During this epic election year, the California African American Museum (CAAM) is pleased to present the second installment of a three-part series entitled Black Politics - Past, Present and Future: The Vote/Why Vote? on Saturday, September 8, 2012, starting at 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park. 


Carolyn Webb de Macias, USC V.P. Emerita, will moderate the discussion with panelists including retired L.A. City Councilman Robert Farrell, former State Senator and U.S. Congresswoman Diane E. Watson (retired) and former State Senator and L.A. City Councilman Nate Holden (retired). The discussion will highlight each panelist’s experiences and the critical issues that should be of concern to today’s electorate.


Retired Councilman Robert Farrell started his career in journalism. His byline appeared in African-American community newspapers such as the California Eagle and the Los Angeles Sentinel, where he was the political editor.  In addition, he was a correspondent for Jet magazine and later went on to publish his own newspaper in Watts called The Star-Review. Farrell begin his career in politics while in college, helping to elect Joe Wachs to student body president of 

UCLA.  Governing alongside Mayor Tom Bradley, Farrell represented the 8th Council District in South Los Angeles.  Farrell retired in 1991 after 17 years of politics. 


In 1975, Honorable Watson became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Her legacy there includes efforts to expand school integration and toughen academic standards.  The year 1978 marked her election to the California State Senate where she was chosen to chair, from 1981 to 1998, of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.  In 1999, President Clinton appointed Congresswoman Watson to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Watson served in this capacity until 2001 when she returned to California to run for Congress in a special election held on June 5, 2001.  She was reelected on November 5, 2002 to a full two-year term and has served in each succeeding Congress.  She was a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement.

The Honorable Diane E. Watson retired on December 31, 2010 after a 36-year political career.


Currently serving on the transition team for California Attorney General Kamala Harris on the Environmental Justice Committee, Nate Holden served more than 30 years in the public sector as a Los Angeles City Councilman, State Senator and Assistant Chief Deputy to the L.A. County Supervisor.  Holden represented the 10thDistrict on the Los Angeles City Council from 1987 until 2003.   The city councilman is credited with introducing the unique Buyback Illegal Firearms program in Los Angeles.  He also introduced the initiative into Los Angeles law that requires all toy guns to be brightly colored so they are not confused with real weapons. 

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is $10 in the lot adjacent to CAAM on Figueroa and 39th streets.  For more information visit .


“Löis Mailou Jones – A Life in Vibrant Color,” through September 16, 2012

“African American Military Portraits from the American Civil War” (TBD)

“Go Tell it on the Mountain” October 4, 2012 - April 7, 2013

“Shared Thread.” in CAAM’s Courtyard through December 30, 2012

“Legacy of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company:  More Than a Business,” through March 3, 2013


The California African American Museum (CAAM) researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, CAAM is a state supported institution and a partner with the 501(c)(3) non- profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum. In addition to its permanent collection of over 3,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, CAAM also houses a research library containing more than 20,000 volumes, employs and trains high school students through its Young Docents program, and hosts in-house curated exhibitions and traveling exhibitions on a regular basis.  The museum also tours CAAM exhibitions throughout California and the nation.


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