As Black History Parade Rolls Down Fair Oaks Today, Pasadena Central Library's Black History Festival Highlights Black Leaders, Culture, Commentary

Published : Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 5:47 AM

Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley left a lasting impression on the city and the nation, and a screening of Lyn Goldfarb’s documentary film about him will be a highlight of The Pasadena Central Library’s Black History Festival on Saturday.

The festival, which is separate from the Black History Parade and Festival which also takes place today, commemorates Black History Month. It will feature noted representatives from the African American community, including Donzaleigh Abernathy, the daughter of Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, the Metropolitan Praise Dancers and the Down Home Gospel Choirs. Author and historian Roberta Martinez will also give a talk.

For full information about Saturday’s Black History Parade, click here

Goldfarb’s 2015 film, “Bridging The Divide: Tom Bradley and The Politics of Race” tells the story of the first African American mayor of the City of Los Angeles and the screening at 11:30 a.m. marks the 50th anniversary of Bradley’s first campaign for mayor. He was elected in 1973 and served as mayor until 1993.

“Tom Bradley was mayor of Los Angeles for 20 years, and he transformed LA, and in the process transformed the whole Southern California area,” said Goldfarb. “He was the first African American mayor selected in any major US City with a coalition that bridged both racial and ethnic divides. Much of the same kind of coalition work and progressive politics we’re actually seeing in Pasadena today.”

Goldfarb, who produced, directed and wrote the film with co-producer and writer Alison Sotomayor said Bradley’s story is important not only for the region but also for the nation today.

“I think there’s been a tremendous amount of change, but I think Mayor Tom Bradley set the whole thing in motion,” Goldfarb said. “Are we still dealing with issues of race and coalitions and police brutality and police reform today? Absolutely. That’s why a film like this is incredibly relevant today.”

Pasadena City College Professor Christopher D. West is featured in the documentary and will be part of the Q and A after the film.

“We’re thrilled to be showing the film at the Pasadena Library and thrilled to be selected,” Goldfarb said. “I’m looking forward to having a conversation about the stories and the issues it brings up.”

The film will be shown at 11:30 a.m.

Another highlight of the festival includes the talk “Partners to History: Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement” which will be presented by Donzaleigh Abernathy, the daughter of the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy. It will be followed by a Q and A session.

The Metropolitan Praise Dancers will perform at 2:15 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. performance by the Down Home Gospel Choirs. Local author and historian Martinez will present her talk “Beyond Jackie, Rosa and Martin: Black Pioneers with Pasadena Connections” at 4 p.m.

The Pasadena Central Library’s Black History Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut Street. For more information, call (626) 744-4066.


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