- Name : Danny Bakewell Sr
- Job : Founder & Chairman
- Email : email@example.com
- Address : Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hello, Danny Bakewell Sr
More than three decades ago, a local St. Augustine football standout, took a chance and left home. While many thought his decision to leave New Orleans was unwise and unprofitable, Danny J. Bakewell, remained committed and focused. Today, his personal and professional commitment has paid tremendous dividends to both his family and African Americans throughout this country. He has become one of the most influential businessmen and community leaders in our nations, blazing trails for others to travel.
Danny J. Bakewell Sr. possess the unique ability to bring diverse bodies of people together for the common good of their communities, and the nation as a whole. His commitment to self-help, dignity, and respect for African-Americans has earned him the reputation as “one of the most dynamic leaders in America today”, says the Los Angeles Times.
Bakewell’s vision, charismatic confidence, a circle of friends, associates in government, entertainment, private industry, and urban communities, make him a hotly sought after a spokesperson for local, national, and global media outlets. “It is my hope that we will someday live in a nation where there is no need for a global Brotherhood Crusade and its family of agencies. But, until that day arrives, I will continue working for the betterment of my community with my last breath,” says Bakewell.
Bakewell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After attending college in Arizona, he arrived in Los Angeles at the height of the turbulent sixties; and it was then during the Civil Rights Era that Bakewell started down the path towards community empowerment.
Beginning as the Director of New Careers at UCLA, he combined academic with social consciousness. Not being satisfied that his talents and energies were being fully utilized at UCLA, he moved on and became involved with the Black Congress, and out of that
came the opportunity to head the Brotherhood Crusade, which had been founded in 1968. Then in 1974, he co-founded – with the late Walter Bremond – the National Black United
Fund (NBUF), which developed and pioneered a national philanthropic vehicle for communities that were either ignored or underserved by United Way and other such institutions. This paved the way for twenty-two (22) NBUF affiliates throughout the country.
He has been at the helm of the Brotherhood Crusade, for the past 30 years; and it has become the largest African American Philanthropic institution in the country. It is THE model for the NBUF family. Under Bakewell’s guidance and bold leadership, the Brotherhood Crusade has provided more than fifty (50) million dollars to community programs and services throughout Southern California. His trademark is his visceral commitment to serve as a voice for the voiceless.
He negotiated the purchase of a one million dollar 17,000 square foot, office complex that presently serves as the Brotherhood Crusade Corporate Headquarters. Bakewell on behalf of the Brotherhood Crusade a million-dollar retreat and conference center in the San Bernardino Mountains, and stock in the then newly-formed Media One Cable company.
Bakewell’s activism and advocacy travel parallel paths in empowering and demanding respect for the community. He sought justice in the killings of La Tasha Harlins and Lee Arthur Mitchell in Los Angeles and again, in Riverside, California, he was there seeking justice in the abhorrent and senseless killing of Tyisha Miller.
When community leaders confronted the South African consulate about apartheid at their Beverly Hills offices, Bakewell was there, front and center, participating in the sit-in. He refused to accept (or attend) an NAACP Awards Presentation because Frank Sinatra would be a presenter. Sinatra had performed in South Africa, “crossing the line” of the boycott that had been instituted, and respected by artists, athletes, and entertainers, worldwide.
When the community needed a force to combat negative stereotyping and lethargic complacency, Bakewell’s bold leadership produced TAKING OUR COMMUNITY BACK – a program located in the middle of the projects designed to combat rampant drug use and abuse, teenage pregnancy and a myriad of social programs. It led to the closing of several drug houses, and a reduction in crime, in the area.
After the civil unrest of 1992, the rebuilding efforts set off a frenzy for construction jobs, and Bakewell was there to make sure that African Americans were not left out. Out of that era came the Emergency Rescue Units, funded by the Brotherhood Crusade and that evolved into another institution – the African American Unity Center (AAUC) – founded by Bakewell to develop and implement social service and career training models for inner-city administrators and elected officials to revitalize their communities. AAUC is now in 18 cities around the country; the latest one being, a one-million-dollar commercial facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I want, not just for myself, but for all to enjoy the fruits that this country has to offer”, says Bakewell. Thus he is always out front on issues that others shy away from. He was there fighting proponents of the CCRI – the initiative that sought to dismantle
Affirmative Action, he was there when the community accused the C.I.A. of complicity in the crack cocaine epidemic in the South Central area; he was there to rally against the unfair Three Strikes Law. As a spokesman and co-chair of the historic Million-Man March, he addressed the world and represented L.A. forcefully, and proudly. He was there to see that Judge Ito did the right thing in the O.J. Simpson’s trial – about former Det. Mark Fuhrman’s insidious remarks.
He led the charge along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson – THE SAVE THE DREAM MARCH – to stem the conservative efforts to turn the clock back on the Civil Rights Gains of the sixties. And more recently, Bakewell led a coalition of community leaders and took on United Paramount Network forcing the cancellation of a primetime sitcom, “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer”, a show that disrespected the memory of the Slavery of Black People.
The Brotherhood Crusade, under Bakewell’s leadership, has instituted the annual WALTER BREMOND PIONEER OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, which is a gala affair that on par with the Academy Awards. Finally, in keeping with his self-help thrust, Bakewell started the BROTHERHOOD CRUSADE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL FUND to assist community businesses; to date, it has loaned more than one million dollars to community businesses.
He founded and is the Chairman of the AFRICAN AMERICAN UNITY CENTER, a multi-purpose service center
So, whether it’s funding for the first Shelter for Battered Women in East L.A., the Marcus Garvey School, the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, Voter Registration….etc, the Brotherhood Crusade, with Bakewell at the helm, takes the lead.
As the chairman of Bakewell Media, his most recent acquisition is the purchase of WBOK Radio station in New Orleans, Louisiana. This adds to Bakewell family’s growing media holdings which includes the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and the L.A. Watts Times that were purchased in 2004 and 2010 respectively. The Los Angeles Sentinel is the oldest and the largest Black-owned newspaper on the West Coast and it
was recently named the nation’s Number One Black Newspaper. Of the acquisition, Bakewell said, “We consider it an honor, privilege and awesome responsibility to be in the position of influencing Black thought and reporting the news affecting Black people accurately.” In 2009, Bakewell was elected as chairman of the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) which consisted of over 200 Black newspapers throughout the country.
As chairman of the Bakewell Company, he built 380 luxury upscale homes in the City of Seaside, California on the Monterey Peninsula. This was the first major private development on the former Fort Ord Army base since its closing.
As a businessman, financier, and developer, Bakewell has breathed economic life into downtown Compton when no one else has been able to. The Compton Towne Center and
the Compton Renaissance Plaza stand on both sides of the Compton Boulevard corridor as testaments to his extraordinary ability. Both projects are a clear demonstration that he
can hit a target that no one else is able to see. That was how it seemed when Bakewell’s company got the exclusive right to develop the Compton Town Center, which was Compton’s first major commercial development in 20 years. His success was then
duplicated with the Compton Renaissance Plaza, which captured the attention of the architectural community for its contemporary mixture of African American and Spanish
Styles. The 14-acre shopping center contains a 40,000 square foot, Superior Grocery Store an 86,000 square-foot Burlington Coat Factor as anchor stores, in addition, there are 11 permanent structures, 21 locally-owned, and six national chain restaurants and stores that provide a variety of shopping and dining experiences.
The Crenshaw/Slauson Shopping Center, which was destroyed during the 1992 Civil unrest, was also “touched” and revitalized by Bakewell and now serves as a thriving hub for local, community shoppers.
As Chairman of the BAKEWELL COMPANY, one of the largest African-American owned development companies in the United States, Bakewell brokers and heads multi-million dollar revitalization efforts in the cities of Los Angeles, Compton, Pasadena, and other California communities. Bakewell’s signature on a project provides a majority African American workforce, and a working model of inclusion and financial success in areas often considered by others as unprofitable, and impossible to find African American talent. Bakewell’s Midas touch also partnered him with Ralph’s Grocery Food Stores; together, they developed the Adams/Vermont Shopping Center, which opened in 1997.
Next in the line of his milestone achievements is the Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza, which opened in June 1998. It consists of a 50,000 square-foot Vons Grocery Store, a national clothing store, a Starbucks and a variety of other retail stores that had long been sought by local Pasadena residents. Located on North Fair Oaks, it was developed after repeated attempts by the City of Pasadena had failed.
In 1986 Bakewell was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of CRANSTON SECURITIES COMPANY, a majority-owned, national Wall Street investment banking firm. His position with Cranston Securities (at the time) made him the highest- ranking African- American in the banking industry in the country. As a senior partner, he had a major ownership interest in the firm.
Politicians seek his advice because of his expertise and influence with both business and community groups. He played a significant role as an advisor to Mayor Tom Bradley and Mayor James Hahn of Los Angeles, as well as current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He also served as State Co-Chairperson of the Finance Committee to elect Tom Bradley as Governor of California. He also has served as State Chairperson of the Finance Committee to elect Reverend Jesse Jackson as President of the United States. He assisted Gray Davis in becoming California’s first Democratic Governor in 16 years and was also an advisor to the governor, As well as playing a significant role in helping now President Barack Obama win election in 2008.
SABRIYA’S CASTLE OF FUN FOUNDATION was founded by Bakewell, in 1993 in memory of his youngest daughter, SABRIYA ISHAN BAKEWELL, who lost her life to leukemia in early 1992. Out of this tragic loss, the Bakewell family developed a
revolutionary program to assist hospitalized children, throughout the country during their treatments associated with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases. This cutting-edge the program, known as “Fun Therapy” has provided countless children with the universal medicine of love, comfort, happiness, and laughter.
In mid-1998, Bakewell, through his company Hawthorne Renaissance Plaza, donated one million dollars to three community organizations in Hawthorne and Los Angeles and in 2004 Seaside Highlands (Bakewell’s Housing Development) donated over a half million dollars to 12 community-based organizations in the city of Seaside including The Boys and Girls Club of Monterey, Seaside Rotary Club, Seaside Kiwanis Club, Seaside Lions Club, LULAC, The Monterey Peninsula Branch of the NAACP, Minority AIDS Project Monterey, Seaside Little League, Seaside Jr. All American Football, Monterey Pan Hellenic Council, Seaside High School Alumni Association, Community Partnership for Youth, MBBF Blues in the Schools Program and the Seaside Fire Department.
He has been featured in the national media on 20/20, B.E.T., in EBONY, JET, and many other national media programs and publications. His works have been written about and highlighted in BLACK PHILANTHROPY AND SELF-HELP IN AMERICA, THE BLACK SCHOLAR, and BLUEPRINT FOR BLACK POWER. Berry Gordy, Jr., the Motown genius, Quincy Jones, the musical genius, and Johnnie Cochran, the legal genius, all made honorable mention of Bakewell in their autobiographies.
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. is 65 years old and currently resides in Bradbury, California, with his wife, Aline Bakewell, Esq. He is the father of three children: Danny Jr., Brandi, and Sabriya (Deceased). He has four grandchildren.
When he is not championing the causes of his community and of his people, he is an avid family man. He enjoys spending many quiet hours of leisure and recreational activities with his wife and grandchildren. Bakewell says that the true source of the energy and motivation that sustain his endless hours of hard work and dedication is the closeness and support of his family.
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