Basil and Becky Educational Foundation

Filling in the Gaps in History


BASIL AND BECKY were siblings who valued family, education, and hard work; both were children during the Great Depression. "Becky," my Mom, was a World War II "Rosie the Riveter," and "Uncle Basil" was a Navy veteran. Both of them encouraged my brothers and me to to be courageous in pursuit of our dreams.


THE BASIL AND BECKY EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION (501(c)3) makes history and culture exciting and relevant to present and future generations who deserve to know on whose shoulders they stand. We recognize that African American history and culture are part of a larger, interconnected experience in the diaspora. We "fill in the gaps" of history and "relocate" these experiences from the "margins to the main pages" of global human consciousness.

OUR MISSION is to educate current and future generations, primarily through audio visual storytelling that illuminates the cultural and historical experiences of African Americans and peoples of African descent.

Who We Are

gregory cooke headshot

Gregory S. Cooke

I’m the Founder and President of the Basil and Becky Educational Foundation (BBEEF). As a career educator, World War II historian, and documentary filmmaker, my mission is simple: “Helping to relocate African Americans from the margins to the main pages of American and global history.”

After a rewarding teaching career at Drexel University and the Community College of Philadelphia, I speak at educational and cultural institutions about African American participation in World War II. I also mentor young people, teaching them the ways of the “Force”.

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Gina Schwartz

is a life-long educator and currently teaches at The Community College of Philadelphia. She is a retired Teacher of English and Screenwriting from the School District of Philadelphia.

Gina created the iconic images, in oils, "Victory" and "Allies", for two World War II documentaries.

Gina earned an MA in Education, MEd in Counseling from The College of New Jersey, and a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Sabrina Young

is the Executive Director of Basil and Becky Educational Foundation. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force and currently works at Penn Medicine as a Marketing Analyst. Sabrina has a deep commitment and passion to serve others as demonstrated through her years of military service as well as volunteer service to various non-profit organizations. Sabrina earned her BS from Bellevue University, and MBA from St. Joseph’s University.

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Dr. Reginald F. Wells

has a distinguished career as a public servant in the US Government. He is currently the Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Office of Human Resources after serving as Deputy Associate Commissioner for Disability Program Policy and Senior Advisor in the Office of Disability and Income Security Programs.

Reggie earned a Ph.D. in Social and Organizational Psychology from Temple University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American International College.

Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris headshot

Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris, Historical Consultant

Dr. Clarissa Myrick-Harris is Chair of the Humanities Division of Morehouse College and Professor of Africana Studies. Her career as a higher education administrator, African American Studies scholar, and public historian, includes leadership positions as Interim Associate Provost of Strategic Academic Initiatives and Graduate Studies at Lincoln University of Missouri and Provost at Savannah State University.

Clarissa earned a Ph.D. in American Studies (African American Studies Emphasis) from Emory University, Master’s degree in News-Editorial Journalism from The Ohio State University, and B.A. degree in English from Morris Brown College.


THE BASIL AND BECKY EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION wants to use our platform to connect educators and filmmakers, and "movers and shakers" who want to record and share their cultural, historical, and uniquely personal experiences, on a global stage.

  • We emphasize that African American history and culture are interconnected with the larger American and diasporic experience.
  • Our mission reflects our commitment to inclusiveness and cooperation with all peoples, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • We emphasize the importance of African American history and culture as being part of the larger American experience.
  • We have a commitment to audio visual historical education.
  • We recognize the interconnectedness of all things that we do.
  • We demonstrate social responsibility and ethical behavior in our activities.
  • We approach all of our activities and partners with purpose and mutual respect.


THE BASIL AND BECKY EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION and our film Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II received the Certificate of Congressional Recognition for outstanding acheivement, service, and public distinction.



Watch a preview of the film Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II.


The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation shares the stories of our ancestors with our children and generations to come.

Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II

Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II features elegant ladies, now in their 80s and 90s, who represent the 600,000 Black women who fled lives as domestics and sharecroppers to work in factories and governments offices. They were the first! Affectionately known during the war as "Rosie the Riveters," our Warriors triumphed over racism at home, Nazism abroad, and sexism everywhere. They opened doors of opportunity for future generations of working women in America.

Choc’late Soldiers from the USA

Choc’late Soldiers from the USA (CSUSA) recounts how 140,000 African American soldiers - men and women - formed an unexpected, but everlasting bond with white British civilians during World War II. CSUSA was honored with the Congressional Black Caucus, Veterans Braintrust Award, and won medals at the Bakersfield and Indie Film Festivals in 2013.


We work to partner with students and educational institutions to create stories for and about peoples of African descent. We work to give burgeoning filmmakers opportunities to participate in the filmmaking process, and to learn from seasoned professionals.

The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation is an engine for the creation of a perennial educational archive to inform, update, and supplement existing educational programs. Support our efforts today.

Your donation through PayPal is secure. We will not share your email or personal information.

Use the Donate button to make your donation now and help sustain our legacy of service, patriotism and hope.


Join us at an upcoming event to learn more about our work and how we use film to highlight the stories for and about peoples of African descent.

Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II and the Awards Luncheon - Celebrating "Our" Greatest Generation - is the Basil and Becky Educational Foundation launch and fundraiser. Thank you for your support.

Celebrating Our Greatest Generation

African American Women in World War II


Tue, Mar 30th, 2021, 6:00 PM @ Virtual Festival


View Past Events

Ruth Wilson, a World War II "Rosie the Riveter," marks the official beginning of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday by "ringing" the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Wilson is pictured here tapping the Liberty Bell
Ruth Wilson "ringing" Liberty Bell
Florence Thompson (standing), Ruth Wilson, and Gregory Cooke
Florence Thompson (standing), Ruth Wilson, and Gregory Cooke
Ringing the Liberty Bell

The events page is in transition. More content to come.

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