Mildred Massey, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s mother, celebrated her 90th birthday last Saturday with friends and family at the Grand Lake Gardens in Oakland where she lives.< p>“Wishing the happiest of birthdays to my mother,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Every day she inspires me with her strength, grace, and spirit. I owe everything to her and I’m proud to be her daughter.”
Massey, a native of El Paso, Texas, was surrounded by her 3 daughters, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mildred Whitfield, and Beverly Hardy, several of her 7 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and one great grandchild, as well as numerous other family members and friends.
Over the course of her life, Massey has broken many racial barriers, the first African-American to be hired in key positions. She was the first African-American worker at Ft. Bliss, Texas in the Postal Locator. She was one of 7 students to integrate Texas Western.
She was the first African-American to work at Raymond Lamp Company and the first African-American to work at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sylmar, California.
When she retired from the Social Security Administration in 1986, she helped found and manage her daughter Barbara Lee’s business, Lee Associates, dba WC Parris Co, until her second retirement in 1998.
Massey loves music and basketball and is a frequent attendee at the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Allen Temple Baptist Church is her church home.
Of course, she is Congresswoman Lee’s biggest supporter.