Intergeneration Panel to Discuss Black Pasadena's Progress Since Desegregation

Published : Thursday, February 14, 2019 | 6:41 AM

Panelists at Friday's Progressive Discussion Group are to include Allen Edson, newly elected president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Pasadena Branch; Florence Annang, co-chair, Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP!); Brandon Lamar, City of Pasadena’s Human Relations Commissioner; and Dolores Hickambottom.

In recognition of Black History Month, the Progressive Discussion Group will recall a time when Pasadena was deemed “singularly segregated” by the federal courts and subjected to an enforced busing mandate the aftershocks from which can still be felt.

The Group’s panel was cast to address the black history of Pasadena’s desegregation drama, to offer perspective on what happened and what is to come, according to convener Ed Washatka.

The official title of Friday’s gathering is: Black History in the City of Pasadena: An Inter-Generational Discussion of Black History in Pasadena from the 1970’s School Desegregation Through Today.

On the Feb. 15 panel at Dupars Restaurant, is Dolores Hickambottom; someone very much in the mix of the 1970s desegregation movement who later maintained an active role in civic affairs.

She was a field representative for Pasadena’s first woman Mayor, Loretta Thomas-Glickman, who also was black. Later she served in the role for former State Senator Jack Scott (D).

In 2018, the Progressive Discussion Group awarded Hickambottom a lifetime achievement award.

The forum offers a good opportunity to meet Allen Edson, newly elected president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Pasadena Chapter.

Edson was, according to Washatka, a student in the Pasadena Unified School District during its mandated desegregation..

Florence Annang, co-chair, Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP), will also be present. Annang has been instrumental in the POP’s community-police relations conversation, the most recent of which took place at the Alkebulan Culture Center near La Pintoresca Park with none other than the chief of police, John Perez, as the headliner.

“She has been in Pasadena since 2000,” said Washatka, “and the main thrust for her is going to be the current state of police-community relations and how to make them better.”

Brandon Lamar will round out the lineup. Lamar is a member of the City of Pasadena’s Human Relations Commission. His prior work was with an NAACP youth group.

“He’ll be focused on creating a new black history,” said Washatka.

The discussion will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in the back meeting room at Dupars Restaurant, 214 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena. The gathering takes place the first and third Friday of every month.

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