Black History Month: Community Trailblazers

Pearl Bassett Share

Feb 23, 2024  |  Web Administrator

The late Pearl Bas­sett was a life­long res­i­dent of Mar­i­on, Indi­ana, and was renowned as a civ­il rights pio­neer. She was notably the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic Precinct Chair­woman in Grant Coun­ty, served as the first Black Sec­re­tary of the Grant Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, and fought for civ­il rights in many ways. Pearl was the recip­i­ent of many local, state, and nation­al hon­ors includ­ing the NAACP Unsung Hero­in Award; the Fran­cis Hook Award, the NAACP’s high­est hon­or for women; and the Cen­tu­ri­on Award pre­sent­ed by Gov­er­nor Mike Pence in 2003. The awards were all in response to her ground-shak­ing activism and devo­tion to the social and civ­il rights of African Amer­i­cans,” Bas­set­t’s obit­u­ary cited.

Mrs. Bas­sett made astro­nom­i­cal strides through­out her life toward racial equal­i­ty and empow­er­ing the Black com­mu­ni­ty. I hope that her lega­cy will be for­ev­er remem­bered, and that we will con­tin­ue to hon­or her for the advo­ca­cy she led that helped shape us today.” ‑May­or Ronald Mor­rell, Jr. 

Mrs. Bas­sett was remark­ably a super­cente­nar­i­an. She was the old­est torch­bear­er dur­ing the Indi­ana Bicen­ten­ni­al Torch Relay in 2016

Bas­sett was born on April 28th, 1911, and passed away at age 110 on June 7th2021.

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