Marjorie Amos-Frazier was a Civil Rights campaigner and politician. She spent her life breaking down barriers. Amos-Frazier was the first woman to be elected to the Charleston County Council in 1974. Six years later she was elected commissioner on the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Until that time, the commission had been a filled with white male legislators.
Born in 1926 in Manning, South Carolina, Marjorie Amos moved when Charleston after getting married. She would later have five children. After 16 years of marriage, she and her husband divorced leaving Amos-Frazier to raise the children alone.
While working at the American Tobacco Company plant in Charleston, she got involved in local and state politics. As a shop steward, she negotiated contracts and solicited memberships to the union. A strong civil rights campaigner, Amos-Frazier encouraged Charleston’s African-Americans to register to vote during the 1940’s and 1950’s. As financial secretary of the NAACP, she worked to desegregate the restaurants, theaters and other public places of the city.
In 1974, she beat seven candidates to win a seat on the Charleston County Council. As a member of the council for six years, Amos-Frazier concentrated her efforts on securing better services for the poor and needy. As chairperson of the Human Services Committee, she spearheaded the negotiations between the county and the Medical University of South Carolina for indigent health care.
She received numerous accolades, including an honorary doctorate degree from Allen University, the NAACP’s “Women of the Year” in 1973, and in 1993 a portion of I-26 was named in her honor. Amos-Frazier is the only African-American to have been installed into the Charleston Federation of Women’s Club Hall of Fame. Marjorie Amos-Frazier died in 2010.