PMH reached out to the African American community in Pasadena in 1984 to collect the history of this community in Pasadena. Historian Robin Kelley researched and interviewed a number of prominent members of the African American community such as Olympian Mac Robinson; Ray Bartlett, who was Jack Robinson’s team mate, a veteran, and one of the first black employees of Los Angeles County Fire Department; and Ruth Wright who was married to the founder of Pasadena NAACP John Wright. After collecting their history through interviews, photographs, and other materials, we produced a beautiful and fascinating documentary called Changing Rose. This documentary is housed in our Archives. If you would like to watch and listen to all the interviews click here. Here is a list of interviews available:
- Ora Ballard – Member of one of Pasadena’s pioneer families.
- Edna Banks – Member of a prominent Pasadena family; discusses transportation, means of entertainment, job opportunities, and the role of churches in lives of African Americans in Pasadena.
- Ray Bartlett – Pioneer with Los Angeles County Fire Department, Public Social Services, Deputy to Supervisor Warren Dorn.
- Theodore Bartlett – Realtor.
- Kevin Brechner -- Lived at the Hotel Carver after it became artists' studios in the 1970s. Hotel Carver was the only hotel owned and managed by African American Percy Carter, Sr. in the 1940s and 1950s.
- Alice Bugg – Educator.
- Clara Carr (Audio); Clara Carr (Video) – Member of one of Pasadena’s pioneer families.
- Colletta Clark (Video) -- Colletta Clark's family moved to Pasadena from Portland in February 1922.
- Earl Grant – President of Family Savings & Loan Association.
- Flora & Henrietta Grant & Mrs. Brooks – Members of a very prominent and successful family in Pasadena. The Grant family was responsible for starting a branch of Family Savings & Loan Association, the nation’s largest savings and loan owned by African Americans at the time.
- Carrie & Henry Hunter -- The Hunter family is a prominent African American family in Pasadena.
- Jonas J. James – American Legionnaire.
- Leona & Garfield Lee – Leona was the first African American manicurist hired to work on white customers; Garfield was a valet butler for forty-seven years.
- Benjamin McAdoo – Pasadena pioneer, interviewed during his ninety-fourth birthday celebration.
- LeRoy & Rosebud Mims – They owned a joint barbershop and hair salon.
- Tom Nelson -- A former Army Officer who fought for rights of African Americans to buy properties in exclusive residential sections of Pasadena.
- Naima Olugbala -- Director of Omawale Ujamaa School in Pasadena.
- Ralph Riddle (Audio); Ralph Riddle (Video) -- The first black officer in Pasadena, 1946.
- Mac Robinson (Audio); Mac Robinson (Video) – Athlete; silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics; brother of Jackie Robinson.
- Gene Stevenson -- Founder of Theater Owners Booking Association (TOBA), established in 1974 for minority performers in the greater Los Angeles area.
- Rosalinda Stocks (Audio); Rosalinda Stocks (Video) -- Rosalinda Stocks' family member, James "Slick" Stocks, was a star athlete at both PCC and USC.
- Ruth Wright (Audio); Ruth Wright (Video) – Pasadena-born daughter of one of Pasadena's pioneer families; wife of founder of the Pasadena NAACP.
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