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Bernard Garrett, 710 Freeway

By Richard Myers
Posted: 02/06/2023

The meeting has been recorded and can be viewed as Bernard Garrett, Black Entrepreneur.

Jurie Lewis is the great niece of Bernard Garrett.  Mr. Garrett was a banker and real estate developer who provided access for many African American families to home ownership, loans to support businesses and to support the development of African American communities, particularly in the Los Angeles area.

Bernard Garrett and his partner Joe Morris developed knowledge of the banking system and real estate development through community connections.  They partnered with a white friend to begin their banking and real estate businesses. 

The history of Bernard Garrett and his work has been developed into an online film produced by Brigon Jones of the Miami Dolphins originally with Apple+. The film focuses on the exclusion of the African American community from local history, redlining and limiting the development of intergenerational wealth and resilience. The film can be viewed on Apple+ if you have a subscription.  There’s a movie trailer available for viewing on YouTube.

After building a successful business in Los Angeles, Garrett and Morris moved to Texas and attempted to repeat their success only to have state law interfere.  The two men were charged with violating Texas law and convicted.  They were imprisoned for three years.  Upon their release they relocated to the Bahamas.

Today, The Bernard Garrett, Sr. Foundation supports the development of financial literacy in communities historically underrepresented by other organizations.

Following the presentation, several participants discussed redlining and communities harmed by freeway expansion and other community projects.

The next meeting will be February 17th at noon PST. In that meeting, we will feature a presentation by Brian Biery covering:

- The history of the 710 Freeway extension and its impact on the community

- An update on the status of the corridor and the City's task force for the area and a

- Discussion with panelists exploring their views on the following questions:

o   What is your connection to this place and what was it before the freeway was constructed? 

o   What were the impacts of freeway construction on the families who lived there? 

o   How should the land be used today? 

o   What might the role of compensation or reparations play in its development?

Mr. Biery has made previous presentations to our group and they are always engaging and informative and we look forward to his next offering. This meeting will be on our usual Zoom link which will be made available to our mailing list and recorded. All nonmembers are welcome and should call our office at 626-765-6037 for further information about attending.

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