Last updated on April 29th, 2021 at 09:14 pm
Former State Senator Thelma Harper has passed away at the age of 80. Harper was the first African American woman to serve in the State Senate, from 1989 to 2016. Before becoming a senator, Harper was a member of the Nashville Metro Council for eight years.
The Senate Domcratic Causcus released the following statement on the passing of Senator Harper:
“As the first African-American woman elected to the state Senate and the longest-serving female senator in Tennessee history, Sen. Harper was a trailblazer who accomplished as much in her decades of public service as any Tennessee legend who came before her. But she never let awards and accolades come before the work of the people. Whether she was fighting landfills for her neighbors, serving a community organization or leading a hearing in the legislature, Thelma Harper was a strong voice for her community, for justice and our most vulnerable children. While this is a sad day for Tennessee, our state is a better place for her legacy of leadership. Thelma Harper loved the Tennessee Senate and the Tennessee Senate loved her right back.”