Remembering Idella Jones Childs, The First Black Woman To Serve On The Marion City Council



Idella Jones Childs was a teacher, activist, and role model for everyone. Ms. Childs taught in Perry County’s segregated schools for 35 years, despite the limited resources at her disposal.


Childs was born in Perry County and has lived there her entire life. President Jimmy Carter appointed Childs to the National Commission on the International Year of the Child in 1979.


Childs founded and served as the first chairperson of the Perry County Arts and Humanities Council in 1982, providing children in this rural county with unique cultural opportunities.


Idella Childs, a member of the Alabama Historical Commission and a founding member of the Black Heritage Council, was instrumental in getting the First Congregational Church Building in Marion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ms. Childs became the first black woman to serve on the Marion City Council in 1985, at the age of 79, when she was appointed to fill an unexpired term. She was elected to her city council seat in the following election.


Idella Childs received NASA’s Unsung Heroes Award in 1993, at the age of 90, during the agency’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Idella Jones Childs passed away in 1998.


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