“A force to be reckoned with”, is how Maycie Herrington’s daughter Kay Marie Anthony described her mother.
By Kay Gault
Aaron and Maycie moved to Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama where Maycie found employment as a civilian employee. She was one of only two women on the base. Following the war, the Herringtons moved to Long Beach in 1948. Maycie worked as a social worker for the county of Los Angeles, a job she retained for thirty-two years until she retired in 1981. During that time, she worked with the Long Beach Area Welfare Planning Council to create an emergency food program. That program is still in effect in Compton, CA.
In 1951, her family, now including daughter Anne, joined First Congregational Church of Long Beach becoming the first African American members of the downtown church. Another daughter, Kay, was born in 1957.
The family moved to Park Estates in 1965. At the time, the by-laws for the Park Estates development banned homeowners who were not white, but with the passage of Proposition 14 and the support of a Jewish realtor, they completed the purchase of the home.
Maycie was a consummate volunteer. She belonged to the Long Beach Altrusa Club, Lions’ Club and the African American Heritage Society. She also volunteered on the Long Beach City Grand Jurors’ Association and with the United Way. Anthony remarked in: “Breaking Through Lighting the Way,” a collection of profiles of African-American women who made a difference in the history of Long Beach that her mother “…always helped the underdog. She was tenacious about it.”
But it was as the conservator and historian for the Tuskegee Airman that Maycie dedicated most of her service. When her husband, Aaron died in 1995, Maycie retained his membership and later assumed the role of secretary for the Tuskegee Airmen. She became the historian and conservator for the group.
Julie Bartolotto, Project Director