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*On this date in 1926, Leatrice Pride was born. She was an African American administrator, activist, and social director.
From St. Paul, Minnesota, Leatrice Inez Dodd Pride was the only child of Raymond and Timm Dodd. Her father worked as a Pullman porter. Young Leatrice was raised by Benjamin and Lola D. Edwards along with there only daughter Beneta. Leatrice and Beneta were cultured in an area of St. Paul called the Rondo district. Between WW I and WW II, segregation was a fact of everyday life in Black Minnesota.
Along with the church, and academic expectations for a college degree her home life pushed her to the best she could be. Growing up Leatrice and her sister spent time at the Hallie Q. Brown and Phyllis Wheatley Negro community houses. There they were shown many Black stars and artist of the day who stayed (and preformed) there due to segregation in white hotels. Paul Robeson, Duke Ellington, Marian Anderson and Roland Hayes were a few of the Blacks who came and were enjoyed by Leatrice and others. She graduated from Mechanic Arts High School and briefly attended the University of Minnesota.
In 1947, Pride moved to her cousins Betty and “Mama Hen” in San Diego. Three years later she and a fellow Minnesotan (Margaret Harris) rented a room in the Sugar Hill section of Los Angeles. It was at this time that Pride began a career and calling which lasted more than fifty years. She worked at L. A.’s downtown library, city hall, and traffic department until 1956 and for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) until 1958. It was during this time that she met and married Wallace Pride. The couple had three children, Dodd, Michaele, and Regan. Soon after, Pride graduated from California State University Los Angeles summa cum laude. She had a B. A. in Language Arts with honors and a M. A. in English.
After working at a publishing company, she began another career. In 1968 she became an instructor with Sawyer Business College, which led to the position of Education Chairman from 1970 to 1974. Also in 1974, Pride began working at Hughes Aircraft joining the Missile Systems Group as a manager of Contract Program Planning and control. Within the corporation she advanced to Manager of the Management and Executive Education Programs; she retired in 1993.
From the moment she came to Los Angeles, Pride was equally active in civic, racial, and gender based causes. Throughout her life the arts, education, and public service typified her life. Pride was a charter member of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Links, Inc.; holding many offices and serving on many committees locally, regionally, and nationally. She was a distinguished member of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, equally serving and holding offices. Both organizations affectionately crowned her “Treasurer for Life.”
Pride was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and affiliated with the National Association of Female Executives. She also was a member of the Los Angeles County Art Museum and the California African-American Museum. Leatrice Pride died on February 29, 2004.
The Mchie/Pride Family Archives
PO Box 19441
Minneapolis, MN 55419