Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Celebrating Black History Month: Bakheit shares NAACP's mission

Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit would like to see more people become involved in the local NAACP chapter. Courtesy photo.



LAKE COUNTY – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) just celebrated its 100th year on Lincoln’s birthday.

Aqeela El-Amin Bakheit, president of the Lake and Mendocino County chapters, would like to see more people involved with the organization. Presently there are between 70 and 80 members.

“I first became a member of the branch because I had a problem that I needed help with and they helped me,” Bakheit said.

She was paying it forward when she became a member. She promised herself that if the NAACP helped her, she would help the branch and that’s what she’s been doing since.

Bakheit said that sometimes people call needing help, want her to stop on a dime and want help yesterday, or don’t fully understand the need to speak with people on all sides of a matter.

There are a number of steps that must be taken to help people and a specific process to follow, she explained.

According to the NAACP Web site, “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.”

The cost of membership is $30 for adults and $15 for youth annually. It includes a year subscription to the NAACP magazine, “The Crisis.”

The primary goals for youth in the NAACP include, honing leadership qualities, political action, social activism and education.

Bakheit’s primary focus is to improve education. She raised six children and obtained her undergraduate degrees in liberal studies and human development from California State University, Hayward, in her mid-40s.

She thinks that youth have a real disadvantage without education. Bakheit would like to see children inspired about education beginning in kindergarten.

“I would like to see more youth going to college after high school,” she said. “It’s challenging as an adult, with adult responsibilities. I was constantly juggling – family, job and school.”

Her family pulled together as a team. The older children would help with laundry and chores, as well as helping to care for the younger children.

She remembers the skills she learned vividly and says that her education helps her on a daily basis, extending far beyond the doors of a classroom.

Housing is also at the forefront of her primary issues.

“With the current economic crisis, and foreclosures, we are working on the challenges facing us involving housing,” she said.

Bakheit takes an easy-going, peaceful approach, seeking a meeting of the minds.

“My grandmother Elizabeth had a hand in raising me,” she said. She put a lot of goodness in me.”

Though Bakheit is a compelling force, she humbly compliments everyone but herself.

“We have a very good executive board. I’m very proud of the people who work with me,” she said.

The Lake/Mendocino County branch of the NAACP will host its annual Black History Program on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Praises of Zion Baptist Church, 3890 Emile St. in Clearlake. The keynote speaker will be Rick Mayo, founder and first vice president.

E-mail Mandy Feder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Upcoming Calendar

06.19.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown Art Center Juneteenth celebration
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
06.20.2024 9:00 am - 06.21.2024 5:00 pm
Board of Supervisors budget hearings
06.20.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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