Pioneering Politician Henrietta Turnquest Dies At 73

Henrietta Turnquest

Henrietta Turnquest, one of the first Black women attorneys in the state of Georgia and one of the first few women of color elected to the Georgia General Assembly has passed away.

The Attorney and former State Representative passed away on March 29, 2021 at the age of 73 in Atlanta, Georgia following complications with Alzheimer’s disease.

A memorial service was held April 26.

“My mother was in the vanguard,” Turnquest’s son Malcolm told the Journal-Constitution.

“She always stood her ground,” recalled State Senator Nan Orrock, who served with Turnquest in the state House. “She was very clear about standing up for African-Americans at the table and addressing the myriad examples of discrimination that abounded.”

Turnquest stood up for small business owners, African American entrepreneurs, seniors, and child welfare advocates and worked on behalf of organizations in legislative and lobbying roles.

“Her big thing was public policy advocacy,” attorney Bettieanne Hart told the AJC. “She wanted to engage communities with what was going on after an election. Most people think if you just vote somebody in it will be OK.”

Turnquest was also co-founder of Advocacy for Seniors LLC. She was dedicated to helping people and was committed to working on her peers’ legal and lifestyle concerns, in order to ensure a sense of security

“We are especially concerned with helping others design opportunities for future generations rather than throwing away the fruits of their success,” Turnquest wrote.

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) offering condolences on its website mentioned in 2003, Turnquest became the first African American woman to be appointed and to serve on the MARTA board of directors.

“While her service ended with her resignation in May 2004, she continued to work to support and improve MARTA’s service to the community,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeff Parker said in a statement.

Rest in peace Henrietta. Your legacy lives on.

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