Pasadena, Calif., Negro Queen Snubbed At Rose Bowl Festivities

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-01-01 00:27Z by Steven

Pasadena, Calif., Negro Queen Snubbed At Rose Bowl Festivities

pages 50-51

Mayor J. Miller gifted Mrs. Williams at August ceremonies

For 26-year-old Mrs. Joan R. Williams, first Negro ever crowned queen in the Tournament of Roses’ 12-year history, Pasadena, California’s biggest event was anything but a bowl of roses. Although picked last August from a field of 15 to reign over Pasadena and ride on the city’s official float New Year’s Day, the petite mother of two was in fact a queen without a domain.

For when word spread that light-complexioned Mrs. Williams was a Negro, fellow employees in the municipal office where she works as an accountant-clerk suddenly stopped speaking to her. Mayor Jeth Miller, who crowned her at the city employees annual picnic, neither participated with her in later civic events nor rode with her in the Tournament of Roses parade.

And Mrs. Williams did not ride on a float, because the City of Pasadena neglected to include one in its own parade. Too many others were already entered, explained an official. She did not extend the city’s traditional welcome to the visiting Rose Bowl Queen because officials failed to introduce her. She did not occupy a special place of honor at the Rose Bowl football game, because there was none.

In fact, the only recognition Mrs. Williams received as queen were six free tickets—two for the reviewing stands along the parade route, two for the Coronation Ball and two for the game, where she and hubby, Robert, sat in the end zone as anonymously as other fans. Queenship had been an embarrassing affair both for her and her family, lamented Mrs. Williams. Said she at week’s end: “If I had to do it all over again, I would refuse the title.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,