He has become one of the most influential businessmen and social activists in our nation, blazing trails for others to travel.
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. possesses the unique ability to bring diverse bodies of people together for the common good of their communities, and the nation as a whole. His commitment to self-help, dignity and respect for African-Americans has earned him the reputation as "one of the most dynamic leaders in America today", says the Los Angeles Times.
Bakewell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After attending college in Arizona, he arrived in Los Angeles at the height of the turbulent sixties; and it was then during the Civil Rights Era that Bakewell started down the path towards Activism.
Beginning as the Director of New Careers at UCLA, he combined academic with social consciousness. Not being satisfied that his talents and energies were being fully utilized at U.C.L.A, he moved on and became involved with the Black Congress, and out of that came the opportunity to head the Brotherhood Crusade. Then in 1974, he co-founded the National Black United Fund (NBUF), which developed and developed and pioneered a national philanthropic vehicle for communities that were either ignored or undeserved by United Way and other such institutions. This paved the way for twenty-two (22) NBUF affiliates throughout the country.
Under Bakewell’s guidance and bold leadership, the Brotherhood Crusade has provided more than fifty (50) million dollars to community programs and services throughout Southern California. His trademark is his visceral commitment to serve as a voice for the voiceless.
After the civil unrest of 1992, the rebuilding efforts set off a frenzy for construction jobs, and Bakewell was there to make sure that African Americans were not left out. He coined the slogan, "IF WE DON'T WORK, NOBODY WORK!".
"I want, not just for myself, but for all to enjoy the fruits that this country has to offer", says Bakewell. Thus he is always out front on issues that others shy away from. And more recently, Bakewell led a coalition of community leaders and took on United Paramount Network forcing the cancellation of a primetime sitcom, "the Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer", a show that disrespected the memory of the Slavery of Black People.
He founded and is the Chairman of the AFRICAN AMERICAN UNITY CENTER, a multi-purpose service center.
So, whether its funding for the first Shelter for Battered Women in East L.A., the Marcus Garvey School, the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, Voter Registration….etc, the Brotherhood Crusade, with Bakewell at the helm, takes the lead.
As Chairman of the BAKEWELL COMPANY, one of the largest African-American owned development companies in the United States, Bakewell brokers and heads multi-million dollar revitalization efforts in the cities of Los Angeles, Compton, Pasadena and other California communities.
In mid 1998, Bakewell, through his company Hawthorne Renaissance Plaza, donated one million dollars to three community organizations in Hawthorne and Los Angeles.