Carrie Meek, pioneering Black former congresswoman, dies

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FILE — Rep. Carrie Meek, D-Fla., smiles as she speaks during services at Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, July 7, 2002. Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter who became one of the first black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. She was 95. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former Florida congresswoman Carrie Meek has died at the age of 95.

Meek was a Democrat and one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction. She was the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter.

In Congress, Meek championed affirmative action, economic opportunities for the poor and efforts to bolster democracy in and ease immigration restrictions on Haiti, the birthplace of many of her constituents.

She retired in 2003 after five terms.

Her son, Kendrick Meek, succeeded her and held the seat until 2011.

Family spokesperson Adam Sharon said in a statement that Meek died at her home in Miami on Sunday after a long illness.

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