Black History Celebration Kicks Off; Events Continue Throughout February

2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception2014 Black History Parade Opening Reception


6:24 am | January 29, 2014

The city’s month-long celebration of Black History kicked off on Saturday with its 32nd annual parade and a reception at Jackie Robinson Community Center.

Students from different Pasadena schools joined the parade from Charles White Park in Altadena to Robertson Park.

“This is our signature event,” said Jarvis Emerson, manager of the community center. “Pretty much every school in Pasadena participated.”

Pasadena City Councilman John Kennedy was also present. He thanked volunteers for their efforts in organizing the parade and reiterated that they must get more young people involved in the celebration.

“All of you are in a position to make sure that the Black History Parade continues to grow,” Kennedy said.

Two grand marshals were named in the afternoon ceremony: community activist Gary Moody and Childcare Agency owner Shirlette Butler Elder. Both were presented with certificates.

The city’s celebration of Black History Month will continue through February 28. A comprehensive list of the events are as follows. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, Feb. 1

“Historical View of African-American Families”—Explore the lives of African-American families as seen through African-American literature and the civil rights movement in a special exhibit, Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Feb. 1-28. Open during regular hours. Call (626) 744-7262.

“Knowledge is the Key to Success”—View memorabilia from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Tau Chapter–Pasadena, at Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Feb. 1-28. Open during regular hours. Call (626) 744-4066 for details.

“Genealogy Search”—Join the Pasadena African-American Genealogy Group, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Lamanda Park Branch Library, 140 S. Altadena Dr., to search out your heritage and recover the past with this dynamic genealogy group. Call (626) 744-7266 for details.

“Red, Black & Green Honors Dinner”—The Black History Parade & Festival Planning Committee honors the grand marshals for the Black History Parade and presents community service awards at this gala affair, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Feb. 1, at the Hilton Hotel, 168 S. Los Robles Ave. Tickets are $60 per person. Contact the Jackie Robinson Community Center, (626) 744-7300, to purchase tickets.

Saturday, Feb. 8

“Liturgical Praise Dance Conference”—Enjoy music, dance and fellowship at New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church, 855 N. Orange Grove Blvd., 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8.

“Speaking Of: Dr. Terrance Roberts”—Pasadena resident Dr. Terrence Roberts made history as one of the “Little Rock Nine” who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, AR. in 1957, marking a milestone in the American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Roberts talks about the Little Rock Nine, civil rights, social justice, community building and ethical decision making. A book signing follows the talk. There are books available on site for purchase. Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S. Marengo Ave., 2:00 p.m., Feb. 8.

Sunday, Feb. 9

“Black Film Showcase”—Watch the biographical film “The Jackie Robinson Story” (1950), which stars the great baseball legend himself, 2:00-5:00 p.m., Feb. 9, at Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

“Where We Are, Where We’ve Been: Stories from Africa and African-Americans”—Join storyteller Michael McCarty for one of two events as he reveals the struggles, joys, triumphs and beauty of African and African-American history and culture. The first event begins at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 11, at the La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave. Repeat performance 4:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Hastings Branch Library, 3325 E. Orange Grove Blvd. Call (626) 744-7268 for more info.

Thursday, Feb. 13

“Struggle and Triumph: An Evening of Storytelling and Song with Yvette Brandy”—Join storyteller Yvette Brandy as she explores the African-American experience from the promises of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the stories of men and women who used their talents and gifts to make them a reality for all, to the daily lives of African-Americans throughout history. Held 6:30-8:00 p.m., Feb. 13, at the La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

Saturday, Feb. 15

“32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival”—Begins at 10:00 a.m. at Charles White Park in Altadena, heads south on Fair Oaks Avenue and ends at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. After the parade, from noon to 4:00 p.m., enjoy the Black History Festival on Hammond Street and north side of Robinson Park. There is food for sale, fun activities for kids, special displays, music and other free entertainment.

Friday, Feb. 21

“Senior Night Out”—Join the high-energy fun, good food and conversation at the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St., for this special Senior Night Out, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 22

“Dark Girls”—Attend a special screening of the documentary “Dark Girls” (2012), which explores the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color outside of and within the Black American culture. A film discussion, moderated by Coming to the Table, will follow. The event is 3:00-5:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, at the La Pintoresca Branch Library, 1355 N. Raymond Ave.

“Matters of the Heart–Fitness Zone”—Exercise and attend lectures 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

Sunday, February 23

“Praise Dance and Song Jubilee”—Enjoy music, dance and fellowship at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 2283 N. Fair Oaks Ave., 3:00 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23.

Thursday, February, 27

“NOBLE Black History Breakfast”—Join the Pasadena Police and Fire departments and the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) for their annual breakfast, 7:30-11:00 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Pasadena Tabernacle of the Salvation Army, 960 E. Walnut St. Author and filmmaker Wilbert Smith, Ph.D. will present the documentary “Hole in the Head, A Life Revealed.” In the film, Vertus Hardiman reveals to a friend that he fell victim to a medical experiment at age 5, a tragic and horrific secret he concealed under a wig for 70 years. Witness the power of forgiveness and watch two friends set out to retrace what happened to Hardiman in 1927.

“Modern-day Scheherazade Pairs Stories and Paintings in ‘Music at the Easel’”—Join gifted storyteller Marilyn La Grone-Amaral as she pairs archetypal paintings with anecdotal stories and mood poems, 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Central Library/Donald R. Wright Auditorium, 285 E. Walnut St. La Grone-Amaral is the daughter of the late Roy E. La Grone, a combat pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen, our nation’s first division of black fighter pilots in World War II. La Grone was also a master painter who taught his daughter about form, color and movement, and how to hone her inner vision in order to see creative designs ranging far beyond the stretched canvas.

For more information about Pasadena, go to or follow us on http://www.Twitter@PasadenaGov. Events and other info listed on