We are pleased to spotlight Patricia Roberts Harris in day nineteen of our first annual 28 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History
Patricia Roberts Harris was born on May 31, 1924, in Mattoon, Illinois, the daughter of a Pullman car waiter. Raised by her mother after her father left, she excelled at school and won a scholarship to Howard University in 1941.
While at Howard, Harris served as vice chairman of the university’s student branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. As a part of the organization’s civil rights efforts, she participated in a protest against a restaurant that only served whites. Harris graduated from Howard in 1945 with honors. She continued her education at the University of Chicago, where she studied industrial relations.
Patricia Roberts was the first African-American woman to hold a Cabinet position, serve as an ambassador and head a law school. Harris fought for fair housing and employment practices under the Carter Administration as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She died of breast cancer in 1985, at age 60.
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About The 28 Day Campaign
This informational campaign: 28 Days of Little Known Facts About Black American History will see 540Blog share little known facts about Black Americans throughout history every day throughout the month of February. Those that were groundbreaking and history making but do not necessarily get the media attention and coverage.