Former State Senator and civil rights legend Georgia Powers was remembered Thursday during a service at the Capitol Rotunda. Powers was the first African American elected to the Kentucky senate and a key organizer of the 1964 civil rights march in Frankfort. KET’S Renee Shaw opened the ceremony as Powers lay in state just a few feet away. “It is indeed a high honor to participate in this capital farewell to civil rights trail blazer and icon, Senator Georgia Davis Powers,” said Shaw.
A prayer was offered by Robert Earl Houston of Frankfort’s First Baptist Church. “Because of her efforts, schools are open to people of all colors. Because of her efforts, our houses are open to occupancy by people of all colors. Because of her efforts, those who were physically and mentally disabled can be educated with dignity and respect,” prayed Houston.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes called Powers a mentor and national woman pioneer. “She was a woman who knew what she wanted to do and was in a hurry to get it done,” noted Grimes.
Former Senator David Karem of Louisville was Powers’ seatmate in the senate some 25 years ago. Karem said he and Powers sat alongside former Senator Mike Moloney of Lexington. “We were the three unrepentant liberals," said Karem. "I've never regretted a moment of being an unrepentant liberal with Georgia."
Flags at state office buildings will fly at half-staff until sundown Friday in memory of Georgia Powers.