This black N white photo from the L.A. Times photo archives & UCLA special collections library is clear about a couple of things. 1) a group is picketing, and 2)they have a problem about something. And for many locals they can also identify Pasadena Citihall in the background.
Obviously we want to know the basics: Who are these group of people, and, What are they are protesting about? And if you could also give the date or year this all went down, well, that’s a plus!
Everyone got that the group was protesting about something: segregation, the Pepper redevelopment project, school busing, & Sex education, were the guesses. The 60’s were a decade of change and protest. People protesting one thing or another, and demanding change for their efforts.
The envelope please…
In the particular case above is picketing by the local chapter of the NAACP in November 1967. Led by civil rights activist Donald Wheeldin. In front of Pasadena Citihall. They are protesting, and showing their disapproval of, the employment/hiring practices of the City of Pasadena. Specifically, with the Police & Fire departments. They claimed not enough blacks were getting work from these departments. Discriminatory they alleged.
The change they wanted, obviously, was an increase in hiring of blacks. In one stance the NAACP was so specific as to give the number of black officers the police should hire: 25. None of the aforementioned specifics were included in reader answers. Therefore I regret to say while the guesses were nice, they weren’t ok or good enough. I’d feel a whole brunch better if I could give a prize to someone, at least once!!
I don’t know how many blacks are employed by the Pasadena police & fire departments today. I do know I regularly see them in uniform. And I recall this years police vintage car show raffle was run by a great black officer. Haven’t seen or heard lately any protests or picketing about the hiring practices of these departments. So I have to assume employment for this group did improve, although some will always tell you things could be better. Actually, in these budget cutting times the city has been suffering through more employment reduction than hiring. Nevertheless, equal employment opportunity appears to have improved for blacks today compared to half a century in the past. And we are all better for it.
Gotta Get to Work. Stay Thirsty My Friends