Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Friends, Associates and Power Brokers Gathered to Celebrate the Legacy of Earl ‘Skip’ Cooper | VIDEO

*After more than 50 years of service and dedication to his community, (former) BBA president and CEO Earl “Skip” Cooper was finally given his flowers during a heartfelt celebration of his life and legacy this past Saturday, August 21.

The event was held at the California Black Museum at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, adjacent to the University of Southern California.

Folks gathered to watch Cooper enjoy his special moment, which included a series of jokes and razzing from his closest peers and colleagues.

There was laughter. Heartfelt tributes. Singing, dancing … and of course, some good ol’ soul food.

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The festivities had a 1970s theme – so there were a few people in attendance bold enough to wear bell bottoms, large hoop earrings, medallions, and Afro hair pieces.

Cooper arrived in style – wearing aviator glasses to compliment his dapper attire.

Holding a cane for assistance, the Oakland native slowly inched his way across the dining hall, fending off cameras and admirers en route to his seat.

But he didn’t seem bothered.

With a big smile on his face, Cooper made the most of his big night.

“I came to Los Angeles 50 years ago – it was a great day for black folks,” he exclaimed. “We’ve gathered to celebrate my connection here in the community.”

Skip Cooper - Photo: Cory A. Haywood
Earl ‘Skip’ Cooper – Photo: Cory A. Haywood

The event also celebrated the passing of the torch to the newly installed president and CEO, Sarah R. Harris. In addition, August 20th marked the 35th anniversary of Black Business Day in the City and County of Los Angeles which was also proclaimed as Earl “Skip” Cooper II Day to commemorate his 50 years of service.

About Earl “Skip” Cooper II
Earl “Skip” Cooper II, known as “Skip” to his friends and colleagues, earned a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship from USC. This put the wheels in motion to be a difference maker in the business arena. He spent his life committed as an advocate for the advancement of minority business enterprise, voice for the underserved, and recognize civic leaders throughout the State of California and the nation.

“Skip,” a 100% Disabled Vietnam Veteran, was named President and CEO of the BBA in 1976. From the BBA, he joined forces with other Black men and women who would collectively meet with Assemblyman Willie Brown to encourage him to create a Black business program for California. As the chair of a key committee, Brown couldn’t make the program Black, but he did make the program for small businesses. This legislation impacted small businesses all over California. Also, the BBA worked very close with Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, the first Black woman elected to Congress from the State of California. For additional information visit the BBA website at bbala.org

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