Wednesday, 10 September 2014 07:41
Monrovia Historical Museum and Friends of Allensworth Celebrate Colonel Allen Allensworth
Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth, was the chaplain 24th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers, an educator and orator. And the founder of the town of Allensworth. Monrovia Historical Museum and Friends of Allensworth, along with the Buffalo Soldiers, join in recognition of the leadership provided by Lt. Colonel Allensworth to the City of Monrovia. Together, we remember our triumphs while healing the pain and doubt that came before, and in doing so, offer tribute to California's Black Pioneers.
The September 14th program will feature Monrovia Mayor Lutz and City Councilmembers; Thomas Stratton, Statewide President Friends of Allensworth; Steven Baker, Monrovia's Historian; and former Duarte Mayor Lois Gaston representing Second Baptist Church, Monrovia. The event will be held on September 14, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is free to the public and will be held at Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 East Lemon Avenue. Just follow the Cavalry on Lemon Avenue.
Along with Monrovia Historical Museum and Friends of Allensworth, the New Buffalo Soldiers are helping the city of Monrovia commemorate the contributions of Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth one of the original Buffalo Soldiers of the early 20th century. Allensworth died in Monrovia exactly one hundred years ago on September 14, 1914. KGEM's Ralph Walker said, "On Sept 14, 2014, Monrovia wants to commemorate the life and contributions of this American visionary."
Lt. Colonel Allen Allensworth, chaplain of the 24th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers was born into slavery on April 7, 1842 in Kentucky and eventually became the highest ranking African American serviceman when he retired in 1906.
Allensworth continued his leadership efforts as he traveled West. "Allensworth wanted to build a Tuskeegee Institute in California," said Walker. "This former slave wanted to give Blacks educational, economic and political opportunity."
Monrovia Historical Museum's curator of exhibits, Mark Still, continued, "Allensworth was the first pastor of our Second Baptist Church here in Monrovia. Second Baptist Church has served the community over 110 years." The current bishop of Second Baptist, Dr. William LaRue Dillard, states, "Allensworth is a historic figure in this state, and his legacy will live on, even in Monrovia."
Monrovia, Pasadena, and Duarte had social segregation in the early part of the 20th century – but life was still better than Jim Crow South. W. E. B. Dubois in a 1913 article in The Crisis extolled Southern California as a community for Blacks to work, raise children, and build roots. African Americans came streaming West from Texas, the Carolinas, Georgia, and elsewhere.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
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