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The Honorable Carrie P. Meek

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Information about The Honorable Carrie P. Meek

Profile image of The Honorable Carrie P. Meek

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Key West, Florida
Favorite Quote:
Service is the price you pay for occupying your space on earth.

Birthplace

Born:
4/29/1926
Birth Location:
Tallahassee, Florida

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Greens
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Key West, Florida
Favorite Quote:
Service is the price you pay for occupying your space on earth.

Birthplace

Born:
4/29/1926
Birth Location:
Tallahassee
See how The Honorable Carrie P. Meek is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Former Congresswoman Carrie Meek was born on April 29, 1926, in Tallahassee, Florida. The granddaughter of a slave and the daughter of former sharecroppers, she spent her childhood in segregated Tallahassee. Meek graduated from Florida A&M University in 1946. At this time, African Americans could not attend graduate school in Florida, so Meek traveled north to continue her studies and graduated from the University of Michigan with an M.S. in 1948.

After graduation, Meek was hired as a teacher at Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida, and then at her alma matter, Florida A&M University. Meek moved to Miami in 1961 to serve as special assistant to the vice president of Miami-Dade Community College. The school was desegregated in 1963 and Meek played a central role in pushing for integration. Throughout her years as an educator, Meek was also active in community projects in the Miami area.

Elected as a Florida state representative in 1979, Meek was the first African American female elected to the Florida State Senate in 1982. As a state senator, Meek served on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Her efforts in the legislature also led to the construction of thousands of affordable rental housing units.

In 1992, Meek was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 17th Congressional District. This made her the first black lawmaker elected to represent Florida in Congress since Reconstruction. Upon taking office, Meek faced the task of helping her district recover from Hurricane Andrew’s devastation. Her efforts helped to provide $100 million in federal assistance to rebuild Dade County. Successfully focusing her attention on issues such as economic development, health care, education and housing, Meek led legislation through Congress to improve Dade County’s transit system, airport and seaport; construct a new family and childcare center in North Dade County; and fund advanced aviation training programs at Miami-Dade Community College. Meek has also emerged as a strong advocate for senior citizens and Haitian immigrants.

Meek has received numerous awards and honors. She is the recipient of honorary doctor of laws degrees from the University of Miami, Florida A&M University, Barry University, Florida Atlantic University and Rollins University. Meek was a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, in addition to serving on the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government and the Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies.

See how The Honorable Carrie P. Meek is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carrie Meek interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek discusses her father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek remembers her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek names her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek contemplates her parents' migration
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek recalls her earliest memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek details school life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carrie Meek considers her parents' influence on her sense of justice and equality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek remembers her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek recalls her childhood career aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek remembers influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek details the pervasive segregation in Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek explains how racism led her to attend the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses her experience at Florida A&M University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek describes several influential historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek discusses her post-college pursuits
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek recalls her experience at the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek describes intra-racial relationships in the University of Michigan's black student population
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek discusses her development as a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek remembers her mentor, Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek recalls Mary McLeod Bethune's influence at Bethune-Cookman college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses her career move from Bethune-Cookman College to Florida A&M University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek describes her experience teaching at a community college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek discusses career, community involvement, and motherhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carrie Meek discusses memorable former students
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carrie Meek discusses lessons learned from sports participation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek details the road to winning a seat in the Florida state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek remembers her political mentor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek describes the sacrifices she made for her career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek discusses her career in the Florida state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carrie Meek considers her greatest accomplishments in the Florida state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carrie Meek discusses the challenges black politicians face
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carrie Meek discusses her career in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carrie Meek describes her efforts as a U.S. congresswoman
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carrie Meek discusses the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carrie Meek describes her hopes for the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carrie Meek considers family members' responses to her political success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carrie Meek considers her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Reverend Jesse Jackson during his first presidential campaign, ca. 1984
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Supporters watch Carrie Meek being sworn into the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., ca. 1993
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Carrie Meek and other members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Congressman Alcee Hastings and President Bill Clinton
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Carrie Meek with students in Haiti, 1995
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Carrie Meek with South African president, Nelson Mandela
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Carrie Meek at the Florida state legislature, Tallahassee, Florida, 1979
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Carrie Meek with actor/activist, Ossie Davis, 2000, Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Carrie Meek is honored as an outstanding alumna by a girls basketball team, Florida, 1993
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Carrie Meek with family members and the speaker of the house at her swearing in, Washington, D.C., 1993
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Carrie Meek being sworn into the Florida state senate, Tallahassee, Florida, 1982
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Carrie Meek congratulates Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, 1994
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Carrie Meek campaigning to become a member of the Florida state House of Representatives, Florida, 1979
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Carrie Meek with U.S. Senator Robert Graham, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Vice President Al Gore and presidential staff members at a White House picnic, Washington, D.C., 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Carrie Meek with students at the Carrie Meek Head Start Center, Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Carrie Meek and a former senator marching in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Carrie Meek with Dade County politicians, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Carrie Meek with son, Senator Kendrick Meek