HomeCommunity NewsThe Monrovia Connection . . .

The Monrovia Connection . . .

Many of the city's residents might not know that Monrovia, California has a link of sorts to President Nelson Mandela and his fight against apartheid in South Africa, but television show producer and host Ralph Walker hopes to share that piece of history.

In 1993, Walker was involved in the planning of a concert at the Baha'i Center in Los Angeles. Organizers tasked him with getting some notable people to attend, and Walker called then Monrovia Mayor Bob Bartlett.

African American news from Pasadena - Community News - Monrovia celebrates connection to Nelson Mandela

The South African flag is unfurled. Former Mayor
Bob Bartlett (on left), Ralph Walker (third from right).
[Monrovia.Patch.com - December 2013.]

Bartlett agreed to issue a proclamation declaring the city's opposition to apartheid, a system of racial segregation and discrimination black South Africans lived under for decades. Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, spent 27 years in prison for fighting against the system.

Music artist Hugh Masekela received the proclamation at the concert and Walker, who had contacted the South African consulate in Beverly Hills, received the new South African flag for the celebration.

"There is that Monrovia connection," Walker said. "And it typifies Monrovia standing on the right page of history." [Monrovia.Patch.com - December, 2013.]

African American news from Pasadena - Community News - Monrovia celebrates connection with Nelson Mandela

"The flag currently hangs in Monrovia City Hall but will be moved to the library in February", Walker states. "Symbols and images impact us on how we view history especially after a death."

"The passing of the former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa had me searching for that symbol or image. Then, there it was, the New South African Flag the symbol of the end of the Apartheid system in my possession, from the South African Consulate."

To learn why Ralph Walker possessed this special memorabilia and the story behind it, you will need to go to the Monrovia Public Library to see the flag in its radiant colors on display.



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