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More than Just a Senator

December 6, 2010 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Economic history, Intellectual history, Political history, Primary source, Social history

Georgia Davis Powers was extremely influential for all women and the African American community through her actions and life. She became the first African American to hold a seat in the Senate and she became the first women to hold a seat in the Senate. Powers had to cross not only the racial barriers of the time, but also the gender barriers because she is a black women. Georgia Davis Powers was born in Springfield, Kentucky on October 19, 1923 and she was born a natural leader.

Prior to her political careear that begun in 1967, Georgia Davis Powers was extremely involved in the civil rights movement for all African Americans. She led many small movements through out Kentucky for several years until 1964. In 1964 she was able to convince Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson to come to Kentucky for a march on the state capital of Frankfort. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s brother was a minister in Louisville and was able to help organize the march on Frankfort with Georgia Davis Powers.

Three years after the march, Powers was elected to the United States Senate, where she remained a senator for five consecutive terms, or for 21 years. She is quoted in saying that she looked at her senate years as a “mission” to accomplish as many things for equality among all people. She also credits god for giving her the strength to continue on through her mission for equality throuhg out her life and political careear.

Senator Powers also traveled to Memphis in April of 1968 at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was present at the hotel when he was shot. In an interview of Senator Powers she retells the story and speaks of the iincident in which she was standing over the body and King and realized that he was dead. She has forever been a living example of how people should live their lives. Her devotion for equality amongst races and gender took her to heights few people have been to. Georgia Davis Powers was and still is a great leader for equality and for the civil rights movement and she will forever be remembered as one of the most influential and great women of all time.

http://www.womeninkentucky.com/site/public_service/g_powers.html

 http://www.ket.org/civilrights/bio_powers.htm

Information also gathered from December 2, 2010 meeting with Mrs. Powers at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center on the University of Kentucky campus for  the “Sisters in the Struggle” video demonstartion.

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