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Florence Farley

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Information about Florence Farley

Profile image of Florence Farley

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Visual Artist
Psychology Professor
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Beans (Pinto)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Casinos
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/28/1928
Birth Location:
Roanoke, Virginia

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Visual Artist
Psychology Professor
Mayor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Beans (Pinto)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Casinos
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/28/1928
Birth Location:
Roanoke
See how Florence Farley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Politician and university professor Florence Saunders Farley was born on May 28, 1928 in Roanoke, Virginia to Neoda and Stacious Saunders. She attended Harrison Elementary School in Roanoke. After graduating as the salutatorian of her class from Lucy Addison High School in 1946, Farley graduated from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) with her B.S. degree in psychology and her M.S. degree in educational psychology in 1950 and 1954, respectively. In 1951, Farley was commissioned in the United States Women’s Army Corps (WAC) as a second lieutenant, and became the first African American female training officer at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Farley served as Chief Psychologist at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, and was the first African American clinically licensed, by examination, psychologist in the state of Virginia. Farley then joined the faculty at Virginia State where she taught graduate and undergraduate students for over forty years and also served as the chair of the department of psychology. Farley obtained her Ph.D. degree in psychology in 1977 from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Farley also began her political career in 1973 when she was the first woman elected to the Petersburg City Council and became a member of Virginia’s first majority black city council. Farley won re-election in 1978 and 1982. In 1984, after the resignation of Mayor R. Wilson Cheely, Farley became the first female mayor of Petersburg and the first African American woman to become mayor of a Virginia city.

From 2002 to 2006, Farley served on the Petersburg School Board and held the post of vice chair during her time on the school board. Farley has also received acclaim as a textile artist, exhibiting her needlework in libraries and museums across the state. In 2010, Farley was recognized by The Library of Virginia as an “African American Trailblazer in Virginia History.” Farley maintains an independent psychology practice in Petersburg.

Florence Farley was interviewed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2012.

See how Florence Farley is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Florence Farley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Florence Farley lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Florence Farley describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the origin of her maternal relatives' names
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Florence Farley talks about her family's homeownership
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Florence Farley recalls her father's militant views of the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Florence Farley describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her relationship with her maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Florence Farley talks about her community in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Florence Farley remembers the Harrison School in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about her academic experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Florence Farley remembers Lucy Addison High School in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Florence Farley remembers the segregated movie theaters in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Florence Farley talks about her favorite films
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Florence Farley describes her early interest in reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Florence Farley recalls her aspiration to attend college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Florence Farley remembers her influential teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her graduation from Lucy Addison High School in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Florence Farley talks about Negro History Week at Lucy Addison High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Florence Farley recalls working part time at Burrell Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the relocation of Virginia State College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes her first impressions of Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Florence Farley recalls changing her major to psychology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her favorite psychology professors
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Florence Farley talks about her job prospects after graduating from Virginia State College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Florence Farley describes her social activities in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Florence Farley remembers the presidents of Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls teaching at the Bellevue School in Hollins, Virginia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Florence Farley recalls joining the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes her experiences in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Florence Farley recalls her master's degree program at Virginia State College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Florence Farley remembers Vernon Johns, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Florence Farley remembers Vernon Johns, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Florence Farley talks about the public school shutdown in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Florence Farley talks about the public school shutdown in Prince Edward County, Virginia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Florence Farley remembers the Crownsville State Hospital in Crownsville, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Florence Farley describes her experiences at the Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes her experiences at the Central State Hospital, in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes the psychiatric hospitals of the 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Florence Farley describes the conditions at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Florence Farley recalls her reason for resigning from Central State Hospital
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Florence Farley remembers her early teaching experiences at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Florence Farley talks about the founding of the Association of Black Psychologists, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Florence Farley talks about the founding of the Association of Black Psychologists, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Florence Farley describes the early accomplishments of the Association of Black Psychologists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about the civil rights protests in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Florence Farley talks about the civil rights activities in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Florence Farley remembers the black elected officials in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Florence Farley recalls obtaining a doctoral degree at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Florence Farley talks about her experiences as mayor of Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Florence Farley describes the community of Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Florence Farley remembers her mayoralty of Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her introduction to city politics in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls serving as a professor during her mayoralty of Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about her students at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Florence Farley describes the history of psychiatric drugs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Florence Farley describes the history of psychiatric drugs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Florence Farley talks about the prevalence of mental illness in the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Florence Farley describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Florence Farley reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Florence Farley reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Florence Farley recalls learning to cross stitch
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Florence Farley describes her family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Florence Farley recalls her mother's reaction to her dismissal from Virginia State College
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Florence Farley talks about her pendant necklace from Africa
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Florence Farley recalls the challenges of integrating higher education in the State of Virginia
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Florence Farley narrates her photographs