The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Leola "Roscoe" Dellums

Share on Social Media

Information about Leola "Roscoe" Dellums

Profile image of Leola "Roscoe" Dellums

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Pistachios, Watermelon, Spinach, Barbeque Ribs, Pound Cake
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Sausalito, California
Favorite Quote:
N/A

Birthplace

Born:
12/12/1941
Birth Location:
Berkeley, California

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Turquoise
Favorite Food:
Pistachios, Watermelon, Spinach, Barbeque Ribs, Pound Cake
Favorite Time of Year:
Holiday Season
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Sausalito, California
Favorite Quote:
N/A

Birthplace

Born:
12/12/1941
Birth Location:
Berkeley
See how Leola "Roscoe" Dellums is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Washington, D.C. attorney Leola "Roscoe" Dellums was born in Berkeley, California, on December 12, 1941, representing the third generation of her family to live there. Dellums' mother, Esther L. Higgs, was a musician and early crusader in the civil rights movement, and her father, Leo, was the first African American realtor in California. Dellums traces her ancestry back to Revolutionary War veterans. While attending high school, Dellums was a regular on TV's Dance Party and was inducted into the National Thespian Society. In 1959, she went to San Francisco State University, where she became the first black pom-pom girl and the first African American on the homecoming court. Dellums left school in 1962 to marry, and returned several years later to earn a B.A. in sociology. She later earned a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Dellums' early career found her teaching English as a second language in 1966, as well as working in television in both California and Washington, D.C. By 1974, she had combined the two into consulting on educational television programs in the D.C. area. She also worked as a reporter and broadcaster for various news programs throughout the Washington metro area from 1972 into the 1980s. In 1976, Dellums joined the American Civil Liberties Union as a publicist and remained there for two years. Dellums went to the House of Representatives in 1983 to work as a special assistant to Representative Mickey Leland, and in 1984 became a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. From 1985 to 1992, Dellums worked in the California Assembly Office of Research as a consultant to state representatives in Washington and leadership in California. Beginning her legal practice in 1993, Dellums went to work at Washington & Christian, specializing in government relations and lobbying. In 1995, she opened her own law firm.

In addition to her extensive experience in a wide variety of fields, Dellums has published poetry and written songs and also wrote the script for a Disney Channel movie about her family. She is the recipient of a Solid Image Award and the National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award and is listed in Who's Who Among Black Americans. She is a board member of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame National Advisory Board, and a former member of the San Francisco State University Alumni Board.

Dellums was married to California Congressman Ronald V. Dellums for thirty-seven years. She has three children and three grandchildren.

See how Leola "Roscoe" Dellums is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Leola "Roscoe" Dellums' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her family's involvement in the Revolutionary War
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her maternal grandmother, Esther Jones Lee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her grandmother's involvement in the Anti-Lynch Campaign in California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her family's involvement in the Civil War
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her grandmother and her desire to join the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her mother, Esther Lee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her grandfather, Reverend J.W. Jones
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes meeting Mary Church Terrell
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her grandmother's political activism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her cultural and social activities as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her father, Leo Higgs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her paternal family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her father's military service
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her father's career in real estate
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes being one of many girls in the family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the racial and political climate of her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her teacher who was removed for Communism in the 1950s at Berkeley High School in California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums shares her school memories in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about attending McGee Avenue Baptist Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her social life at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her school activities at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes attending San Francisco State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the people she met at San Francisco State University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the people she met at San Francisco State University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about socializing with athletes at San Francisco State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about marrying HistoryMaker Ron Dellums in 1962
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums remembers the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums contrasts growing up in progressive Berkeley, California to racism in other parts of the country, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums contrasts growing up in progressive Berkeley, California to racism in other parts of the country, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls how she became involved in Civil Rights activism in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the significant events and political figures of the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her exposure to black history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls the multiculturalism of San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the Afro-American Society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes the fear and danger associated with activism in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her work on civil liberties and free speech
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls her social activism in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls HistoryMaker Ron Dellums' U.S. Congressional race in 1970
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the Peace and Freedom Party
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about black marginalization in social movements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about Ron Dellums' first Congressional race
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes adjusting to life in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her life in Washington, D.C. as a Congressman's wife
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls a public comment she made about the Women's National Democratic Club
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes facing discrimination in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how HistoryMaker Ron Dellums handled being a national voice for the black community as a Congressman
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums comments on the conservativism of HBCUs and decaying black communities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about the black community in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about attending Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her work as a lobbyist
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her decision to host an African exchange student
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes realizing that her African exchange student is white
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about building a relationship with her white African exchange student
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums recalls turning her story into the Disney Channel movie "The Color of Friendship"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums talks about her children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Leola "Roscoe" Dellums narrates her photographs, pt. 2