On the Shoulders of Warriors Past

Legislatively Speaking

By Senator, Lena C. Taylor

Remembering the Legislative Legacy of Vel Phillips

Lena C. Taylor

This weekend, like many from our community, I paid my respects to Velvalea Rodgers “Vel” Phillips. As I sat and listened to the many descriptions, stories and accomplishments that described the pint-sized warrior that lay beneath a spray of flowers, I couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of loss. Vel represented our connection to battles fought, wars won, and the fierceness that helped African Americans secure many of the civil rights gains of our past.

I’ve often heard my contemporaries talk about what they would have done if they had lived during slavery, reconstruction, or the Jim Crow era of the 19th century. Strongly and boastfully, they often say what they…

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