Fort Lauderdale, Florida (AP) — Carrie Meek, the daughter of a peasant who was the grandson of slaves and one of the first black Floridians to be elected to Congress since reconstruction, died on Sunday. She was 95 years old.
Family spokesman Adam Sharon said in a statement that Meek died at his home in Miami after a long illness. The family did not identify the cause of death.
Meek began her parliamentary career at the age when many began to retire. She was 66 when she easily won the 1992 Democratic primary in the Miami-Dade County district. No Republican opposed her in the general election.
Alcee Hastings and Corrine Brown joined Meek in January 1993 as the first black Floridians to serve in Congress since 1876, as the state district was redrawn by federal court in accordance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I did.
On the first day in Congress, Meek recalled that her grandmother, a slave to a Georgia farm, couldn’t dream of such an achievement, but her parents told her that anything was possible.
“They always said that the day would come when we would be recognized by our character,” she told The Associated Press in an interview that day.
In Congress, Meek endorsed efforts to strengthen affirmative action, economic opportunities for the poor, and democracy, and to ease immigration restrictions to Haiti, the birthplace of many of her members.
She was also known for her liberal opinions, folk yet powerful speeches and colorful Republican bashing.
“The last Republican who did something for me was Abraham Lincoln,” she told the state delegation to the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Meek sat in Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s office in 2000 and joined his son Kendrick, a former state police officer and state senator, to protest the end of affirmative action policy. Since earning her master’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1948, she has long advocated for such a policy. At that time, Blacks was not able to enroll in a graduate school in Florida.
Meek decided not to seek the sixth term in 2002. His son, Kendrick, managed to win the Democratic constituency he had held for four terms before failing to bid for the US Senate in 2010.
After leaving Congress, Carrie Meek returned to Miami to lay the groundwork for tackling education and housing issues. She was also criticized for some of her commerce.
She worked on a biotechnology park planned for Miami’s poor Liberty City district but never realized. County officials finally launched a criminal investigation, and the park developer was arrested in October 2009 for stealing nearly $ 1 million from the project.
According to Congressional records, Meek was paid while his son was asking for millions of dollars in federal dollars for the project. Meek said she was paid as a consultant, and both mother and son denied that their efforts were relevant.
Prior to politics, Meek worked as a teacher and administrator at Miami Dade College.
She was elected to the Florida House in 1978 and replaced Gwen Cherry, a pioneer black lawmaker who was killed in a car accident. She has been one of the first African-Americans since the 1800s and became the first black woman to serve in the Florida Senate.
Carrie Pittman was born on April 29, 1926 in Tallahassee to Willie and Carrie Pittman, the youngest of twelve children. Her father worked as a peasant in a nearby field, and her mother took laundry from a Caucasian family.
She graduated from Florida A & M University in 1946 with a degree in Biology and Physical Education. The university named the black history archive building in 2007 in honor of her. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She accepted her position as an instructor at Bethune-Cookman University and became the first female basketball coach at the university. In 1958 she returned to Florida A & M as a health and physical education instructor. She maintained that position until 1961.
From 1961 to 1979, Meek continued to teach at Miami Dade Community College as the first black professor, associate professor, and assistant vice president.
She then began her pioneering political career, representing Florida’s 17th Congress District on behalf of the Democratic Florida State Capitol.
In Congress, Meek was a member of a strong spending committee and worked to secure $ 100 million to help rebuild Dade County when the area recovered from Hurricane Andrew.
She retired in 2002 and shifted her focus to the Carrie Meek Foundation, which was founded in November 2001, providing the Miami-Dade community with the coveted resources, opportunities and jobs. Meek led the Foundation’s day-to-day operations until 2015, when he resigned due to poor health.
Meek survives with her children Lucia Davis Rifford, Sheila Davis Kinui, Kendrick B. Meek, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and multiple nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Carrie Meek, a pioneer of the former Black House of Representatives, dies | Nationwide
Source link Carrie Meek, a pioneer of the former Black House of Representatives, dies | Nationwide