It is the summer of 1998 and Glenston Page Anderson and his girlfriend attend a mountain campsite for the annual high school senior party.
Nearly a hundred happy partiers arrive to celebrate the end of the school year. All the high schoolers are underaged and unsupervised and many had helped themselves to a great amount of beer. Glenn is one of a few African American students at the party.
Shortly after Glenn’s arrival, a small group of drunken seniors start an ugly scene. They start pushing and harassing a younger and smaller peer, who attended the party with Glenn. Glenn sees what’s happening and steps in to deescalate the situation and protect his friend. This was Glenn’s way to protect others.
Suddenly, without negotiation, the bullies quickly turn their focus towards Glenn, making him their primary target as he leaned against a truck.
Glenn was born in New York City and moved here at 9 years old. Glenston Anderson grew up laughing and playing with close friends, spending time with his family, and excelling at what he did best, playing basketball.
As a young boy he slept with his basketball and dreamed of going to college and playing the game like his idol, Michael Jordan. Glenn was a good student, receiving an award in elementary school for perfect attendance. He was a tremendous teammate and a key player on the high school basketball team. He continued to spend his free time doing what he loved most … going to school, socializing with friends, and playing basketball.
Glenn’s basketball coach, Jack Madigan, said that, “His attitude was always positive.” Coach Madigan sat up a fundraiser that included sports figures, community leaders, and friends when Glenn was fighting for his life.
When he was not playing ball, Glenn enjoyed entertaining his friends and family. Those who knew him described him as excited about life. One of his friends wrote, “he was a good friend, and we could trust him. . . tell him anything and he would always be there for you. He was like a brother to us.”
He joined Young Life in high school and really loved attending the meetings and the cruise on Lake Malibu.
Glenn’s high school girl friend says, “Another thing I will always remember is how much he loved his mom. His mom was always at the forefront of his mind. That quality about him always melted my heart. There were a few times for one reason or another he was worried about his mom so I would just tell him to call her and check in. He never hesitated.” Hazel has a vivid memory of him going to the prom with his girlfriend and friends. She remembers meeting at his girlfriend Andrea’s house. “Her parents were outside taking photos before the kids got in the car to drive to the prom. This was one of my happiest moments of his life before the tragedy. “
“I know the pain as a mother as I lost my black son, Glenston Anderson, at the age of 23 due to white men who assaulted him which led to his death,” Hazel explains.
The King County medical examiner ruled Glenn’s death was the result of a beating he suffered in May of 1998, when he and his girlfriend attended a keg party at a park in Central Washington.
Three white men were charged with manslaughter but have yet to stand trial.
Only one of the bullies was convicted of assault after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. He served only four months in custody on nights and weekends while still attending college.
Hazel’s family is still seeking justice for the pain of the loss of their son.
Hazel Cameron is one of the founders, and Executive Director of Seattle’s 4C Coalition Mentoring organization. She is dedicated to the task at hand, raising money, hiring, training, directing staff, and recruiting youth and mentors.
Her work honors Glenn every day, the first born of her three children.
The tragedy of losing her son is what informs her work and inspires her to continue to fight for equal justice for Black youth and families by providing the much-needed support to serve our community.