrier raised three children in this multi-racial neighborhood and began a remarkable career as a community leader and activist.

“These young Negro...citizens are wondering ‘Where is America’s most talked about democracy. Is it real or is it hypocrisy?’” she wrote in 1939. That same year, Albrier ran for City Council as Berkeley’s first African American woman candidate. She formed organizations to fight for jobs for blacks in local businesses and schools. Her articulate voice and persistence broke down barriers. Albrier used the leadership she earned to serve her passionate
Detail from the Frances Albrier Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 19, 2012
2. Detail from the Frances Albrier Marker
Click on photo to read the photo captions and additional information.
commitment to advancing civil rights and women’s rights.

For the rest of her long life, Albrier seized opportunities to fight injustice and inspired others to join her in righting wrongs. As she told one young friend who doubted the power of her own activism: “Your life is really not just our own. You have talents that are needed in today’s world and for the future. You can not stop now.”
 
Erected 2007.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights.
 
Location. 37° 51.308′ N, 122° 17.004′ W. Marker is in Berkeley, California, in Alameda County. Marker is on Park Street. The marker is on the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2800 Park Street, Berkeley CA 94702, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Burl Toler, Sr. (approx. ¼ mile away); Longfellow School (approx. 0.3 miles away); Historic McGee-Spaulding District (approx. 0.6 miles away); Philadelphia Quartz Company (approx. 0.6 miles away); In Memoriam (NSGW WWI Memorial) (approx. 0.6 miles away); Site of Pump House - Peet Brothers/Colgate Palmolive (approx. 0.8
Frances Albrier Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
July 15, 2019
3. Frances Albrier Marker - wide view
miles away); South Berkeley Bank (approx. 0.8 miles away); Historic "Lorin District" (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley.
 
Also see . . .  Albrier, Frances Mary (1898-1987) - Black Past. In 1938 Frances Mary Albrier became the first woman elected to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. She also founded the East Bay Women’s Welfare Club whose goal was to get black teachers hired in the Berkeley schools. In 1939 she was the first woman elected to the Berkeley City Council where she led a five-year campaign to hire black teachers. (Submitted on April 20, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 20, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 660 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on April 24, 2012, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 20, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   3. submitted on July 16, 2019. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 3, 2020