Mandela left us. He lived with dignity. The world honored him for his sacrifice. The people benefitted for his loyalty, and God gave him the Presidency and long life for his reward. He taught us what leadership meant and took his people to places they have never been.
Black Santa was discovered by white American conservatives. For years, Langston Patterson has represented Black Santa well at Crenshaw Plaza mall (Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2013). Robin Thicke's song, "Blurred Lines", keeps running around in my head singing 'Hey, Hey, Hey' to his beautiful black wife, Paula Patton. Former aide to Mayor Dinkins and newly elected New York Mayor Bill De Blasio's beautiful black wife, Chirlane, says she caught more hell for being a former lesbian than for being black. Smart and accomplished white guys seem to be telling the brothers, "I'll take her." Yes, I know. Historically, they have always "taken her", but now it's in the open and not like Strom Thurmond.
In politics, President Obama is catching hell from the Republicans daily. Now it's about his vacation in his birthplace, Hawaii. John Kennedy got elected to the Pasadena City Council and immediately started a storm, promoting a police review system. I like Chief Sanchez, and I like John Kennedy, and they will come together. Likewise, our councilwoman, Jacque (Jackie) Robinson, has set out her political muscle and became the Vice Mayor this year.
Seems like our school board is finally going to come together with an academy system to teach our kids occupations. I have always said, if you don't pull your pants up and get your education, you will lose out. I got mine 51 years ago.
Joe Brown retired after twelve years at the helm of the Pasadena NAACP. Replacing him is Gary Moody. A call last week from the Pasadena NAACP and the Black Male Forum indicates that they, too, have gotten the MEMO that says, "If we don't teach them, who will?" We lost Tameka Farr at the YWCA as she moved on to new things.
We lost our friend John Krikorian, publisher of Business Life Magazine. We observed a banner year for black movies and television including a shameful "Black Preachers of Los Angeles" showing all their warts and greed. Kerry Washington, in her role on TV's "Scandal", takes us forward to imagine what may be happening. Movies are coming out with award winning black performances such as "Twelve Years a Slave", "Django, "Mandela" and "The Butler". They provided a look at our past while, black men provided a look at our future.
Pastors gone wild! In the 2000s, too many pastors have been taking the money meant for the storehouse for their own comfort. One bishop has his dog wearing a dress. Another sold the church to a man who built a laundromat. I'm told that church foreclosures, in L. A. alone, have skyrocketed. Are Pasadena churches next? If you get the loan you must pay it back. Too bad we as a community didn't fight our churches to purchase the late Ed Bryant's Community Center, located next door to Pasadena First AME Church. One step forward, two backwards.
Our Miss Ruthie was chosen by "THE Magazine" as one of the 50 fabulous women of the community. She joined judges, business women, and other executives in an event at the Pasadena Museum, in June 2013. The event also honored retired Pasadena police department executive, Phlunte' Riddle, along with Phyllis Currie, manager of Pasadena Department of Water and Power, consultant Pamela Mims, NBC newswoman Beverly White, and longtime city supervisor, Beverly Bogar, just to name a few. The event also honored giants and pioneers from the past including Pasadena's first black female doctor, Dr. Edna Griffin, and Pasadena's first black mayor, Loretta Glickman.
The Journal honored eight business women at our annual Women of Achievement breakfast in April 2013. They included Samella Yarbrough, Arnetta Tolley, Dr. Gerda Govine, Gail Taylor, Debbie Rainey, Katy Townsend, Carolyn Roddy and attorney Marlene Cooper, president of The Links who recently celebrated 50 years of service to the community.
This is only a short look back at 2013. We pray that 2014 provides a productive, prosperous new year for all our readers, and we thank our advertisers for their support.