One very good man
Saturday’s 31st Annual Black History Parade & Festival honors slain community activist Victor McClinton
By Carl Kozlowski 02/13/2013
In a rare tribute, Saturday’s 31st Annual Black History Parade & Festival will be dedicated to the memory of community youth volunteer and advocate Victor McClinton, who was killed on Christmas Day by a stray bullet in a gang-related shooting outside his home in Pasadena.
The 49-year-old Sheriff’s Department technician was hit when a gunman opened fire on the driver of a car that was passing McClinton’s Newport Avenue home late Christmas morning. That man, 24-year-old Damion Taylor, was struck by a bullet but survived the attack. Three men have since been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
So beloved was McClinton, who coached youth football with a program sponsored by developer Danny Bakewell’s Brotherhood Crusade, that hundreds of local youth and a number of community leaders gathered on the steps of Pasadena City Hall shortly after the shooting to pay homage to the man.
“We will have 78 parade entries, and we’re dedicating the parade to Victor McClinton’s memory,” says Black History Parade & Festival Coordinator Jarvis Emerson. Emerson also serves as community services supervisor at the Jackie Robinson Center.
This year’s community grand marshals are recently retired Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle and Lavell (Tip) Sanders, who has coached football at Pasadena at Muir, Blair and Marshall high schools.
Celebrity grand marshals include actress Samantha Esteban, who has performed in numerous films, including “Training Day,” and Pasadena-based actress Gillian Waters, a longtime regular on the NBC daytime soap opera “Days of our Lives.”
In addition, KTLA Channel 5 news anchor Michaela Pereira and Channel 5 reporter Gayle Anderson will also serve as celebrity grand marshals.
“Our farthest-away participants are coming from San Diego, Palm Springs and Littlerock, and we have the classic R&B group The Delfonics doing a concert,” says Emerson. “And for the first time ever, we’ll be live-streamed on the Internet for everyone to see, whether they can actually make it to the parade or not. We just plan to have a whole lot of fun.”
On Feb. 2, a reception for people involved with the parade and festival was held at the Alkebu-Lan Cultural Center on North Raymond Avenue.
On Feb. 8, and the Red, Black & Green Honors Dinner gala at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel honored state Assemblyman (and former Pasadena City Councilman) Chris Holden, longtime former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
The 31st Annual Black History Parade & Festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Charles White Park, located on Mountain View Street between Glenrose and Fair Oaks avenues in Altadena. The parade then proceeds to Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, where the festival will be held until 4 p.m.
For more information, call (626) 744-7300 or visit cityofpasadena.net.