Friday, June 25, 2010

Marjorie Amos-Frazier, Former PSC Commissioner, Died Today at 84

Charleston Post and Courier, June 25, 2010.
Breaking down barriers is not for the fainthearted. Marjorie Amos-Frazier spent her life breaking down barriers with courage, confidence and compassion.
In 1974, she beat seven other candidates to be elected to Charleston County Council -- the first woman to do so.
But six years later she went even further. She was elected by the S.C. General Assembly to serve on the state Public Service Commission as the agency's first female, first black and first non-legislator.
Her public service ranged widely, including the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the state Commission for Farm Workers.
But her mission was consistent: to work on behalf of those in need. She has been described as "a one-person social service agency with a sweet demeanor and a will of steel." Born in 1926 in Manning, Mrs. Amos-Frazier moved to Charleston, where she reared five children on her own after she and her husband divorced. She worked at the American Tobacco Company's plant here and served as a shop steward, negotiating contracts and soliciting memberships to the union.
She was active in the Democratic Party on the state and national level. As an officer in the NAACP, she worked to desegregate restaurants, theaters and other public places. She also encouraged black people to register and vote.
She helped the county and the Medical University of South Carolina negotiate over indigent health care. And she was instrumental in establishing a senior citizens center in Charleston County.
She received numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from Allen University. A portion of I-26 is named for her.
Marjorie Amos-Frazier, who died Tuesday at the age of 84, will be remembered for breaking down barriers and leaving worthy accomplishments in their place.

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