Juanita Willmon Goggins

Black and white photograph of Juanita Willmon Goggins smiling

Juanita W. Goggins in 1974, when she became the first black woman elected to the South Carolina Legislature. Associated Press.

(1934-2010)  Goggins was a daughter of Willie and Lillian Willmon of Pendleton, SC. She earned a bachelor’s and master's degree in home economics from SC State.

She taught in the state’s segregated school system and she saw how discrimination and separation persisted. That led her to enter politics with a resolve for change.

In 1972, she became the first Black woman to represent South Carolina as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 1974, she was appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.  That same year she became the first Black woman elected to the state’s legislature.  While in the state legislature, she authored the original South Carolina kindergarten legislation. In addition, she was responsible for creating Sickle Cell Anemia testing in all of the county health departments.