Black History Event Flyer

Black History Month Celebration brings friends and neighbors together.

An estimated 45-50 people attended the Black History Month celebration that was held at a
private residence in Pasadena on February 19th.

The Sunday afternoon event featured speakers Timothy Conley, the Department Chair at
Columbia College Hollywood, Allen Edson, who has been the President of the Pasadena
Chapter of the NAACP since 2019, and Sandy Simmons Williams, vocalist and songwriter.
“Black Resistance” is the theme of this year’s U.S. observance of Black History Month, calling
for a reversal of the devaluation of African Americans’, and acknowledgment and appreciation of
their contributions to society.

Allen Edson spoke of oppression and the power of relentless resistance as an agent of positive
change in society after opening with a song – his own rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac of
Dizzy Gillespie.

Tim Conley spoke of Mr. Robert Turner, the butler of philanthropist Mrs. Phoebe Hearst. Mr.
Turner distinguished himself by being the first Western Black man to become a Baha’i and
travel to the Holy Land where he met ‘Abdu’l-Baha. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet
founder of the Baha’i faith displayed a great affection for Turner which stood in stark contrast to
the conventions of interracial interaction in Western societies.  In this way He modeled how true
Baha’ís should act towards all members of the human race. ‘ Abdu’l-Baha told Turner, “if he
remained firm and steadfast until the end, he would be the door through which a whole race
would enter the Kingdom.”

The program opened and closed with a musical selection performed by Sandy Simmons
Williams, who entertained and inspired the audience with her angelic voice.
Attendees then enjoyed dinner and conversation, and many felt that this type of gathering ought
to occur more frequently. We don’t have to wait till February to celebrate Black History.
Opportunities of engagement, meaningful conversations about the oneness of humanity, race
and class, and engagement in worship and service need to happen all year round.