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Cameron Turner Black History Speaker

African American news from Pasadena - Cameron Turner on Black History MonthCameron Turner, a rising journalist and social commentator, will be the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Black History Celebration sponsored by Altadena Baptist Church, on Sunday, February 21, beginning at 5:00 PM. Turner is a native of Pasadena, where he attended public schools before earning a Bachelors Degree in Communications at Stanford University. His column "Turner's Two Cents," is published regularly in The Pasadena Journal.  He also contributes to two web sites, Urban Thought Collective (UrbanThoughtCollective.com) and Electronic Urban Report (EURweb.com). Recently, he has launched a career as a television commentator, partnering with well-known anchor Fred Roggin in the groundbreaking KNBC news program "The Filter with Fred Roggin."

The theme of Turner's keynote message and of the event will be "The African Diaspora," the worldwide distribution of African people and culture throughout the world. In recognition of the fact that this dispersion was not voluntary, but mainly caused by the slave trade, the Bible verse selected to express the theme reflects the parallel with the experience of the ancient Hebrews enslaved in Egypt: "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good" (Genesis 50:20).

Under the guidance of Popular Southern California jazz producer Billy Mitchell, a variety of musicians will contribute selections from African-origin societies in various parts of the world. This will dramatize the many ways in which the music and other art forms of Africa have influenced world cultures. Featured performers will include Kenyan recording artist Arinda, world-renowned Brazilian samba percussionist Mayuto Correa, and the Billy Mitchell Trio. Dr. Charles Dickerson, Director of the Southeast Symphony, will lead his Inner City Youth Ensemble.

Altadena Baptist Church celebrated its 75th Anniversary this past August. For the first forty years of its existence, it was a typical Caucasian congregation, but since 1974 African-Americans have comprised a major part of its membership. Currently, it is one of the most thoroughly integrated congregations in the Pasadena area. Recognizing that its early history was dominated by Caucasian-American cultural and religious values, the church has decided that its African-American roots need to be intentionally celebrated through this annual event. A dedicated committee under the leadership of Paula DeVaughn, has been planning for the event since September, supported by the church's co-pastors Connie DeVaughn and George Van Alstine.

The Celebration will be followed by a soul-food dinner, provided by the congregation for all those attending. The event and the dinner will be free. However, a voluntary offering will be received. After expenses are covered, the offering will be donated to Haiti earthquake relief, through the World Vision organization.

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