Little Known Black History Fact: Unita Blackwell

How awesome, BLACK history is.

Black America Web

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Unita Blackwell, a former sharecropper who later became a civil rights activist in the south, is the first Black woman to be elected mayor in the state of Mississippi. Despite a an eight-grade education and while facing extreme racism, Ms. Blackwell fought valiantly for the voting and civil rights of Black people in her state.

Blackwell was born March 18, 1933 to sharecropper parents Virda Mae and Willie Brown in Lula, Miss. Her given name was U.Z. by way of an uncle, which was later changed to Unita Zelma.

Blackwell began her education in West Helena, Ark., as schools in Mississippi didn’t provide many options for Black students. Blackwell left school at 14, dropping out to support her family. She and her family chopped cotton in several states, including Tennessee and Arkansas.

She married Jeremiah Blackwell, and the couple had their only son, Jeremiah Jr…

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