Barbara Lee on C. Diane Howell

C. Diane Howell, publisher of the Black Business Listings and Producer of the annual Black Expo business trade fair, died Christmas Eve at departed Kaiser Hospital Oakland from complications of pneumonia. She was 58.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, had this to say today:

“It is with profound sadness that I offer my greatest condolences to the family of Dr. C. Diane Howell.

“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 of information for owners of minority businesses throughout Oakland .

“I had the privilege to address the readers of her publication by writing monthly columns for The Black Business Listing, and it was my honor to do what I could to support Dr. Howell in any endeavor she pursued.

“However, Dr. Howell was more that an advocate and supporter of owners of minority business; she was active in the political arena as well. Dr. Howell worked tirelessly in the days leading up to the election for President-elect Barack Obama, traveling throughout the West in an effort to urge our neighbors of the importance of being engaged during this important moment.

“As such, Dr. Howell played a critical role in American history and she, like many of us, was overcome with joy and pride in Obama’s successful bid for the presidency.

“Dr. Howell was a great friend and human being. I was proud to call her my sister, and I will miss her kindness, wise counsel and her love.

“My thoughts and prayers are with her family, her staff and those in the business community whose lives were enriched by Dr. Howell’s unwavering commitment to her community.

“She will be missed terribly by all who knew her. May she rest in peace.”

The Dr. C. Diane Howell Memorial Fund (account # 1800102992) has been established at Alta Alliance Bank, 1951 Webster Street, Oakland, 94612, 510-899-7500; donations are requested in lieu of cards and flowers.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.