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Edith Sampson
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Diplomat
    (October 13, 1898-October 8, 1979)
    Born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Edith Spurlock
    First African-American delegate appointed to the United Nations (August 24, 1950)
    Probation officer for the Juvenile Court of Cook County (1924-42)
    Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County (1947-1950)
    Member of the U.S. Commission for UNESCO (1953-1960)
    First African-American representative to NATO (1961-62)
    Associate Judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago (1962-66)
    Associate Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1966-78)
    She was divorced.
    She maintained the name Simpson even after remarrying.
    She admitted that African-Americans did not have equal rights in the United States but said 'I would rather be a Negro in America than a citizen in any other land.'
    Predictably, the comment provoked the ire of the Black American press, with one newspaper tersely responding: 'With all of the talk about democracy abroad, we hope that in the not too distant future, examples of democracy at home will be more commonplace and, consequently, attract less attention.'
    She pulled a one-eighty in the early sixties, telling a group of black high school graduates: 'We have convinced ourselves, because it seemed so necessary, that the battle against injustice could be won piece by piece through changes in law … We were mistaken. No – we were wrong. Ours was not the only way. It was not even the best way.'
    She was one of eight children.
    She dropped out of school to support her family, but returned to earn her diploma.
    She was the first woman to earn a Master of Laws from Loyola University's Graduate Law School (1927).
    She was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court (1934).
    She was one of the first black members of the National Association of Women Lawyers.
    She was a vocal opponent of anti-American propaganda promoted by the Soviet Union.
    As a U.N. delegate, she lobbied for support of work in social welfare and for the repatriate of WWII prisoners of war from the Soviet Union.
    She was the first black woman to be elected as a judge in the state of Illinois.
    She reportedly told Soviet Ambassador Yakov Malik: 'We Negroes aren't interested in Communism... We were slaves too long for that. Nobody is happy with second-class citizenship, but our best chances are in the framework of American democracy.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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