ST. LOUIS - An icon, civil rights activist and ground-breaking lawyer – that’s who Frankie Muse Freeman was and will always be remembered by.
Freeman lived for 101-years, but it’s the fortitude she showed through those years that will forever live on.
“From the beginning, I believed in the value of all people and I’ve tried to work for that for all of my life,” Freeman said.
Freeman, throughout her life, became ever vigilante in breaking the status quo.
As a graduate of Howard University Law school, her most notable case is when she served as lead counsel in the landmark 1954 Davis versus the St. Louis Housing Authority.
That case alone ultimately ended legal racial discrimination in public housing.
Former president of the St. Louis Urban League James Buford worked hand in hand with Freeman during most of her time in St. Louis.
“She was the greatest woman I ever met,” Buford said. “I’ve been involved with Frankie Freeman for 58 years. She served as chair of my board. First African-American woman to serve as board of the Nation Urban League and first woman to be chair of the Urban League Board.”
Being first was not an anomaly to Freeman, she was also the first woman appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
And in 2015, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve as a member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, an honor Freeman said in 2016 she adored.
“I’m blessed because all of all the president I wanted to be at least appointed by him,” Freeman said.
In 2017, hundreds gathered to induct Freeman into the St. Louis Walk of Fame and dedicate a bronze statue for her contributions to the civil rights movement.
“She didn’t want to be a statue,” Buford said. “She just wanted to make a difference. She said it in many interviews. I just want do away with desegregation and make everybody equal.”
“There has been progress and there continues to be progress, but there’s work to do,” she said. “We’ve all got work to do!”
Freeman also served as a past president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and her passing comes as they celebrate their 105th Founder’s Day.