02 Feb Los Angeles City Council Celebrates African American Heritage Month with Fanfare
Council President Wesson Leads 10th Annual City Hall Art Exhibit Featuring One-of-a-Kind MOTOWN Display Titled “America’s Soundtrack”
LOS ANGELES- Today, the Los Angeles City Council and City Council President Herb Wesson rose in celebration of African American Heritage Month. It was with great pride and in the spirit of diversity that the City Council joined together to recognize the many contributions made by African Americans to society and their legacy of accomplishments.
Together with Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Councilmember Curren Price, Wesson led a formal presentation reminding those who gathered in the City Council’s chambers of the many influences the African American community has furthered for the betterment of civilization. The Councilmembers also included a call to action in their remarks urging Angelenos to come together and fight hate and racism with tolerance and understanding. The time is now for those who call Los Angeles home to have uncomfortable conversations with one another and allow progress to strengthen the city’s race relations.
Following the presentation, Wesson unveiled the Los Angeles City Council’s annual City Hall Bridge Gallery Exhibit commemorating the month long celebration. This marks the 10th year Wesson has spearheaded the photo art exhibit. This year’s exhibit celebrates the cultural and entertainment phenomenon, Motown Record Company. Artists signed with Motown created a unique sound which transcended color barriers and would become the soundtrack to the American experience.
“It is with immense pride that I join the City Council to celebrate the numerous contributions African Americans have made to our city and country,” said Wesson, the first African American to be elected Los Angeles city council president. “This year’s City Hall exhibit offers a look at Motown’s storied history; a history that not only has close ties to Los Angeles, but also to the community I represent in the Tenth Council District.”
Motown legend Marvin Gaye was a resident of Council District 10, as was Berry Gordy’s long-time personal assistant Edna Anderson-Owens and renowned Motown publicist and manager for Michael Jackson Bob Jones. Thelma Houston, Motown’s first solo female artist to win a Grammy award resides in Council District 10 to this day.
Council District 8 representative, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson said “I’m proud to join the City of Los Angeles in celebrating African American culture and achievements, and affirming our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Today we pay homage to the rich musical tradition and creativity that Motown brought to America and we recognize its enduring influence on popular music and culture.”
Councilmember Curren Price who represents Council District 9 noted, “I’m thrilled the City Council is able to pay tribute to Motown’s music for African American Heritage Month. Growing up, I had African-American role models across the spectrum that I aspired to be like—remarkable individuals who gave me hope and made me believe that I, too, could one day make history.
African American Heritage Month to me means celebrating the accomplishments of some of the greatest American icons of all time, the dreamers and do-ers. It is also a time to renew our commitment to equality and stay focused on the kind of world we want to live today, tomorrow and generations to come.”
Councilmember Joe Buscaino of Council District 15 added, “While today we kick off a month of celebrating the achievements of African Americans throughout our history, we should also take this time to reflect on the disparities that African Americans continue to face in our country,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino. “Last year, my district celebrated the strength and resiliency of the Watts community during the 50th anniversary of the Watts rebellion. As we strive for a better future for our communities in the face of adversity we cannot discount the inequality that continues to exist and we must remember that everyone has a role in continuing to break down the barriers that keep the status quo in place.”