National Black Catholic History Month Celebration
sponsored by the African American Cultural Awareness Ministry
at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA (November 1, 2012) – The renowned jazz vocalist and “trumpetiste” Clora Bryant will provide musical entertainment on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. during the Umoja Karamu Fellowship Reception at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church as part of the African American Cultural Awareness Ministry’s annual celebration of National Black Catholic History Month. Ms. Bryant is a long-time parishioner of Holy Name of Jesus, a Los Angeles Archdiocese parish in Jefferson Park with significant active membership of African descent.
Bryant was born in Denison, Texas in 1927. The 85 year old music pioneer began playing the trumpet at age 14 and declined a scholarship from Oberlin College in favor of Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College because of their jazz band program. She has broken barriers as the only woman musician to perform with Charlie Parker, and as the first American woman jazz musician to play in the Soviet Union. Bryant is legendary among the many musicians of the famed 1940s African American jazz scene on Los Angeles’s Central Avenue. She released an album, Gal With a Horn, in 1957 and co-edited the book, Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles, published in 1999 by University of California Press. Bryant has not played the trumpet since 1996, after experiencing a heart attack. However, she continues to sing and lecture on jazz.
Bryant’s appearance November 4 marks the beginning of Holy Name’s four week celebration of Black Catholic History Month, featuring guest homilists during the 10:00 a.m. gospel music masses, and fellowship and entertainment in the school hall each Sunday in November: the 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. These events advance the purpose of the parish’s African American Cultural Awareness Ministry, which was formed in 1985 to raise awareness of African American and African American Catholic gifts of history, culture, and spirituality through liturgical celebrations, prayer, and fellowship within and beyond the parish. Eighty percent of all families registered as parishioners at Holy Name of Jesus Church are of African descent, coming from the United States, the Caribbean, Central, South and Latin America, and Africa. Black Catholic History Month was inaugurated in 1990 by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCC), which selected November as the month to celebrate the history and legacy of Black Catholics in the United States, as well as to commemorate those ancestors and Black saints from the motherland and throughout the African Diaspora.
Other highlights in November include a three-day “Faith on Fire” revival, Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18, 2012, featuring Reverend Anthony Michael Bozeman S.S.J., pastor of St. Raymond & St. Leo the Great parish in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church is located at 1955 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90018; (323) 734-8888. The pastor is Rev. Paul Spellman. The African American Cultural Awareness Ministry is co-chaired by Deacon Douglass Johnson, Catherine Brown (Director of Religious Education), and founding lay minister Monica Lewis.