Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved

I stumped everybody this week. It was a bit of a trick photo because it's so out of context.

In the photo above, shot in 1982, Pasadena's first female mayor plays ball with her five-year-old son Sam.

Loretta Thompson Glickman became mayor of Pasadena in March of that year. This photo is from Jet Magazine:

The fact that Pasadena's first female mayor was African American was big news. All of the black-and-white photos, with the exception of the one at the bottom, in this post are from a feature in Ebony Magazine.

Here she is in the City Hall tower.

From the Ebony article:
It was encouragement and support from a lot of people that made Mrs. Glickman consider a political career. Two of those who urged her on were Paul Law, now a retired Pasadena city employe and businessman, and the Rev. David Scott, who is affiliated with Pasadena's First A.M.E. Church.

Mrs. Glickman is a former jazz singer in small local clubs, and she toured with the New Christy Minstrels before giving up her career in 1975 to start her family. Two years later she heeded the urgings of Law and Rev. Scott and other neighbors and began campaigning for office as city director from District 3 in Northwest Pasadena, a predominately Black area. She won and was reelected last year. She served as vice mayor for a while before being elected Mayor by her fellow city directors.
She had two sons: the other in this photo is Jason, 6.

During her political career she made local government more accessible to residents of Northwest Pasadena, resulting in residents becoming more politically astute and more involved in civic affairs. She served on the Pasadena City Council until 1989.

Here's her photo from the Hall of Mayors:

Sadly, she passed away March 18, 2001, in Lubbock, Texas, where she moved after being remarried. I wrote a tribute to her in the May 2001 issue of Pasadena in Focus.


Cafe Pasadena said...

A Fabulous woman who died too young. Know anything about her children today?

Petrea said...

I feel sheepish that I assumed that the historical personage in the photo was the male. She must have been something else.

Latino Heritage said...

James and I were encouraged when we moved to Pasadena when we received our yellow pages and we saw that our mayor was a woman and Black. Seemed like a fairly progressive place, which suited us just fine.
Those that knew Mayor Glickman speak well of her with just a bit of melancholy and with a great deal of pride.

Ashuana said...

I just wanted to update everyone with the status of Loretta's family. Her four children are doing great. Jacob the oldest is 36, Samuel 34, Charles 23, and Ashuana 21 (ME). I stumbled over this website when I was showing my friends who my mother, Loretta, was. I saw the comment about anyone knowing any information about her children and I wanted to let people know how we are doing. If anyone has anymore questions e-mail