Earl “Skip” Cooper II to be Honor for  50 Years of Service by the Black Business Association

Earl “Skip” Cooper II, who stepped down as President/CEO of the Black Business Association (BBA) after more than forty years, will be honored at a 50 Years of Service Celebration Dinner & Roast on Saturday, August 20, 2022.  This fun-filled 70s-themed event will be held at the California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90037.  A Groovy Cocktail Reception begins at 6:30 PM, followed by a Soulful Dinner & Roast Celebration at 7:30 PM in the Loker Conference Room, and ends with a Funky Dessert Reception.

Fifty years ago, on August 20, 1972, when Cooper moved from Oakland to Los Angeles, he witnessed a sea of Black people grooving and celebrating at the Wattstax music festival headlined by soul singer and Grammy award-winning recording artist Isaac Hayes. Over 100,000 people, mostly Black, filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to recognize the seventh anniversary of the Watts Riots and Cooper recognized that there was an audience in need of his advocacy and advisory skills. Thus began his life’s work; work that he deems his “Special Purpose,” as an advocate for the advancement of minority business enterprise, the voice of the underserved, and a recognized civic leader throughout the state of California and the nation.

Fifty years to the day, the Black Business Association, the oldest active ethnic business support organization in the State of California, will honor Cooper with a Dinner and Roast for his life’s work. Powerful men and women will join event host, BBA President, and CEO Sarah R. Harris, to roast Cooper including civil rights activist and philanthropist Danny Bakewell, Sr. chairman of The Bakewell Company, which includes the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper; Carl Dickerson, founder of Dickerson Insurance Services; Gene Hale, CEO of G&C Equipment Corporation; Ezekiel Patten Jr., CEO of Patten Energy Enterprises; Rosalind Pennington, President and CEO of Red River Enterprises; and others. The Master of Ceremonies will be André Ray, former lead singer for the Grammy-nominated R&B band, L.T.D. Many other dignitaries are expected to attend to also celebrate August 20, 2022, as Earl “Skip” Cooper II Day, which also marks the 35th Anniversary of Black Business Day in Los Angeles was first proclaimed by Mayor Tom Bradley at the request of Cooper in 1987.

“For more than 20 years, “Skip” has been a treasured mentor and friend. As a business owner and consultant, It’s been an honor to have worked with him on pivotal projects concerning the BBA and, as his successor, I look forward to continuing with the same passion and drive to advance the status of Black businesses everywhere. We are glad that “Skip” will continue to provide his wisdom for best leadership and advocacy practices as well as serving as our resident historian as Chairman of the Board. Our salute to “Skip” on August 20th will be a true celebration and we look forward to the community joining us for what will be a funky good time,” says Harris.

“The BBA is very fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed person to lead the BBA into the future,” states Cooper.

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 lifetime 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 for the State of California.

To register to attend the Celebration or to donate in support of the work of Earl “Skip” Cooper II, please visit the BBA website at bbala.org. Your generous donation will solidify his legacy of a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of the underserved

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