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Beauty Queen To Ride Float In Rose Parade — Nearly 60 Years After She Was Supposed To!

| Filed under: Inspiration

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The Rose Parade in Pasadena is an annual New Year's tradition.

Spectators line the streets hours — even days — in advance, to get a glimpse of the flowery floats.

But for 82-year-old Joan Williams, who will attend Thursday morning's ceremony, the wait has been nearly 60 years.

You see, Williams was named "Miss Crown City" back in 1957, and one of her prizes was to ride on a city-sponsored float during the Rose Parade.

Unfortunately, she never got the chance to ride, and the reason is pretty upsetting.

You see, Williams is African American. When city officials found out her heritage, her prize was not fulfilled. In another demonstration of racism, the mayor at the time refused to take a photo with Williams at a city picnic. She recounts how painful the sting of racism was:

"Somehow I wasn't the person they wanted on that float anymore just because of my heritage. You can imagine the slap in the face that is."

She'll appear on a float in 2015 — 57 years after she was supposed to.

The float carries the theme of the parade, "Inspiring Stories."

And while she's grateful to the community who raised awareness around her story, she still has some regrets.

"It doesn't mean the same for me in 2015 as it would have in 1958."

Here's hoping Ms. Williams will make new memories she'll be happy with.


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One comment to “Beauty Queen To Ride Float In Rose Parade — Nearly 60 Years After She Was Supposed To!”

  1. 1

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