(courtesy photo)

The Compton City Council approved a memorial service February 28, for former mayor and African American icon Doris Davis on Saturday, March 10 at 11 am at Compton City Hall with a reception to follow. Davis will lie in state also at city hall on March 8 from 6 – 8pm and March 9 from 3 – 5 pm. Adam’s Funeral Home in Compton is handling arrangements.

Doris A. Davis earned a place in Black History and American History when she became the first African-American woman mayor of a metropolitan city in the United States in Compton in 1965.

The then 33-year-old Davis defeated incumbent Clyde Harland to become Compton’s first black city clerk for her first major achievement.  Then, eight years later she challenged and defeated another incumbent, Compton Mayor Douglas Dollarhide. By doing so, she became the first female African American mayor of a major metropolitan city. However, after four years as mayor she did not seek re-election.

Davis was succeeded in 1977 by another African-American, Lionel Cade, an accountant and former member of the city council, who also served only one term.

In 1986, Davis unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the California State Assembly’s, 54th District. She finished third in the Democratic primary.

Until 2013, Davis was the only female mayor in Compton’s history. On June 4, 2013, Aja Brown was elected as Compton’s 2nd female mayor and the city’s youngest mayor.

Compton City Council members are also in the process of finalizing a charity for people to consider in lieu of flowers. Repast will be in Compton City Hall.