Al Sharpton, black leaders, civil rights, civil rights leaders, death by exposure, death by freezing, first black woman elected to South Carolina legislature, Guardian UK, Juanita Goggins, mental illness, obscure political figures, posterity, William Ayers
I am going to Columbia to be a legislator, not just a black spot in the House chambers.
The story of Juanita Goggins is at times both inspiring and pathetic. Goggins, whom the Guardian calls “a trailblazing politician and civil rights activist,” was the first black woman elected to the South Carolina legislature. Despite such a monumental zenith, Goggins’ was found earlier this month frozen to death in her rented South Carolina home. Her neighbors had no idea the part she had played in the civil rights history of South Carolina and of the nation.
The most compelling historical figures are not cardboard cutouts; they have warts and flaws which help to set their accomplishments in human terms. Juanita Goggins was certainly no exception. A great many famous names grapple with one another to gouge out their place in the constantly rewritten history of the civil rights movement. The cruel proof of posterity’s fickle nature is that it canonizes the likes of race-baiting hustler Al Sharpton or unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, while relegating minor–but important–figures like Juanita Goggins to the dustbin of history.
Juanita Who? Yeah, that’s the rub: Lonely death of Juanita Goggins, trailblazer of US civil rights | World news | guardian.co.uk.