Unita Zelma Blackwell is born

March 18

On March 18, 1933, Civil rights leader and activist Unita Zelma Blackwell was born. 

Unita Blackwell was an influential figure in Mississippi who helped to create institutions and policies that sought to uplift the black community. Early on in her life, Blackwell joined the SNCC and the National Congress of Negro Women which jumpstarted her activism. Later, she founded the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party (1964) and co-founded the Mississippi Action Community Education (1964).

In 1976, she was elected the mayor of Mayersville, Mississippi. She became the first black woman to be elected mayor in Mississippi. Blackwell served as mayor from 1976-2001. 

Unita Blackwell died in 2019.


U.S. Department of the Interior. (n.d.). Unita Zelma Blackwell (1993-2019) (U.S. National Park Service). National Parks Service. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.nps.gov/people/unitablackwell-1933-2019.htm 

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