Florida’s first Black woman state senator Carrie Meek died on November 29 in her Miami home at 95.
Meek’s tragic passing came after a “long illness,” according to a family spokesperson Adam Sharon who described the late Florida Democrat’s life and legacy to be “trailblazing.”
Meek’s children Lucia Davis-Raiford, Sheila Davis Kinui, and retired Rep. Kendrick B. Meek of Florida gave a statement about her life to CNN.
The statement read, “Carrie Meek was our family matriarch who fulfilled this role for the entire South Florida community. She was a bridge builder and healer, a unifier with a legacy defined by selfless public service. Forever the educator, the Congresswoman taught us all lessons about justice and morality. Her approach was rooted in kindness and humility. Carrie Meek made our society stronger and more equitable — an outcome that is an everlasting tribute to our beloved mother. She was guided by her faith, always inspired by the outpouring of love and community support. We humbly ask for your prayers at this time.”
I am deeply saddened by the passing of my predecessor Congresswoman Carrie Meek. She was a true champion for Black communities in Florida and throughout the world. She mentored me throughout my political career and was a role model for politicians… pic.twitter.com/c4dxqZFwto
— Rep Frederica Wilson (@RepWilson) November 29, 2021
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my predecessor Congresswoman Carrie Meek. She was a true champion for Black communities in Florida and throughout the world. She mentored me throughout my political career and was a role model for politicians… on how to navigate the jungle of racism, discrimination, and equality in Florida,” Wilson wrote.
She continued: “Carrie Meek was a sweet, sweet spirit that permeated our community for many years. Her presence in a room spoke volumes for generations yet unborn. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
According to her congressional biography, Meek was born in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1926. She served as the first Black professor at Miami-Dade Community College and was the associate dean and assistant to the Vice President. In 1978, Meek won over 12 other candidates when she ran for the Florida state House.
Five years later, she became the first Black woman elected to the state senate.