LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - During the month of February the Nation begins its recognition of Black History Month and in WAVE Country many are mourning the death of one of civil rights most important leaders. Georgia Davis Powers passed the morning of Jan. 30, 2016, after suffering from congestive heart failure.
Powers did not just change life for African-Americans in Kentucky. As a border state between the north, south and midwest, leaders like Powers had fertile ground to pursue the agenda of desegregation. She was honored in a National Photographic exhibit in Washington, D.C. as a Portrait of Black Women Who Changed America.
Powers was born in Springfield, Kentucky and grew up in a family of nine children. She was the only girl. Dealing with eight brothers could be partially responsible for Powers having the reputation of being such a tough woman.
One year later, during the March on Frankfort on March 5, 1964, Powers made a power move. With 10,000 people at the foot of the Capitol building, Powers decided to approach the Governor in his office during the march.
She invited along on her quest Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Jackie Robinson and a host of Kentucky's Civil rights Activist who were calling for the passing of a bill to prohibit segregation and discrimination in Kentucky.
"One of the reporters said to me 'the governors in his office.' We asked if he was coming out and he said, 'no,'" Powers said.
As a former worker for Breathitt's campaign, Powers decided if he would not come out she would go in. She took it upon herself take the March on Frankfort just a few steps farther to the Governor's office taking with her Rev. Abernathy and Dr. King. The bill did not get out of committee that year but Kentucky later became the first state in the south to adapt a state wide civil rights law.
Powers explained during an earlier interview with some force, "Whatever position you're in become active. I'd see something that wasn't right, well there ought to be a law against it. So the next day I'd go and create a law!"
As the first woman and the first African-American to be elected to the State Senate, Georgia Davis Powers lived her life as a trailblazer, leader and legislator urging us all to make a difference right where we are.
"You see what's going on in the world and what needs to be done, so do it," she said.
Powers served in the Kentucky Senate for 21 years. She also wrote two books. Her first book was the controversial "I Shared the Dream: The Pride, passion and politics of the first Woman Senator from Kentucky" and her latest book "Dr. Kings Last Day."
Georgia Davis Powers, legislator and civil rights pioneer, died at 92.