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SF Celebrates African American Contributions




The 11th annual Celebration of Black American History took place at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco, Feb. 25.


Called “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture,” the event featured Mistress of Ceremonies Renel Brooks-Moon and remarks by Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President London Breed and former Mayor Willie Brown.


“It is an honor to commemorate the great contributions of African American leaders past and present,” said Mayor Lee.


“We have such a rich history and I am so proud of our African American city leaders and representatives,” added City Administrator Naomi Kelly.


Harlan Kelly, general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said “This time of year is great to get the community together and honor our history. (This) is an event that honors our great heritage of resiliency, courage and achievement, and I am so proud to help make it happen year after year.”


The Alex L. Pitcher Jr. Humanitarian Award was presented to Ben Robinson, well known in the Bayview Hunter’s Point community for the annual Thanksgiving and Easter meal programs.


John W. Templeton received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as an author and entrepreneur.


The Living Legend Award was presented to Carla Vaughn for her contributions as an entertainer touring with Roy Ayers, Earth Wind & Fire and the Emotions, among others.


Also receiving awards were Afrosolo, Project Empowerment: The Audacity to Succeed – Young Black Men and Boys Soaring to Success, executive and artistic director Thomas Robert Simpson, and Diane Gray, director of Brothers Making Change Program, as well as Demetrius Hobson, principal of the Willie Brow Jr. Middle School.


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