• The Honorable Frankie Muse Freeman (born Marie Frankie Muse, November 24, 1916 in Danville, Virginia) is an American Civil Rights attorney, and the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1964 to 1979), a federal fact-finding body that investigates complaints alleging discrimination.
• Freeman was instrumental in creating the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights founded in 1982. She has been a practicing attorney in state and federal courts for nearly sixty years.
• In 2007, Freeman was inducted in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame
• International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King , Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia, for her leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement.
• In 1948, Muse decided to establish her own private practice. She began her practice with pro bono, divorce and criminal cases. After two years, Freeman began her work in civil rights when she became legal counsel to the NAACP legal team that filed suit against the St. Louis Board of Education in 1949.
• In 1954, Freeman was the lead attorney for the landmark NAACP case Davis et al. v. the St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legal racial discrimination in public housing with the city. Settling in St. Louis, Freeman worked as staff attorney for the St. Louis Land Clearance and Housing Authorities from 1956 until 1970, first as associate general counsel and later as general counsel of the St. Louis Housing Authority.
• In March 1964, she was nominated by President Lyndon Johnson as a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. On September 15, 1964, the Senate approved Freeman’s nomination and she was officially appointed as the first black woman on the civil rights commission. Freeman was subsequently reappointed by presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and held the position until July 1979.
• At age 90, she is still practicing law with Montgomery Hollie & Associates, L.L.C. in St. Louis, a three-attorney firm. She has numerous volunteer activities, such as adult Sunday school classes at Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. She is on the board of the World Affairs Councils of America, St. Louis, with the mission to promote understanding, engagement, relationships, and leadership in world affairs.
• In 2003, she published her memoir, A Song of Faith and Hope.
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