Serena Kay Williams made history as the first woman officer of AFM Local 47 when she was elected Secretary in 1984, a position she held until her retirement in 2007. Here we recall her legacy as a trailblazing musicians advocate and union leader.
Serena Kay Williams was born April 9, 1921 in Kansas City, Missouri. Serena’s father, who was born in Liverpool, England, came from a musical family. In fact, Jascha Heifetz was her grandfather’s nephew. Her mother, who came from Russia, also counted many artists in her family. Serena’s parents owned a deli in Kansas City. Their cooking was so renowned that her father was crowned the “Chili King of Kansas City” using her mother’s recipe.
When Serena was 4 her parents moved to Los Angeles because of her mother’s health. Serena cared for her mother, who was very ill, and even was issued a special driver’s license at the age of 12 so she could take her mother back and forth to the hospital. Continue reading