Pasadena celebrates Black History Month with a parade and other festivities, as many cities do. African Americans have been settling in this area since the early twentieth century, and Pasadena claims many famous sons. Daughters, too.
Jackie Robinson and his brother Mack Robinson attended Muir High School and Pasadena City College. Both were star athletes, but there was more to them than athletic prowess, as this monument across from City Hall suggests. Inscriptions on the backs of the heads highlight what they did and, more importantly, who they were: civic-minded men who continue to inspire all who come after them, not just African Americans.
Before our eyes, African Americans are making history one wouldn't have thought possible just a few short years ago. The world knows about Barack Obama, but you may not have heard that today, Karen Bass was elected to be the next Speaker of the California Assembly. She's the first African American woman to hold that position in the nation. Alas, she's from Los Angeles, not Pasadena. Damn.
Some day there won't be a need for Black History Month because Black History will simply be thought of as Our History. But for now there's plenty of cause to celebrate.
Thanks to Palm Axis for this information: The 1997 Pasadena Robinson Memorial was created by African American artist John Outterbridge (of Los Angeles) and the team of Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter.