February is coming to a quick close and the official celebration for the history of Black people in America is coming to its end in 2013 too. In the fibers of Los Angeles is a cadre of African American women who is apart of the foundation of this city. African Americans in general have made significant contributions to the history of Los Angeles in all areas—from the arts and culture to science, education, architecture and politics. Contrary to popular belief, the African American presence in the city did not originate from the waves of new settlers who came to the city in the 19th and 20th centuries. African American presence and contributions to Los Angeles stem from the founding of the city in 1781, and the encounter between Mexico and United States social histories.
Biddy Mason is one of the many faces of truth and proof of this fact. Brought to California as a slave in 1851, she won her freedom for herself and her family in a celebrated court case. Working as a nurse and midwife, she saved her earning and became the first African American woman to own land in Los Angeles.
Additional notable African American women in Los Angeles history are:
- Loretta Thompson-Glickman - First African American female Mayor of Pasadena and first African American female member (volunteer) of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.
- Biddy Mason – Former slave who became millionaire entrepreneur, landowner, philanthropist and cofounder of First AME Church
- Yvonne Brathwaite Burke – First African American to serve on L.A. County Board of Supervisors
- Charlotta Spears Bass – African American newspaper editor and civil rights activist
For additional on African America women who have made extraordinary contributions to Los Angeles go to Shortlist of notable women in Los Angeles.
What an honor to acknowledge African American women in Los Angeles on the hills of Women’s history month in March. For more information on Black women in Los Angeles go to:
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