« Alex Haley and Roots | Main | Sharpen Your Computer Skills Online! »

The Honorable Vel Phillips

vel2.jpg

Vel Phillips' impact on Milwaukee, on Wisconsin, and on the nation is significant. Ms. Phillips was the first woman and the first African American to be elected to the statewide constitutional office of Secretary of State. She became the first African American woman to graduate from the UW - Madison Law School in 1951 and appointed the first woman judge in Milwaukee and the first African American judge in Wisconsin in 1971.

For all of these historic accomplishments, the feat that is most astonishing to me is the tenacity and courage Ms. Phillips displayed as a Milwaukee alderwoman. She labored for six years for council action to
pass the city's first open-housing
ordinance, which was the seminal civil-rights issue in Milwaukee in the 1960's. Ms. Phillips waged a solitary, embattled struggle for the fair housing ordinance from 1960-1967 (each time being voted down 18-1!). In 1967, the council finally passed Phillips' Milwaukee fair housing ordinance, which became the impetus for the Federal Open Housing Law of 1968.

To read more about this Milwaukee heroine, check out The Selma of the North: the Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee by Patrick D. Jones, or take a look at our African American links on the MPL homepage.

Psst: Savvy east-siders know there's a Vel Phillips flavor of frozen custard. It's a blend of chocolate, vanilla and cheesecake and you can get it on Oakland Avenue.


Bookmark and Share


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://blog.mpl.org/mt_cgi/mt-tb.cgi/1088

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 11, 2010 8:19 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Alex Haley and Roots.

The next post in this blog is Sharpen Your Computer Skills Online!.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.