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Passages: Anna Langford
2008-10-01

This article shared 6356 times since Wed Oct 1, 2008
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Anna Langford"the first African-American woman elected to the Chicago City Council"died Sept. 17 in her home in the Englewood neighborhood of lung cancer, according to The Chicago Tribune. She was 90.

Langford, running as an independent Democratic candidate, defeated the standard party candidate, George Boggan, in 1971 in the South Side's 16th Ward. She lost her bid for re-election four years later, but won the office again in 1983 and 1987. She retired in 1991.

Langford was known for her commitment to the fight for civil rights, including those for the LGBT community. Peggy Baker, a liaison to the gay community for Mayor Harold Washington in the mid-1980s, related an anecdote about Langford to Windy City Times: "Chicago lost a marvelous leader with Anna Langford's passing. Before the primary election in the 1987 mayoral campaign, we were holding initial meetings of Lesbians and Gays for Washington at Women & Children First bookstore in its old location on Halsted. Ald. Langford had agreed to come"she was a bold early supporter of the committee [ and ] certainly the first African-American city council member willing to sign on to our list of supporters. The meeting went on, but no sign of Ald. Langford, until we got word from a gay men's bar just down the street: Ald. Langford had misplaced the address of the bookstore, and not being from the neighborhood had stopped in for directions, and was having a fine time visiting with the fellows and in no hurry to get to the meeting."

She is survived by a son, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements will be private; however, a public memorial service will be announced.


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