Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson kicked-off African American History Month surrounded by scores of Black actors, filmmakers and industry professionals during a ceremony in City Hall Council Chambers on Feb. 5.
The presentation also marked the opening of the “Blacks in Cinema” exhibit on City Hall’s Bridge Gallery, which salutes African Americans’ involvement in 1970s film and television. The display features movie posters, films, TV shows, photographs, biographies and other memorabilia highlighting the pioneering decade when Blacks either launched or appeared in a range of entertainment projects.
Wesson also joined with L.A. Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, Jr. to pay tribute to several African American artists. On hand for the occasion were Fred Williamson, Bill Duke, Dwan Smith, Richard Lawson, Beverly Todd, Judy Pace, Dawnn Lewis, Sheila Frazier, Glynn Turman, members of the Black Stuntsmen’s Association and Ayuko Babu, co-founder and executive director of the Pan African Film Festival.
“These honorees broke the mold and were some of the first strong black lead characters in major motion pictures and network television,” said Wesson. “I spent my formative years watching these movies and shows, and I’m very excited to honor these trailblazers at City Hall.”
“The legacy of these African American actors, crew members, and filmmakers cannot be overstated,” noted Harris-Dawson. “Today, we see a global renaissance of Black art and culture because of the trailblazers of this era. I am proud to be a part of the city’s celebration.”
“In the spirit of diversity and unity, we rise in celebration of African American Heritage Month to honor the legacy of leaders, doers and change makers—sung and unsung—who achieved much and contributed greatly to our nation’s tapestry,” added Price. “Let us never forget the vast number of important and famous African American figures, including Black actors and filmmakers, who did the impossible, unthinkable, and unimaginable to make the world a better place.”
The Blacks in Cinema exhibit will be open to the public throughout the month of February.
To learn more or schedule a group viewing, call Wesson’s office at (213) 473-7010.