Unita Blackwell

Written by JoAnne Prichard Morris Author here

Unita Blackwell was a sharecropper who rose to become Mississippi’s first black woman Mayor. During the Civil Rights movement, she worked for voting rights, and was arrested over 75 times, facing firebombs and burning crosses. She was part of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that went to the Democratic Convention in 1964 and challenged President Johnson and the regular Democratic Party for the right of representation. She is a past national president of the U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association and has visited the country several times. In 1992, she was awarded the prestigious MacArthur “genius” grant. She continues her work in Mayersville where she was Mayor for over 20 years. She is featured in Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders and has an essay in Pieces from the Past written about her by JoAnne Prichard Morris.