Our wonderful friend Sue Strickland has passed away. A native of Riverside, she was one of the founders and first president of the Riverside African American Historical Society. She also served as treasurer on the Historical Society Board of Directors and Vice President of the Retired Teachers Association Division 21 Area IX.
Susan received an Associate of Arts Degree from Los Angeles City College, a Bachelors Degree from California State University Los Angeles, and a Masters Degree from California State University, San Bernardino.
Her employment experience includes the following: elementary teacher grades (K-8); Elementary Education Specialist on a UCR research project evaluating desegregated schools; Student Teacher Supervisor UCR; Instructional Coordinator for (ESAA) Emergency School Aid Act Project in the Jurupa Unified School District; Consultant for McGraw Hill Publishing Company; and Curriculum Specialist.
She was an active member of the community. In addition to her involvement with the African American Historical Society, she was a docent of the Riverside Museum, and co-founder of the (RMA-MCC) Multicultural Council of the Riverside Museum Associates. She was a member of the First Baptist Church; a member of the Riverside International Relations Council; a member of (CalRTA) California Retired Teachers Association, Division 21 Area IV since June 1, 1993; a life member of the NAACP, and Sickle Cell Organization; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
In the publication, No Easy Way: Integrating Riverside Schools- A Personal Reflection: Arthur L. Littleworth, Esq., there is an interview with Sue where she describes what it was like during the integration of the schools in RUSD. In her graceful and elegant way, she tells about riding with her students from Emerson School to Highland School as a part of the district integration plan. It was mid-year and students had come from two different schools and three or four different classrooms. She thought “Individualized instruction” would be a help. She knew a third grade boy who was placed in first grade math until he was moved up and ended up graduating from college as a math major.
She observed,“There were a few incidents, and maybe the district could have worked with the teachers more.”
In looking back through the (RMA) Museum Associates’ newsletters, I found numerous accounts of Sue and her work with the (MCC), Multicultural Council. Her favorite was the Family Village Festival where she could be found representing the African American Historical Society. Several times she would be the mistress of ceremonies for the Annual Day of Inclusion from 2011- 2021.
Sue and Reggie Strickland were married 57 years until Reggie’s Death in 2014. They were the parents of two children and one grandchild.
In the words of Solymar Negron, “Thank you Sue Strickland for being a powerful spirit led black woman that I knew and inspired me throughout my childhood and adult life. Thank you for being my reference for a strong powerful black leader and for all the work in my hometown. May you rest in peace knowing your legacy is held with honor and respect. May we continue with her work and legacy.”
Sue Strickland, Born March 13, 1934. Died September 1, 2022
By: Carole Zuloaga September 6, 2022. Melva Cooke. September 6, 2022