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Delta Pioneer Dies at 85


Greenville, Miss. – The City of Greenville is mourning the loss of its first Black city councilwoman and vice mayor, Sarah H. Johnson, who passed away at the age of 85 at Regional One Hospital. Mayor Errick D. Simmons released a statement on Tuesday expressing the city’s shock and sadness at her passing and extending condolences to her loved ones.

Johnson won her political campaign in 1973 during a time when racism and Jim Crow laws were still in full effect despite being revoked years prior. She was employed by MS Action for Community Education, where she was the area director for the People’s Education Program (Head Start). Johnson also served as a 1972 Fellow of the MS Institute of Politics and attended several affairs by invitation to the White House during President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Throughout her career, Johnson was known for her tenacity and willingness to help the poor, middle-class, and the elderly. Her goal was always to help those who were less fortunate. She will be remembered for embodying the characteristics that the community needs to see in its leaders.

Mayor Simmons expressed his grief over the loss of Johnson, saying that the city’s hearts are heavy as she will be remembered not only as a municipal leader but also as a community activist who loved the City of Greenville, her family, and all its citizens. He further added that through her determination, dedicated service, and courage, Johnson opened the doors of City Hall for him and many other former and current Black municipal leaders in Greenville.