Unita Blackwell, American politician and civil rights activist, Died at 86

Unita Zelma Blackwell was born on March 18, 1933, in Lula, Mississippi, and died on May 13, 2019.

She was an American civil rights activist.

Blackwell was the first African American woman to be appointed mayor in the state of Mississippi in the United States.

Unita Blackwell was also the 10th African American to be elected mayor.

Blackwell served as the project director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

She assisted with the organizing of voter drives for African Americans across Mississippi.

She was also a founder of the US-China Peoples Friendship Association, a group dedicated to promoting cultural exchange between the United States and China.

In 2006, Blackwell published her autobiography called ‘Barefootin’, which charts her activism.

Her parents were sharecroppers Virda Mae and Willie Brown.

Unita met her husband Jeremiah Blackwell, a cook for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at twenty-five years old.

They got married a few years after meeting, they lived in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Later, Jeremiah Blackwell Jr. (Jerry), was born to the couple.

She became ill and was taken to the hospital in West Helena where she was pronounced dead, in January 1957.

Later, Blackwell found to be alive in her hospital room and said she had a near-death experience.

During January 2008, Unita vanished from her inn in Atlanta while going to celebration functions for Martin Luther King Jr., and was discovered later at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Blackwell was in this manner revealed as having been in the beginning periods of dementia.

In 2014, it was accounted for that Blackwell was residing in a nursing home on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Unita Blackwell passed away at 86 years old, in Biloxi, Mississippi due to dementia.