Pasadena’s 38th annual Black History Parade rolled, beat, thundered, danced, and marched down Fair Oaks from just below Altadena’s Charles White Park to its terminus at Pasadena’s Robinson Park Saturday morning, with bands, officials and dignitaries, music and colorful costumes.
The parade featured about 80 entries, including the Wilson Middle School Drum Corps, the Tournament of Roses 2020 Royal Court, the Pasadena City College Band, the John Muir, Blair and Pasadena high school marching bands, musicians; dancers; equestrians; local youth groups; dignitaries; community leaders; and vintage and custom cars. This black history parade is one of the largest and longest-running in California.
This year’s celebrity grand marshals were actress and singer Margaret Avery and actress and philanthropist Wendy Raquel Robinson. Avery is best known for her role as Shug Avery in the critically acclaimed movie “The Color Purple.” The role earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Robinson has won two NAACP Image Awards. She is also the executive director of Amazing Grace Conservatory. She is best known for her television roles on “The Game” and “The Steve Harvey Show.” She trains emerging artists and at-risk youth at the Amazing Grace Conservatory.
Before the Parade, Councilmember Tyron Hampton reflected on the Parade and its significance.
“Black History Month is a time to recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments of history makers who are descendants of American Slaves,” Hampton said. “These people make it possible for all Americans to have opportunities to achieve goals and dreams. The annual Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival serves as both a time to celebrate and also as a reminder that many of these accomplishments came at a great cost, including the sacrifice and loss of Black lives. We must remember and honor those who came before us, and we must not be satisfied with complacency or mediocrity. Today, there are people who are still experiencing discrimination. Lives are still being lost through injustices on many fronts. The fight continues. Let us remember to encourage one another to keep working to accomplish greatness, liberty, and justice for all, in all that we do.”
The Parade ended with a Festival at Robinson Park, under sunny, clear blue skies.