Verda Freeman Welcome

Verda Freeman Welcome was born in Lake Lure, North Carolina in 1907.  As one of fifteen children, Welcome's world was turned upside down at age fifteen when her mother died. Welcome bounced around with relatives until settling in Baltimore City in 1929, in order to gain an education. After attending Coppin Normal School, Morgan State College and New York University, Welcome became a school teacher for eleven years. During the late forties and early fifties, Welcome became involved in a number of community groups including the North West Improvement Association and the Mayor's Advisory Committee for Urban Renewal. In 1958, Welcome was able to win a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Baltimore City's Fourth District. In 1962, Welcome was elected to the Maryland State Senate. Her victory made her the first African American woman to hold a state senate seat in the United States. She served in the senate until her retirement in 1982. In her twenty years in the senate, Welcome gained a reputation as a trailblazer. She sponsored bills to desegregate public accommodations, to rewrite the state's laws on miscegenation, advocating equal pay for equal work, and numerous laws in the name of fair treatment and equality. In 1988, she was elected to the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. Verda Freeman Welcome died on April 22, 1990.      

Welcome Census of 1930

Senator Welcome, 1962

Senator Welcome, 1982

May: Lillie Carroll Jackson (1889)

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