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The City of Compton Honors and Remembers Emily Hart-Holifield

By Emon Johnson

The City of Compton held a memorial service in honor of Emily Hart-Holifield on May 28, 2022. 

Hart-Holifield, a Louisiana native and long-term resident of Compton, passed away on April 5, 2022, and was well-known throughout the city as the first woman to be elected to the Compton College Board of Trustees.

She began the first block club in the City and along with her husband, Benjamin Holifield, is responsible for creating dozens of gardens in the city and generating hundreds of jobs for Compton residents. 

Her husband received several awards and certificates in her honor. Assemblymember Mike Gipson, 64th District, presented Mr. Holifield with a certificate from the California State Assembly, paying tribute to her name and granting sympathies to her family.  

“The dash is significant because the dash is what people will remember,” Gipson states while holding the certificate. “The dash is where people will bring up your name and your name will put a smile on people’s faces; where we today remember her long legacy. To her husband and family, thank you very much.”

The Mayor of Compton, Emma Sharif, also spoke on Hart-Folifield’s legacy. “Being the first African American woman on the Compton College Board of Trustees, she opened up the door for me and everyone else in similar positions, so I want to say thank you,” she states.

In honor of her services, Mayor Sharif and Compton officials declared May 28 to be Emily Hart-Holifield day.  “May her beautiful life and spirit live on the memories and the hearts of those who loved her.”

For several years now a movement of concerned citizens of Compton have worked to reinstate Hart-Holfield’s name on the Compton College marquee, which was removed during the college’s remodeling process following the loss of the its accreditation in 2006. 
Those interested in learning more about their movement can contact Mika Black at [email protected].