Rosa Franklin is a local icon. She was the first black woman elected to the Washington State Senate, serving the 29th Legislative District in the Tacoma area. Born in the Jim Crow era South, Franklin moved to Tacoma in the 1950s. Franklin holds bachelor's degrees in biology and English and a master's in social science and human relations. She worked as a nurse for 40 years before joining the Washington State Legislature in 1990. Franklin recently teamed up with local historian Tamiko Nimura on a new book, an oral history called: Rosa Franklin — A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice.
In this episode we'll talk with Franklin and Nimura. We'll discuss Franklin's life growing up with her aunt and uncle in South Carolina as well as her career in nursing and why she decided to run for office. We'll also talk about the housing discrimination Franklin faced when she first moved to Tacoma. Finally, Nimura tells us about what drew her to this project and why oral histories are so important.