The Maricopa Historical Society will debut a presentation featuring prominent Black figures since the city’s establishment in 2003 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  

The public is invited to view the 20-minute video presentation, accompanied by live jazz and gospel music at the museum, 44240 Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.  

The idea originated from Paul Shirk and Jim Irving while enjoying coffee on the library porch. However, it took months of planning, research and meetings with local community members to pull it together.  

The team, including Linda Austin, Gayle Randolph, JoAnna Vanderpool, Marvin and Helen Brown, Kent and Chrystal O’Jon, and Councilmember Henry Wade, recognized the significance of sharing Black history with Maricopa.   

“Maricopa has a rich tapestry of people and a beautiful blend of residents that make us wealthy at heart,” Chrystal O’Jon said. 

Wade helped locate and refine information for display, hoping to educate the community on the contributions of African Americans to Maricopa and Pinal County.  

“I’m looking forward to participation more than anything,” Wade said. 

The team encourages everyone to attend.  

“This is what greatness looks like,” Randolph said. “Let’s share it with the community and celebrate it.”  

In the future, organizers plan to increase the collection of photographs, artifacts and history that document African American culture. It will become a permanent fixture in the museum.  

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