*When one mentions the name of Brenda Marsh Mitchell there’s not enough words in anyone’s dictionary that could adequately describe what kind of woman that she was. The one distinct word that comes to my mind is loyal. She was indeed loyal to God, to her family, to her boss Danny Bakewell, and to the Black community of greater Los Angeles where she she worked tirelessly to improve the conditions that existed ranging from lack of employment, poor housing, drug and alcohol abuse, gang violence, and police abuse.
She was the CEO of the social service organization Mothers In Action, the vice president of governmental affairs for the Brotherhood Crusade, a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Sentinel, and special assistant to it’s president Danny Bakewell Sr.
It was some twenty something years ago that I first met her in the early 1990’s when I began to work with the Campaign to Free Geronimo Pratt, the former Black Panther leader who had been incarcerated in prison for 27 years for a crime he didn’t commit. She gave us the much needed support through the Brotherhood Crusade and worked with us tirelessly to get the word out regarding his plight. And ultimately, he was set free.
She was one powerful lady who could pick up the phone and call anyone from the White House, the Govenor’s office, the Mayor of Los Angeles, and anyone else in Congress or City Council whenever she needed to, and they would all come see her with no questions asked.
She probably no doubt had her distractors, but as far as this writer is concerned she was always very nice to me and especially my grandaughter who she took a fond liking to.
She was the event organizer for the Taste of Soul annually held on Crenshaw Blvd., that became one of her pet projects. A most successful event that over 200,000 people come out to attend every year. It was through the hard work and dedication of Brenda Marsh Mitchell that this came into fold.
Sadly, she left us over a week ago unexpectantly, due to an undisclosed illness. Her farewell services were held at First AME Church last Friday where among those attending and speaking fondly of her were such notables as Attorney Genaral Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, L.A. City Council members Herb Wesson, Bernard Parks, and Curren Price, and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas.
One cannot imagine the pain that her daughters and grandchildren feel from losing her. But especially the pain that Danny Bakewell Sr. had to have felt, she was so loyal to him.
As for this writer folks, I cried like my own mother had died.
She may be gone from us, but her works still remain with us.
Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. She will be missed.
Mohammed Mubarak can be reached at [email protected] for your comments.