Jessie Mae Brown Beavers

Jessie Mae Brown Beavers (March 18, 1923 – September 6, 1989) was an American journalist based in Los Angeles, California. She was an editor at the Los Angeles Sentinel from 1949 to 1989, and served sixteen years on the city's Human Relations Commission, beginning with her 1973 appointment by mayor Tom Bradley.

Jessie Mae Brown Beavers
A smiling African-American woman, from a 1977 newspaper. Her hair is cut in bangs, and she is wearing a high-collared blouse.
Jessie Mae Brown Beavers, from a 1977 newspaper.
Jessie Mae Brown

March 18, 1923
Los Angeles, California
DiedSeptember 6, 1989
Los Angeles, California
OccupationJournalist, newspaper editor

Early lifeEdit

Jessie Mae Brown was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Arnetta Hoyt Brown, a Baptist deaconess. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles,[1] where she earned a bachelor's degree in sociology.[2]


Brown was editor of the family section of the California Eagle from 1944 to 1949, when she joined the staff of the Los Angeles Sentinel as an editor.[3] In 1966 she was one of the organizers and leaders of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Media Women.[4][5] In 1969, she was given the Outstanding Woman in Journalism Award by the University of Southern California chapter of Theta Sigma Phi.[6]

Beavers served on the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission for sixteen years, after she was appointed by mayor Tom Bradley in 1973.[7][8] On the commission, she worked closely with fellow commissioner Toshiko S. Yoshida during the American bicentennial,[9] chaired the affirmative action subcommittee, and in 1982 organized hearings on racial bias in the entertainment industry.[10][11] She also served one the Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission.[12] She ran for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council in 1987.[13][14]

Beavers was a member of Jack and Jill and the Lullaby Guild.[15] In 1968 she was cited for her work by the President's Youth Council.[16] In 1972 she was honored alongside Quincy Jones, editor Ruth Washington, and student leader Willis Edwards by the Committee of Women for Good Government.[17] In 1973 she was honored by colleagues and admirers (including Mayor Bradley, judge Vaino Spencer, columnist Gertrude Gipson, and clubwoman Leontyne Butler King) at a tribute event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, hosted by singer Thelma Houston.[18]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1947 Brown married insurance executive Leroy A. Beavers, Jr., nephew of Los Angeles businessman George A. Beavers Jr.[19] Actress Dorothy Dandridge was one of her bridesmaids in the wedding.[20] They had three children. In 1979, she was assaulted and robbed in the driveway of her home.[21] She died in 1989, aged 66 years, in Los Angeles. Her grave is at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.[2]


  1. ^ Gindick, Tia (1985-08-01). "A Lifetime of Involvement on Black Scene". The Los Angeles Times. p. 68. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  2. ^ a b Folkart, Burt A. (1989-09-08). "Jessie Mae Beavers; Human Relations Commissioner, Sentinel Editor, Activist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  3. ^ Tillman Lee, Cheryl (2012-03-30). "Celebrating Pioneer Womwn During Women's History Month". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2020-02-04.
  4. ^ "Chicago's Media Gals are Hostesses at Gala Parley". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1966-10-29. p. 7. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  5. ^ "Rhea Calloway Elected President of NAMW". The Pittsburgh Courier. 1965-11-06. p. 6. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  6. ^ "Journalism Award for Mrs. Beavers". The Los Angeles Times. 1969-05-04. p. 101. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  7. ^ "Jessie Mae Beavers and others holding a certificate, Los Angeles, 1986", photograph by Guy Crowder, Delmar T. Oviatt Library, CSUN.
  8. ^ "Commission appointees approved". News-Pilot. 1973-09-01. p. 2. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  9. ^ "Untitled news item". The Los Angeles Times. 1976-08-17. p. 47. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  10. ^ Caulfield, Deborah (1982-08-28). "Hearings on Entertainment Industry Bias Scheduled". The Los Angeles Times. p. 35. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  11. ^ "Hearings on Bias in Entertainment Slated". The Los Angeles Times. 1982-09-04. p. 25. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  12. ^ "HRC re-elects Mrs. Beavers". News-Pilot. 1977-08-05. p. 9. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  13. ^ Merina, Victor (1987-03-23). "10th District Race a Test for Bradley, 13 Hopefuls". The Los Angeles Times. pp. 21, 23. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  14. ^ "Candidate's Debate". LA Weekly. 1987-03-19. p. 68. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  15. ^ Gindick, Tia (1977-03-29). "Charity Lunch Will Aid the City of Hope". The Los Angeles Times. p. 56. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  16. ^ "2 Women Cited for Urban Work". The Los Angeles Times. 1968-11-21. p. 48. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  17. ^ "4 Honored at Founders' Day Lunch". The Los Angeles Times. 1972-06-22. p. 77. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  18. ^ Wolfe, Evelyn de (1973-01-31). "Community Honors Black Journalist". The Los Angeles Times. p. 52. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via
  19. ^ "LeRoy A. Beavers Jr". The Los Angeles Times. September 8, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Lane, Bill (March 9, 1971). "Publicity Hassle Looms for Dot Dandridge Film". Baltimore Afro American. p. 20. Retrieved February 4, 2020 – via
  21. ^ "The State". The Los Angeles Times. 1979-08-22. p. 30. Retrieved 2020-02-04 – via

External linksEdit