*Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off the annual African American Heritage Month Celebration with a joyous program in the City Hall Council Chambers and outside on the City Hall, South Lawn.
It was a bit chilly and windy throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. In and around City Hall, everyone felt an atmosphere of warmth and love for the occasion and the honorees as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Our Authors Study Club presented the City of Los Angeles African American Heritage Month Celebration, Wednesday, February 5, 2020, to recognize and honor the contributions of Black History makers and organizations. Countless African American Heritage Month/Black History Month Celebrations are happening across the United States during the month of February.
During the Opening Ceremony inside the City Hall Council Chambers, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and other elective officials, City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, CD 8, Curren Price, CD9, and Herb Wesson, CD 10, presented the Living Legend Award to Recording Artist Jeffrey Osborne. The other Los Angeles Award-The Trailblazer Award was presented to Comedian/Actress Tiffany Haddish.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, comedians, Tiffany Haddish, Eddie Griffin and Luenell were honored by the City of Los Angeles, as it coincided with the opening of the exhibit, “Stand Up: The Art and Politics of Comedy,” on display through March 10 at the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Henry P. Rio Bridge Gallery at City Hall.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and other elective officials presented three additional awards to Community Leaders-The Hall of Fame Awards for Economics/Civil Rights, Business and Education, respectively.
The Honorable Michael Lawson, Esq., President, Los Angeles Urban League; Sandra Evers Manly, President, Northrup Grumman Foundation; and Thomas Parham, Ph.D., President, California State University, Dominguez Hills.
The 2020 African American Heritage Month Opening Ceremony moved outside to City Hall, South Lawn. Leslie Sykes, KABC-TV, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The celebration shifted into high gear, Call to Order, by Mike Davis, President Pro-Tem, Board of Public Works, Chair, African American Heritage Month Committee.
United States Marine Color Guard, Posted Colors, followed by evidence of the WOW factor, as saxophonist David Patterson performed the National Anthem, and vocalist Brooke Brewer led the crowd in singing the Negro National Anthem.
Bishop Craig Worsham, AGAPE Church, delivered the Invocation, followed by Ernestine Gordon, President, Our Authors Study Club, gave a brief history of Our Authors Study Club, and spoke of the occasion.
Mistress of Ceremonies Leslie Sykes acknowledged and recognized Special Guests in the audience. Eryn Friend, Little Miss African American recited a riveting poem to the delight of the appreciative audience.
The Awards Presentation was repeated so that the large, diverse crowd could partake in the celebration on this special day.
There were several outstanding vocalists on the program that did justice to songs from the Jeffrey Osborne catalogs of hits, as Mr. Osborne was beaming with delight front and center.
Terrell “TC” Moses, Ellis Hall, Nita Whitaker, followed by a mesmerizing instrument tune, performed superbly by violinist Karen Briggs. Vocalist Elaine Gibbs was able to convince Jeffrey Osborne to join her for a duet that thrilled the audience.
The program concluded with the presentation of the United States Postal Service Black Heritage Staff featuring Gwen Ifill, followed by Closing Remarks.
During both segments of the Opening Ceremony, attendees witness the unveiling of the 2020 African American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide by City Officials. The guide is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs. It is available online at www.culturela.org or www.laheritagemonth.org.
The 2020 African American Heritage Month Kick-Off Celebration was sponsored by The Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti; Our Authors Study Club; Nury Martinez, Los Angeles City Council President, and Councilwoman, Sixth District; Los Angeles Board of Public Works and Mike Davis, President, Pro-Tem; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; 2020 African American Heritage Month Committee; and the Los Angeles Association of black Personnel, Inc.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]