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Jackie Robinson’s 100th Birthday to be Celebrated with Film Screening at South Pasadena Public Library on January 31

PASADENA JOURNAL — Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia on January 31, 1919 and his family moved to Pasadena in 1920.

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In honor of the 100th Birthday of Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), a free screening of “The Jackie Robinson Story,” a classic 1950 film starring Jackie as himself will be presented at the South Pasadena Public Library . The free event for all ages will be celebrated in the Library Community Room on Thursday, January 31 at 7 pm on the eve of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Lucille and Edward R. Roybal Foundation.

Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia on January 31, 1919 and his family moved to Pasadena in 1920. As an outstanding four-sport star, Jackie attended Muir Technical High School and Pasadena Junior College. After his graduation, Robinson transferred to UCLA, becoming the school’s first student athlete to earn varsity letters in all four major sports.

In 1942, Robinson joined the Army in Fort Hood, Texas. Despite the racism he encountered, Robinson eventually triumphed over an unjust court martial hearing and was given an honorable discharge. He then spent a year as the Athletic Director at Sam Houston College before receiving offers to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. After earning All Star accolades, Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey broached the idea to him to play on the Dodgers minor leaguer team in Montreal where he earned the league’s Most Valuable Player honors.

Upon his call-up to the big club with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball . With his tremendous courage, outstanding play, and dedicated work for social change, he changed the consciousness of an entire nation. During his ten seasons, he was the fi rst African-American to win a batting title. He was also the first black to be named a league MVP and he led the Dodgers to 6 pennants and a World Series title. Jackie Robinson was also the first Black player elected to the Hall of Fame and his number 42 is the only one permanently retired in all of Major League Baseball.

Jackie Robinson worked tirelessly as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. called him a legend and a symbol in his own time. Rivaling only Babe Ruth as the most historically significant baseball player ever, Jackie Robinson is considered by many to be the most important figure in American sports history.

“The Jackie Robinson Story” was initially released to theatres in 1953 during the era of racial segregation but was nonetheless accorded critical praise and strong box office receipts. It featured an outstanding performance by Ruby Dee as Jackie’s wife, Rachel Robinson. Although not a professional actor, Jackie Robinson’s potentially difficult portrayal of himself also earned high praises for its confident assuredness and restraint. And as might be expected, the re-enacted baseball scenes are outstanding –and in many ways they are superior to those in “42”, the 2013 Jackie Robinson motion picture starring Chadwick Bozeman.

Introductions to the film will be made by Mark Langill, Official Historian of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Alex Boekelheide, Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, Pasadena City College.

The South Pasadena Public Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. no tickets or reservations are necessary, and refreshments will be served. Special surprises are planned as well. Thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pasadena City College, 210 eastsound, Videotheque, The Rose, and Movie Licensing USA. For more information, please call the South Pasadena Public Library at 626 403-7350.

Free parking is available after noon at the Mission Meridian Parking Garage located at 805 Meridian Avenue adjacent to the Metro Gold Line Station, only one block from the Library.

Upon request made no later than four (4) business days before the event, the City will provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified person with a disability to have equal access to the event. Please contact ADA Coordinator and Human Resources Manager, Mariam Lee Ko, at (626) 403-7312 or fill out the City’s request form available at www.southpasadenaca.gov and email the form to Human Resources at HR@southpasadenaca.gov.

This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Journal. 

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Oakland Post: Week of May 31 = June 6, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May 31 = June 6, 2023

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The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May 31 = June 6, 2023

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Oakland Post: Week of May 24 – 30, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May 24 – 30, 2023

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The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of May 24 - 30, 2023

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The Case Against SB357: Black, Vulnerable and Trafficked

on April 25, the committee approved Senate Bill 14 which would make human trafficking of minors a felony and strikable offense forcing exploiters to serve 80% of their sentence.

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Nola Brantley is the co-founder of MISSSEY. Photo courtesy of Nola Brantley.
Nola Brantley is the co-founder of MISSSEY. Photo courtesy of Nola Brantley.

PART 8 – Come Back to Humanity

Although California Senate Bill 357 was intended to alleviate arrests of willing sex workers under anti-loitering laws, The Black, Vulnerable and Exploited series has established that passing SB 357 and other similar legislation harms Black communities, one of the most vulnerable and traumatized groups in America.

Over the past several weeks, overwhelming evidence against SB 357 has been presented showing why sex trafficking disproportionately impacts the Black community and how decriminalizing sex buying and exploitation will further harm vulnerable Black communities.

By Tanya Dennis and Vanessa Russell

One year and one day after Blair Williams had killed herself by walking into traffic on a busy freeway, her sister, Brianna Williams, testified before the California Senate Public Safety Committee on the horrors of sex-trafficking.

Soon after, on April 25, the committee approved Senate Bill 14 which would make human trafficking of minors a felony and strikable offense forcing exploiters to serve 80% of their sentence.

Passed with bi-partisan support in the committee, the bill means a lot to people who have been trafficked as it shows that the punishment for trafficking will be equal to the crime.

Currently, exploiters who receive 10 years for trafficking a minor may be able to get out in as little as two years. This practice of letting someone out after selling a child has created apathy among survivors who wonder if anyone understands the pain and torture they endure. The unanimous acceptance of this bill in committee is helping survivors to feel protected and valuable.

Led by Senator Aisha Wahab, the committee, which included senators Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, Steven Bradford, Senator Scott D. Wiener and Oakland’s Nancy Skinner, unanimously passed the bill written by Senator Shannon Grove.

At the hearing, Brianna Williams, a Black 28-year-old woman who was sex-trafficked in Oakland at the age of 13, shared the story of her sister Blair, who was terrorized, raped, and tortured by her exploiter.

Suffering a mental break, Blair walked onto a freeway where she was instantly killed on April 24, 2022.

Williams described Blair as a beautiful young lady, who was an avid reader and creative who loved to play with her niece and nephews and aspired to be an attorney. Blair died at the age of 23. Many senators teared up as they contemplated the torture Blair endured.

At the age of 17, Williams was able to exit with the help of nonprofits and churches who invested in her life, providing workforce development, education, mentoring, and legal help.

To address the harm that is being done to vulnerable people such as Black girls, anti-trafficking organizations are asking leaders and legislators and even proponents of full decriminalization for sex work to ‘come back to humanity’ and reconsider an ‘equity model’ that decriminalizes the exploited but maintains accountability for the buyers and exploiters.

The equity model would also provide funded exit services including mental health, housing, workforce development, and legal services for the exploited. These services would provide an opportunity for the trafficked to start again, an opportunity that 76% of women, men and transgendered people are asking for.

However, making buyers and exploiters accountable does not mean applying blanket life sentences.

Human trafficking cannot be ‘criminalized’ away, supporters of the new bill say, and instead they call for thoughtfulness and empathy regarding the intentions of those involved and ask tough questions.

Many exploiters have been abused and groomed into becoming exploiters in the same way the exploited are.

There are early intervention diversion programs that can help first-time sex buyers and exploiters take ownership for the harm they have caused, process the root of their behavior, and begin to heal and change.

Giving buyers and exploiters a platform to be accountable and make amends improves their lives, the lives of the families they are also harming, and hopefully bring some healing to the harmed.

Nola Brantley, a survivor, co-founder of Motivating, Inspiring Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY), and CEO of Nola Brantley Speaks says, “As service providers, we must unite and support one another because this is very important and hard. We can’t do it alone. We need each other and the community needs us to be in solidarity!”

For more information, go to ResearchGate and Layout 1 (depaul.edu)

To get involved, join Violence Prevention Coalition for a City Wide Peace Summit on June 24th from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at Laney College in Oakland. To register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-wide-peace-summit-tickets-622795647547

Tanya Dennis serves on the Board of Oakland Frontline Healers (OFH) and series co-author Vanessa Russell of “Love Never Fails Us” and member of OFH.

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