101 St. Louis Atty. Frankie Freeman Bronzed, U.S. Senate McCaskill Lauds

By Travis & Martha T. Smith of MultiMedia PR News
When you carry “venerable” before your name, it says a lot about your character, community and the professional impact, you have made over a lifetime. It is often given out for recognition of full respect.  When a young brilliant Frankie Muse Freeman, journeyed to St. Louis from Danville, Virginia, it was their loss and the St. Louis region’s gain, about 1949, some 70 years ago, when she opened her private law practice.
Fast forward to 2017, and there is a long legacy left by Freeman Muse Freeman. From her involvement in 1964, as the nation’s first woman appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where she served under at least five U.S. Presidents, and a short stint as a U.S. Inspector General. Providing years of counsel as a board member with the United Way, Girl Scouts of America, St. Louis N.A.A.C.P., as the first African-American woman as board chairwoman of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.
And of course, as a Delta Sigma Theta soror, Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman has befriended hundreds of young professional women, who consider her a trailblazer for justice and professional lawyering.
Attorney Freeman was part of the earlier St. Louis political and legal scene, when it was intense, and paths were being cleared for black progress. Freeman knew Jordan “Pop” Chambers, Fred Weathers, Howard B. Woods, MO State Senator Ted McNeal, Morris Hatchett, Bill Douthit, Sr., C.W. Gates, and Ina M. Boon, who brought her into the City NAACP in the early days as a legal redress committee chair.
Those notables have since passed. Attorney Freeman became the darling of civic pride with area business leaders, including then conservative Globe Democrat Publisher G. Duncan Bauman, singing her praises, and seeking her counsel of years. But earlier in her St. Louis career, many other business leaders, weren’t always supportive of, Attorney Frankie M. Freeman, who aggressively sought justice for many of the area downtrodden. Later in life, Freeman was even praised by Republican U.S. Senators, Roy Blunt and Christopher Kit Bond.  Attorney Freeman is a long-life Democrat.
Attorney Freeman as the lead counsel in the landmark 1954 NAACP lawsuit against the St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legal segregation of public housing, brought her much attention and distractors. But Freeman had already stringed together a massive support group --- beyond the Mississippi River. At the tender age of 101, Attorney Freeman now as long outlasted her critics and naysayers.  She has become the matriarch of dignity, community pride and legal excellence.
With a career spanning 60 years of dedication to civil and human rights, Attorney Freeman was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame in 1990; the Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2007, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2015. She was the recipient of the National NAACP’s most prestigious Spingarn Medal in 2011.
In 2015, President Obama appointed Attorney Freeman to serve as a member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Frankie Muse Freeman has fearlessly fought for justice her entire life and turned 101 on November 24. Attorney Freeman has been an advocate for all and it was time to publicly evoke her courage and her inspiring work in a significant, permanent way.
So, it came as no surprise, last month that the “venerable” Frankie Muse Freeman, Esquire was honored by area corporate, civic, sorority, political, religious and civil rights leaders.  Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President, CEO Centene Corp, came to a bronze statue Freeman ceremony in Kiener Plaza, fresh from being hospitalized from an injury. Shelbe Bullock, Frankie’s daughter; Maxine Clark & Bob Fox, co-chair the statue campaign; Claire McCaskill, United States Senator, former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay; Lyda Krewson, Mayor City of St. Louis, Revered Darryl Gray, Missionary Baptist State Convention and even controversial activist Bruce Franks, Jr., Missouri State Representative; and Phyllis Russell-Smith and Richelle S. Clark both toppers with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, all spoke briefly praising the “venerable” Freeman for her accomplishments.
Ameren Charitable Trust; Centene Charitable Foundation; Maxine Clark and Bob Fox; William H. Danforth, M.D; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc; Emerson; Eta Boule; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; Sam and Marilyn Fox; Home State Health; Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg; Susan and Stephen Lipstein; Senator Claire McCaskill and Joseph Shepard and Cynthia and Ronald Thompson; Wells Fargo Advisors and Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church all chipped in with $25,000 donations each to make the permanent bronze sculpture, designed by Brian R. Owens, possible.
The bronze work is installed in Kiener Plaza – at the landscaped corner of Broadway and Chestnut Street near the historic Old Courthouse.
Dr. William H Danforth, M.D. and James H. Buford, led a group of dignitaries, who were also seen in the cold weathered outdoors brisk ceremony, and the audience included Dr. Alice Price, Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, Lt. Colonel Rochelle Jones, Norman Seay, John Moten, Sr., and Attorney William Douthit, Jr., Gentry W. Trotter and Deputy Sheriff Steve Roberts.
St. Louis City Branch N.A.A.C.P. under the leadership of Adolphus M. Pruitt, II coordinated the fundraising effort and Kiener ceremonies to honor their fellow executive committee member, the “venerable” Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman, age 101.


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