The Altadena Historical Society was founded in 1935 to document and share the history of Altadena. Every day history is being made, and now, amid a global pandemic, we are coming to grips with the realities that the Black community has faced for centuries, and it is painful to watch.
We stand today with the many residents of Altadena in the fight against injustice, systemic racism, and erasure. The Altadena Historical Society will continue to engage in a positive dialogue around these issues and change the course of history through storytelling.
Black people have unjustly suffered injury and death since the earliest beginnings of this country. More recently, people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Armaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and Emmett Till have died at the hands of police and racist individuals.
They, along with millions of other Blacks, suffer from what historian Carol Anderson called “the longest ongoing saga in American history.” Their names and their stories, along with so many others, will be recorded in history because they died at the hands of injustice and racism. We need to tell their stories.
In our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and mutual respect, and to create a historical record that documents the experiences of unheard and marginalized voices, we must listen to and amplify the demands of people and communities of color. We must continue to listen, document, and expose the injustices so many have suffered for centuries, and develop ways to fund new projects and programs to expand these efforts.
The Altadena Historical Society is committed to eradicate racist methods and practices that erase the full, and often painful, history of our entire community. We are working towards including all of Altadena’s past in our archives, and we know we have much more to do to reach this goal. As recently as this year, our “Hidden History” project had its second successful event.
The “Hidden History” project aims to create historical records of the many diverse residents of Altadena; the Black families who have lived here for decades, the indigenous populations who lived here originally, the Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated and incarcerated during World War II, and the Latinx community that has enriched our area over the past few decades.
The Altadena Historical Society will not marginalize the voices of people of color in our community. We will expand and improve our programs to be inclusive and informative on the subject of race relations. We will tell their stories.
We are committed to listening and documenting those voices along with White voices. We are committed to abolishing the gross inequities between White communities and Black communities by documenting a complete and accurate history. Although history, as it unfolds, may be uncomfortable, it is important that future generations see, hear, and know stories and events that are relevant and representative in order to change the course of history for the better.