Juneteenth Celebration of the new Robert Owens Sign

Juneteenth Celebration of the new Robert Owens Sign

On the Juneteenth holiday, June 19, 2023, Lowelifes unveiled the Robert Owens sign in El Prieto Canyon. A large, diverse procession hiked 1 mile to El Prieto Canyon, led by our local Boy Scout Troop 40.

Steven McCall, the emcee of the unveiling event, led the group through a short program. Erik Hillard of Lowelifes summarized Robert Owens history within El Prieto Canyon. Veronica Jones of the Altadena Historical Society spoke of the project’s profound importance to the local community.

Angeles National Forest District Ranger Jamahl Butler and Pasadena Councilmember Tyrone Hampton both spoke to the group. All who attended felt the significance of unveiling the sign on the Juneteenth holiday.

Steven McCall read the poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes.

Japhena Musson led the group in two songs: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson and Rosamond Johnson & “This Land Was Made for You and Me” by Woody Guthrie.

Veronica Jones and Erik Hillard unveiled the new sign, which had been concealed by Kente cloth during the presentation. Veronica, Erik, and Steven worked on this project together after the January 2023 Altadena Historical Society presentation on Robert Owens. The trio designed and secured approval of the sign from the Angeles National Forest and the City of Pasadena.

Photographs by Stephanie Ortega

A few days before Juneteenth, Lowelifes and Altadena Historical Society volunteers installed the new Robert Owens sign at the lower end of El Prieto Canyon.

Sign installation prior to Juneteenth: (L to R) Clarence Stubblefield, Veronica Jones, Douglas Jones, Doug Coliflower, Rob Pettersen, Erik Hillard, Wendell Griffin, Steven McCall
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