Many people in the UK will not have heard of Juanita Goggins. But this former trailblazer for civil rights, who has died at the age of 75, was the first black woman to be elected to the South Carolina legislature, majored in improving education, and was twice invited to the Carter White House.
Goggins had left active politics as far back as 1980, citing health reasons, and had become increasingly reclusive, so much so that many of her neighbours were unaware of her achievements, or even her presence. Her apparently becoming estranged from her family cannot have helped.
But the saddest news was that she died of hypothermia, in a house where the electricity had been cut off for non payment, despite having the money to pay the bills.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
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