By Troy Williams
Prominent members of the African-American community gathered at Lake Chalet in Oakland on Saturday, April 25 to honor the lifetime achievements, teachings, and friendship of Dr. Ruth B. Love.
Described as an eminent educator, Dr. Love has served at local, state and federal levels of education. She was superintendent of schools in both Oakland and Chicago and has worked in Europe, the Far East, Middle East, and Africa.
In 1981, Dr. Love became the first African-American and woman superintendent of the Chicago Public School District where she created the “Chicago Mastery Learning Program.”
The event, which was organized by Carol H. Williams and committee, was hosted by news anchor Belva Davis.
The room was filled with African-American educators, scholars, doctors, and business executives – all giving thanks for the success and courage that Dr. Love modeled.
Those who attended included Doug Love, Dr. Love’s nephew; Dr. Wade Nobles and wife Dr. Vera Lynn Winmilawe Nokwanda DeMoultrie; acclaimed pianist Jacqui Hairston; African drummer Kokomon Clottey; Dr. Dean Kenneth Monteiro of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University; and Saundra Andrews, representing Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Dr. Love received a congressional record from Congresswoman Barbara Lee that recognized her ability to transform a deep passion for reading into a career that has benefited people all over the world.
Mayor Libby Schaaf honored her with a proclamation of April 26, 2015 as Dr. Ruth Love Day in Oakland.
“It is my esteemed honor to recognize the personal and professional contribution Dr. Ruth Love has made to Oakland and students around the world,” said Mayor Schaaf. “In addition to her phenomenal lifetime of work, it is her extraordinary personal character that has made her such an enduring force for educational advancement and equity.”
Dr. Dean Kenneth Monteiro presented Dr. Love with a crystal that seemed to reflect the elegance through which she has embarked upon her career.
To students and colleagues, she is known as Dr. Love but those closest to her simply call her “Auntie.” Carol Williams recalled a time when “Auntie” invited her to take a trip to Africa.
“I didn’t really want to go. I complained about how long a flight to Africa would be,” Williams explained.
She then went on to detail Love’s response: “Well, your trip to Africa will be a lot more confortable than our ancestors had coming to America, so I expect you to be there.”
According to Williams, after spending two weeks in Africa, they had to send a search party out to find her because she did not want to leave.
The impact of Dr. Love’s work on the lives of those in attendance was palpable. Now entering the retirement phase, it was clear that her legacy would continue.
Her life and work is a model of success that every African-American boy and girl should be able to witness.