Civil rights pioneer Alma Stallworth, a longtime Michigan lawmaker, has died

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Michigan Capitol. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
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Alma G. Stallworth, a civil rights pioneer and longtime state lawmaker who founded the Black Caucus Foundation in Michigan, has died.

She was 87.



Born in Little Rock, Ark., Stallworth earned an associate of science degree from Highland Park Community College in 1956 and attended Wayne State University and Merrill Palmer Institute.

Alma G. Stallworth
  • Alma G. Stallworth
Stallworth, a Democrat from Detroit, served in the state House from 1971-74 and 1983-96, paving the way for other Black politicians. Two of her sons, Thomas and Keith, also were elected to the state Legislature.



In 1985, Stallworth founded the Black Caucus Foundation and served as its administrator. The foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to providing services to Black residents.

Stallworth also served as chairwoman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.

“Former Rep. Alma Stallworth was a true trailblazer, opening the door to a more diverse State House by founding the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan,” the state House Democrats tweeted. “Alma helped pave the way for Black legislators and her legacy lives on through them, including her own sons.”


U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell said Stallworth also was a trailblazer for women.

"Alma Stallworth was a mentor to women of many generations,” Dingell said in a statement. “She cared deeply about so many issues, and was a pioneer who opened the path wider for all of us. Public service was always her mantra and she cared deeply about Detroit, the Black Caucus and Michigan. Everyone knew they had to listen when Alma spoke. God is welcoming an organizer to heaven."

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