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Black History Celebration to Feature Charles Brister as Speaker

The Duarte Historical Society & Museum will hold its annual meeting on February 22 at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate Black History Month with Charles Brister as the guest speaker. Brister is retired from the Merchant Marines and will talk about the history of African Americans in the American military. His grandfather landed in Los Angeles from Mississippi. Charles and his father grew up in Monrovia. He attended school at Wild Rose Elementary School in Monrovia and graduated from Don Bosco High School in Rosemead. He then graduated from Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point New York.

As an officer in the Merchant Marines he was stationed on a Navy ship during Desert Storm. “It was a job that had to be done,” he says.

Since retiring, he owns a business called Unite Us Now striving to help businesses succeed, particularly African American – owned businesses.

The program will also be dedicated to Duarte Pioneer Everett Adams who died on December 26, 2019 at age 87. His stories of early Duarte encapsulate a town that few Duarteans know.

The Millner family will also be honored. The 60s were transitional years in Duarte and those who were in local schools at that time look back with bitter- sweet memories. The five Millner siblings graduated from DHS in the 1960s-70s and today they all hold Doctorate Degrees and are professors. Their story is inspirational.

Also honored will be Dr. Leonard Stovall (1887-1956). He came to Los Angeles as a child and graduated in 1912 from the University of California School of Medicine with a medical degree. It was his expertise and determination that made him a pillar in the African American medical communities of Los Angeles. When African Americans could find no hospitals in Los Angeles that would admit them for treatment of tuberculosis, he opened his own clinic in Duarte, and there saved many lives.

A brief business meeting will be conducted followed by refreshments.

The Museum is located at 777 Encanto Parkway in Duarte’s Encanto Park. Admission is free. For further information see: www.RanchoDeDuarte.Org or call
(626) 358-0329.