Dr. C. Diane Howell (1950-2008)

Dr. Howell was a beacon of optimism and hope, particularly for the owners of minority businesses in Oakland and throughout the Bay Area. “She sought to provide guidance and counsel through her publication, The Black Business Listings, which served as a tremendous resource for information for owners of minority businesses throughout Oakland,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee in a statement.

Dr. Howell was a clinical psychologist by training. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University, in New York City. She attended the University of California at Berkeley. She was the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. from the Psychology Department at the University, according to BlackEntrepreneur.com. Upon graduation she became licensed as a psychologist and opened a part-time private practice.

Through her work in her profession and in various social and political circles, Dr. Howell recognized the need to better promote African American businesses in the Oakland/San Francisco/Bay Area. She launched Black Business Listings (BBL) newspaper. She published the first edition of BBL in newsprint in 1989. She continued her practice as a full-time psychologist until the demand for BBL caused her to become a full time publisher. She was editor and publisher of BBL for almost 20 years. In 1996 she started producing the Black Expo event, after the National Black Expo USA removed Oakland from its schedule.

Dr. Howell focused on “raising the bar” and creating a well produced, multifaceted, much anticipated event. Dr. Howell will be missed from our community but not forgotten. The Dr. C. Diane Howell Entrepreneur Award will be presented to an outstanding woman in our community each year to recognize her efforts and contributions in remembrance of Dr. Howell.

Dr. C. Dianne Howell was born on July 20, 1950 and passed away on December 24, 2008. She died from complications from pneumonia. She was 58.