ABWW Heroine of the Day: Gertrude Elzora Durden Rush

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Gertrude Elzora Durden Rush (1880 – 1962) became the first African American woman to practice law in the State of Iowa after passing the state bar in 1918. After being denied membership in the American Bar Association because of her race, she and four others founded the Negro Bar Association in 1925. It later became known as the National Bar Association and currently has over 35,000 members. Durden Rush served in numerous leadership roles in the Des Moines area, was a founding member of the Iowa NAACP and founded the Charity League and Protection Home. The League established a home where working women could lease inexpensive rooms. She also secured the appointment of a black probation officer to the juvenile court and a black caseworker to Associated Charities in Des Moines. More on this amazing on Wikipedia.

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One response to “ABWW Heroine of the Day: Gertrude Elzora Durden Rush”

  1. pt says :

    As a native iowan who just happens to be home visiting, this post is not only timely but encouraging. One of my favorite quotes to ignorant people who dare say, “I didn’t know there were any black people in iowa” is that when we left the plantation we went everywhere to include iowa. I know only some of black america’s rich history in iowa and now I get to add one more nugget. Thank you.

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