Email

Historic Interviews

Mar 3, 2015

Stella_and_Benjamin_McAdooHe owned a barber shop. She was the first Black manicurist to work on white customers.

He is Mr. LeRoy Mims. She is Mrs. Leona Lee. Both are Pasadena residents.

The Pasadena Museum of History interviewed over two dozen African-American residents back in 1984. Not only did these interviews provide the content for the documentary Changing Rose, but now they have been successfully transferred from “outdated audio, video, and even beta cassettes” and brought into the modern digital world.

 

Lundy Family at Cawston Ostrich Ranch is South Pasadena; photos courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History at Flickr

Lundy Family at Cawston Ostrich Ranch is South Pasadena; photos courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History at Flickr

 

PMH applied to the California Audio Visual Preservation Project for digitization of these copyrighted audio visual materials that document an important part of this region’s Black history. Digitization was completed in 2014. These historic interviews are now available to researchers worldwide on the California Light & Sound website, hosted by Internet Archive at Archive.org. (PasadenaHistory.org)

In addition to Mr. Mims and Mrs. Lee, one may hear from Pasadena’s first Black officer (1946) Ralph Riddle, Director of Omowale Ujamaa School Naima Olugbala, President of Family Savings & Loan Association Earl Grant, American Legionaire Jonas J. James, educator Alice Bugg, 1936 Olympics silver medalist (and brother of Jackie) Mack Robinson, and Pasadena “pioneer” Benjamin McAdoo who was interviewed during his 94th birthday celebration…

Benjamin McAdoo; photo top right is of him and his sister Stella

Benjamin McAdoo; photo, top right, is of Mr. McAdoo and his sister Stella

 

Alfretta McAdoo on her wedding day

Alfretta McAdoo on her wedding day

 

All 23 interviews may be accessed at Archive.org.

The list of historic Pasadena figures interviewed is as follows:

Ora Ballard – member of one of Pasadena’s pioneer families.

Edna Banks – member of a prominent Pasadena family; talks about transportation, means of entertainment, job opportunities, and the role of churches in lives of African Americans in Pasadena.

Ray Bartlett – police officer, then pioneer with Los Angeles County Fire Department, Public Social Services, Deputy to Supervisor Warren Dorn.

Pasadena natives Jackie Robinson and Ray Bartlett played basketball at UCLA

Pasadena natives Jackie Robinson and Ray Bartlett played basketball at UCLA

 

Officer Ray Bartlett with burglary suspect

Officer Ray Bartlett with burglary suspect

 

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 – member of one of Pasadena’s pioneer families.

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 one of the prominent African American families in Pasadena.

Jonas J. James – American Legionaire.

Leona & Garfield Lee – Leona was the first Black manicurist hired to work on White customers; Garfield was a valet butler for 47 years.

Benjamin McAdoo – Pasadena pioneer, interviewed during his 94th birthday celebration.

Benjamin McAdoo on his wedding day

Benjamin McAdoo on his wedding day

 

Don Mims – teacher, Los Angeles public schools.

LeRoy & Rosebud Mims – owned a joint barbershop and hair salon.

Tom Nelson — 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 — the first black officer in Pasadena, 1946.

Mac Robinson – athlete; silver medalist in 1936 Olympics; brother of Jackie Robinson.

Mack-Robinson-with-Silver-Medal

 

Gene Stevenson — founder of Theater Owners Booking Association (TOBA), established in 1974 for minority performers in the greater Los Angeles area.

Rosalinda Stocks — Rosalinda Stocks’ family member James “Slick” Stocks was a star athlete at both PCC (won 11 letters, an all-time high, in football, basketball, track, baseball, tennis and golf from 1926-29) and USC.

Mrs. Ruth Wright – Pasadena-born daughter of one of the City’s pioneer families; wife of founder of the Pasadena NAACP.

 

 

Carrie McAdoo's grocery store at 679 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, circa 1909

Carrie McAdoo’s grocery store at 679 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, circa 1909

 

For more photos in the PMH collection, visit “Glimpses of Black History in Pasadena, 1850-1950” at Flickr.

 

James Phillips' office in the Francisca Building, Pasadena

James Phillips’ office in the Francisca Building, Pasadena

 

 




1 Response for “Historic Interviews”

  1. Derek Branum says:

    It’s great to see my great grandfather featured on this site. His name was James T. Phillips and he was an attorney. There is a great picture of him and his secretary inside his office, the Francisca building .

Discussion



Fiore

Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena

Search