After 130 Years, The Tournament of Roses Finally Elects Its First African American President

For the first time in its 130-year history, the Tournament of Roses will have an African American in charge of the annual celebrations.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to me. I try not to look at it as being the first African American president,” said Gerald Freeny to NBC Los Angeles. “We have 935 volunteer members. I represent all of them, and they represent the fabric of our communities.”

At the beginning of each year— when the ball drops and the confetti settles in New York—millions of Americans shift their focus onto California. In what has now become one of the most anticipated events of the new year, watched in person by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route, the Tournament of Roses includes the Rose Bowl game and Rose Parade with flower-covered…

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