International

Ida Gibbs

Ida Gibbs was a trailblazer in the world of African American politics. Born in 1862 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Gibbs would go on to become the first African American woman to run for public office in the state of California. Her life and legacy serve as an inspiration to all those who strive for social justice and equality.

Gibbs’ early life was marked by tragedy and struggle. Her parents were both former slaves who had escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad. When Gibbs was just a child, her father died, leaving her mother to raise her and her siblings alone. Despite these challenges, Gibbs excelled in school and eventually earned a scholarship to attend the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley, Gibbs became involved in politics and social activism. She worked tirelessly to improve the lives of African Americans in California, advocating for better housing, education, and employment opportunities. In 1920, she made history by becoming the first African American woman to run for public office in California, running for a seat on the State Assembly.

Although Gibbs did not win her bid for public office, she continued to be a vocal advocate for social justice throughout her life. She served as the president of the Oakland chapter of the NAACP and was a founding member of the National Council of Negro Women. She also worked as a journalist, writing for the Oakland Tribune and other publications.

Despite facing discrimination and prejudice throughout her life, Gibbs remained steadfast in her commitment to social justice. Her legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity. As we continue to fight for equality and justice for all, we can look to Ida Gibbs as an inspiration and a role model.

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