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Presenting the Certificate of Recognition to the Editor-in-Chief of The African Times/USA, Charles C. Anyiam (third from right) is Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (2nd from left), Councilwoman Heather Hutt (extreme left), Council Pro Tem President Councilman Curren Price Jr. (2nd from left), and Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (extreme right)
For the first time in the history of Los Angeles, California, Africa was officially and elaborately celebrated during the last US Memorial Day weekend as the Mayor and the City council observed ‘Africa Day’ which is the celebration of the founding day of the continent’s umbrella body originally known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which was later renamed the African Union (AU).
And for the second largest and most influential US city under the leadership of the first woman and second African American to serve as the City’s Mayor, Ms. Karen Bass who is the past immediate Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, the ‘Africa Day’ events in Los Angeles were internationally significant.
The events which started Saturday with a private reception at Mayor Bass’ official residence, the Getty House was continued at the City Chambers of the City Hall May 30th with the full council in session. Both events were attended by an admixture of the city’s community leaders of both the African emigre and African American communities, politicians, professionals, artistes, diplomats and Afro-philes.
Highlight of the event was the honoring of 11 outstanding members of the African emigre community in Los Angeles “who have not only established African influence in the city but have made it part of their mission to give back to Africa and the City of Los Angeles”, according to Council President Pro Tem, Councilman Curren Price Jr. who introduced Mayor Bass to deliver her remarks, “ and to recognize the Diaspora in their role here in America”.
In her remark, Mayor Bass traced the history of the AU and the origin of Africa Day dating back to the Africa Liberation Day when most of Africa was still under colonial rule. She also correlated the connection between the apartheid system in South Africa and the Jim Crow-era in America. “Many people don’t realize that before the South Africans set up apartheid, they came to the South of the United States to understudy the Jim Crow system and went back to South Africa and set up apartheid”, she reminded the council members.
Mayor Bass went on to highlight the role of the City of Los Angeles in efforts to end the apartheid system in South Africa with former Councilman Robert (Bob) Farrell who led the motion for the City of Los Angeles to desist from doing any business in South Africa, and of the efforts of then California Assemblywoman Maxine Waters who led a statewide action to stop business dealings between California and the apartheid government in South Africa.
Among the honorees recognized at the session was The African Times/USA represented by the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Charles C. Anyiam who received the Certificate of Recognition (COR) which was “for your devotion to providing service throughout the greater Los Angeles community while remaining connected to the miraculous continent of
Africa. I deeply admire your mission to further establish African influence within the our City while simultaneously demonstrating philanthropic efforts in giving back to our Motherland”, read the COR signed by the Mayor, Council Pro Tem President, Councilwoman Heather Hutt (10th District), and Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District).
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