There are many Black women in the Los Angeles area who have a mother, a nurse and a protector to the community: Caffie Greene possessed all those attributes.
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Managing Editor
Though she was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Caffie Greene considered Los Angeles her home. She attended Jefferson High School, Trade Tech. and USC and that made L.A. her home since she arrived here in 1947.
Greene became deeply involved in community activism and became eventually aligned herself with a group of women who, like her, nurtured and protected the community. When one thinks about the fight to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital and the Charles Drew University following the 1965 Watts Rebellion, the “Mothers” who come to mind includes Caffie Greene, Lillian Mobley, Mary Henry, Johnnie Tillman and Nona Carter. These women bore the pain of seeing the King Hospital erected and the Charles Drew Medical School (University).
Her work ethic and community involvement speaks volumes about the caliber of woman she was and the soundness of her character. Greene lived a full and productive life and when she died last Tuesday morning, the best remembrance that is befitting her is that she lived her life in service to others. And to that end, Greene worked for the Anti Poverty Program and opened a Teen Post in 1965; she joined the Democratic National Convention as a delegate and the National Democratic Committee Woman-at-Large; she was a commissioner at Sybil Brand Institution; she was a founder of Concerned Black Women and Friends, Inc.; she was a member of Charles Drew Advisory Board; the Black Agenda and her likeness was installed on the Walk of Fame at Ted Watkins Park.
In addition, Greene worked on numerous political campaigns and was well known to those whom she helped to get elected including Gus Hawkins, Mervyn Dymally, Diane Watson, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, Kenneth Hahn and Jerry Brown.
Greene also became involved in several community organizations as a member and/or board member including Watts Health Foundation, NAACP, Urban League and the Brotherhood Crusade.
She was quick-witted and had natural leadership qualities. She leaves behind sons (Raymond and Steve); daughter (Ethelene); grand daughters, grandsons, sisters-in-law and nieces.
Her grand daughter, Shavonda Greene described her in the following way, “God created a wonderfully extraordinary Human being…Caffie Greene who became a Phenomenal Woman, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Commissioner, Hero, Leader…Legend”.
Funeral services will be announced in the future.