Mervyn M. Dymally bust unveiled
Assemblymember Gipson unveils bust of the late Mervyn M. Dymally at the State Capitol, Aug. 12, 2019. The bronze bust was created by renowned sculptor Nigel Binns. Courtesy California State Legislature Legislator Mike A. Gipson presides
Assemblymember Gipson unveils bust of the late Mervyn M. Dymally at the State Capitol, Aug. 12, 2019. The bronze bust was created by renowned sculptor Nigel Binns. Courtesy California State Legislature
Legislator Mike A. Gipson presides over bust unveiling of the late Mervyn M. Dymally at State Capitol
SACRAMENTO – The long-awaited bronze bust of the late Mervyn M. Dymally, a long-time California lawmaker and former lieutenant governor, was unveiled at the State Capitol on Aug. 12, 2019
Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson, D-Carson, who unveiled the bust in a special ceremony, authored AB 2036, he said, “to ensure that this trailblazer’s legacy will always be with us.” The statue sits at the entrance of the lieutenant governor’s office in Sacramento.
“I was honored to have worked as [an] aide for then Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally. This bust will forever remind us of the wisdom of this giant of a man and mentor to me,” Gipson said. “He used to always say, ‘There is no substitute for hard work and dedication.’ He lived that statement as he fought for adoptive children, foster youth, child abuse prevention, early childhood education, equal rights for women, and more. He opened many doors for people of color throughout California.”
During a brilliant political career, Dymally achieved many “firsts” – California’s first foreign born Black state assemblymember (1963-1966; 2003-2008); California’s first Black senator (1967-1975); California’s first Black lieutenant governor (1975-1979); and the first foreign born Black Congressman (1981-1993).
Born Mervyn Malcolm Dymally in Cedros, Trinidad on May 12, 1926, the young Dymally emigrated to the US with his family at age 19 and over time after entering politics, rose to prominent leadership both in the California Legislature and the US House of Representatives.
Dymally was the author of four books: The Black Politician: His Struggle for Power” (1971); “Black Politics: Voices from the Past”(1996)’; “Fidel by Fidel: An Interview with Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Republic of Cuba” (1996); and “Cuba in Transition: A New Force in the Western Hemisphere” (1996).
Locally, two busts of Dymally sit prominently at the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Willowbrook.
All three busts were created by renowned sculptor Nigel Binns who met Dymally in 2005 at the unveiling of his bronze monument of John W. Mack for the Los Angeles Urban League.
Dymally died in Los Angeles on Oct. 7, 2012.