South Carolina Trailblazer Juanita Goggins Found Frozen to Death in Home

>> Thursday, March 11

This is heartbreaking. A sad end to such a powerful and inspirational woman. To read articles on this story click here and here.
Political pioneer Juanita Goggins never gained the national notoriety of her contemporaries Shirley Chisholm or Barbara Jordan.
In her own corner of the country, though, Goggins, who in 1974 became the first black woman elected to the South Carolina Legislature, became an idol for black women who sought to excel in the male-dominated world of politics.
The 30 years that passed from her greatest electoral success, however, were not kind. Goggins lived a solitary life just a few miles from the Statehouse, where she made history - far removed from her past glory.
Goggins was found frozen to death at the age of 75 in her home on March 3rd, leaving behind questions for neighbors and relatives who wondered how they could have done more to assist the recluse in her declining years.
A local television station reported her electricity had been cut off three days earlier. She was found with several layers of clothing on her body. Neighbors reported that Goggins rejected all assistance. Her son, Horrace Goggins, 42 of Powder Springs, GA, said he last saw his mother about six months ago and she would not let him help. 
he sad circumstances surrounding Goggins passing fall in stark contrast to the early years of her life that were marked with a series of "firsts."
The youngest of 10 children, Goggins was the first in her family to get a four-year college degree from South Carolina State University; the first black woman to represent South Carolina as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention; and the first black woman appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
This is a real shame for those of us who survive her: The lessons Goggins could teach this generation on how to achieve political success, despite the overwhelming challenges of both racism and sexism, died with her.
Their would be no Maxine Waters or Barbara Lees if it weren't for trailblazing women like Goggins.
Her passing is a loss for us all. source


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