Roberts Family Papers

Frederick M. Roberts seated at his desk in the California State Legislature
Frederick M. Roberts seated at his desk in the California State Legislature, 1925, Roberts family papers, MS 2, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.

The Roberts Family Papers document the activities of a family who achieved many milestones for African-Americans in California. Frederick Madison Roberts (1880-1952) was the first African American to graduate from Los Angeles High School and the first African American state assemblyman. In addition, he worked for the first African-American mortuary to be established in Los Angeles. His wife, Pearl Hinds Roberts (1892-1984), attended both the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Boston Conservatory of Music. She became the first African-American woman pipe organist in Northern California and founded a very successful choral group which was acclaimed for its performance of spirituals. Frederick and Pearl's daughter, Gloria Pearl Roberts (1924-2011), also pursued a career in music and performed in both the United States and Europe as a concert pianist.

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Dates: circa 1850s-1984
Collection number: MS 2
Creator: Roberts, Patricia F.
Creator: Roberts, Gloria P.
Collection Size: 3 linear feet (7 boxes + 1 oversized box)

Guide to the Roberts Family Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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