Mabel “Toni” Coffey Brazington celebrated her 100th birthday at the Southwest Senior Center on May 27th. Her friends and staff sang Happy Birthday and had cake and ice cream, along with her son, granddaughter and great grandson. She has been a member of the center for 15 years.
Ms, Brazington was the first in the Coffey family to be born in Pennsylvania, in the Borough of Wilmerding and raised in Braddock Borough. The town has recently become known as the residence of Senate candidate and current Lt. Governor, John Fetterman. Her father, John H. Coffey, was a builder who was active in Braddock politics and for getting Franklin D. Roosevelt elected in 1933.
Ms. Brazington was married to the late Dr. Andrew Brazington, a Philadelphia dentist, for 34 years before his death in 1993. She has one daughter and three sons. Before getting married, Ms Brazington worked in the office at the Quartermaster Depot for the Field Service Commission.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Brazington was involved with politics and community service. She worked to elect W. Wilson Goode as the first African American mayor of Philadelphia. She is a longtime member of the NAACP. She served as a commissioner for the Committee of 70. She served twice as President of The Philadelphia Chapter of LINKS, Inc an organization of African American women devoted to strengthening African American communities through fundraising, education, advocacy and volunteering. She has been a member of National Action Network (NAN) since its inception. NAN is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the United States, founded by Reverend Al Sharpton. She won the Reverend Al Sharpton Pillar Award in 2017.
Ms Brazington had the honor of being one of 75,000 people who saw the great singer, Marion Anderson, sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939. Despite being internationally renown, Ms. Anderson, an African American, was denied being able to sing at Washington, DC’s Constitution Hall due to their white-only performers policy.
Ms. Brazington plans to celebrate her milestone all year!