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HEB Women's History Month

Source: General / Radio One Digital

We partnered with HEB this Women’s History Month to highlight ’31 Days, 31 Women’ and today we are celebrating Patricia Roberts Harris. Named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 1977, Harris became the first black woman to hold a Cabinet position.

Patricia Roberts Harris, American Government Official & Diplomat

Source: Bettmann / Getty

At Senate hearings for her appointment, Senators questioned how someone of her elevated position could understand the needs of the people the department of Housing and Urban Development focused on. “Senator, I am one of them,” Harris said. ”You do not understand who I am. I am a black woman, the daughter of a dining car worker. I am a black woman who even eight years ago could not buy a house in parts of the District of Columbia. I didn’t start out as a member of a prestigious law firm, but as a woman who needed a scholarship to go to school. If you think I have forgotten that, you are wrong.” She later served as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1979-1981).