The State of Black Pasadena - 2014

Black news from Pasadena - State of Black Pasadena 2014In this "Yes we Can" world, Black Pasadena looks great by one look at the cover and the positions of power held by Blacks in the city. In addition to the easily recognized department heads, there are those who are second and third in command in various important positions in this City of Roses, also known as Jackie Robinson's hometown.

Departments such as the Pasadena Police Department share power as the Deputy Chief is Daryl Qualls. In command in Finance Department is Andrew Green. Horace Wormely is second in command as Deputy Director of Human Services and Recreation Department. These African Americans provide assurance, that African Americans with a long history in the city are at the table when decisions are made that affect the quality of life.

The Pasadena Unified School District's second in command is highly regarded Dr. Brian McDonald, a bilingual educational giant who is the Chief Academic Officer.

Outside of government and government-related power positions, African Americans share completely in positions of power in Pasadena. The Pasadena Playhouse is headed by Sheldon Epps, longtime proponent of the arts in Pasadena which has brought productions such as author and Pasadena City College professor, Gabrielle Pina's, "Letters by Zora" and August Wilson's "Fences" to the Playhouse. Also, the NAACP Image Awards has found the Pasadena Civic Center as a home, over the years.

African American-owned businesses thrive in Pasadena and include businesses such as the nationally known Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles Restaurant, and the 80 plus year old Wood's Valentine Mortuary. While fewer than 200 African American-owned newspapers exist in the United States, this publication will celebrate 25 years in November, 2014.

Religion in Pasadena thrives with a number of churches spreading the Gospel to those who want to participate. The Journal has honored three African American churches with more than a one hundred year history in the Pasadena/Altadena community. Included are two of our church directory advertisers, Metropolitan Baptist Church, of Altadena, and Friendship Baptist Church, of Pasadena. Historic Friendship Baptist Church is well known as the church that hosted Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights battles.

President Barack Obama has been to Pasadena through the work of Pasadena Public Relations expert, DNC member, Lena Kennedy, both before and after his rise to the presidency. Receptions have been held at the homes of well-known Black Pasadena businesswomen, for both first lady Michele Obama and President Obama. Kennedy is also known as the founder and executive director of the Pasadena Women's Health Conference which draws thousands of women and high ranking health officials from across the region to the Pasadena Convention Center.



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Black News and News Makers in History

4/24/1884: National Medical Association of Black Physicians organizes in Atlanta, GA.

4/24/1944: Bill Pickett, cowboy, bulldogging rodeo event creator, & Wild West Show star, dies. Read More.

4/25/1918: Ella Fitzgerald, "First Lady of Song," born. Read More.

4/25/1950: Charles "Chuck" Cooper, athlete, first African American drafted by NBA team Boston Celtics.

4/26/1844: Jim Beckwourth, explorer, fur trader, mountain man, discovered path through Sierra Nevadas. Beckwourth Pass (U.S. Alt 40 between Reno, NV & Sacramento, CA) made overland travel to gold fields possible.

4/26/1886: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Blues musician, born.

4/27/1903: W.E.B. DuBois, sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, editor, author, published "The Souls of Black Folk", crystallizing opposition to Booker T. Washington's program of social and political subordination.

4/27/1903: Maggie L. Walker named president of Richmond's St. Luke Bank and Trust Company, becoming first Black woman to head a bank.

4/27/1927: Coretta Scott, civil rights activist, born.

4/28/1924: Don Redman, musical prodigy, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, vocalist & bandleader, first to use oboe as jazz instrument in "After the Storm" solo.

4/29/1945: Richard Wright, author, book, 'Black Boy,' reaches first place on National Best Seller Book List.

4/30/1863: Sarah Thompson Garnet, educator, becomes first African American female principal in New York City public school system.

4/30/1926: Bessie Coleman, first Black woman pilot, dies during Jacksonville FL Negro Welfare League exhibition. Read More.