Georgia Ann Robinson

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Georgia Ann Robinson
Georgia Ann Robinson.jpg
Born Georgia Ann Hill
(1879-05-12)May 12, 1879
Opelousas, Louisiana, United States
Died September 21, 1961(1961-09-21) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality American
Occupation
  • Police officer
  • Community worker
Known for First African-American woman police officer at the LAPD
Notable work Founded a shelter for women and girls (Sojourner Truth Home)

Georgia Ann Robinson (née Hill; May 12, 1879 – September 21, 1961) was an American police officer and community worker who was the first African American woman to be appointed a police officer at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). She joined the force as a volunteer in 1916, having previously been active in community affairs, including her local NAACP branch; she was appointed an officer in 1919. She worked on juvenile and homicide cases, including referring women and girls to social agencies. Robinson founded the Sojourner Truth Home, a shelter for women and girls. Her police career ended when she permanently lost her sight after being injured by a prisoner. Robinson continued community activism, including the campaign to desegregate schools and beaches. She was married to Morgan Robinson, and had a daughter, Marian. She died in Los Angeles at the age of 82.

Early life[edit]

Georgia Ann Hill was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, on 12 May 1879. She was brought up first by an older sister, then in a convent. She moved to Kansas when she was 18, working as a governess. She married Morgan Robinson there, and the couple moved to Colorado, and then to Los Angeles.[1]

Robinson was an active suffragist while a young woman in Colorado, and was a key organizer and office holder in the Los Angeles branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).[2]

Career and community activism[edit]

In 1916, when the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was facing a shortage of officers after many enlisted to fight in World War I, Robinson was recruited to leave her community work to join LAPD as a volunteer.[1][3]

She was appointed to the position of police officer in 1919, the first African-American policewoman at the LAPD, and one of the first in the United States.[4][5][6] Robinson's appointment is regarded as a landmark for a second reason, as "her duty, to refer young black women to social agencies rather than arrest them was one of the first attempts by the LAPD to provide services to the black community and dispel the idea that African Americans were naturally predisposed to crime".[5]

Robinson worked on juvenile and homicide cases.[3] She went on to found a shelter for women and girls called the Sojourner Truth Home.[1]

"I have no regrets. I didn’t need my eyes any longer. I had seen all there was to see."

Georgia Robinson, 1954[7][1]

Robinson's police career was cut short in 1928, when a prisoner banged her head into jail bars, causing a head injury so severe that she permanently lost her sight.[6]

She continued community work and activism, supporting the shelter, continuing her involvement in the NAACP, and campaigning to desegregate schools and beaches.[1]

Personal life[edit]

She married Morgan Robinson in Kansas, and they had a daughter, Marian.[1] She is said to have often brought underprivileged women and children home with her for dinner.[6] Robinson was interviewed by Ebony Magazine in 1954.[7] She died in Los Angeles on 21 September 1961.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Robinson, Georgia Ann Hill (1879–1961) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". www.blackpast.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Two public appointees". The Crisis. The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. March 1917. p. 231. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Rasmussen, Cecilia (9 June 1997). "Policewomen's Battle to Serve and Protect". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  4. ^ Corsianos, Marilyn (2009). Policing and gendered justice : examining the possibilities. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780802096791. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Olsen, Marilyn (2001). State trooper: America's state troopers and highway patrolmen. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co. p. 40. ISBN 9781563116131. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Janik, Erika (2017). Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction. Boston MA: Beacon Press. ISBN 0807047880. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "First Negro Policewoman Joined L.A. Force in 1916". Ebony Magazine. 9 (11): 32. September 1954. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 

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