STATEHOUSE (April 10, 2019) — State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) at the Statehouse honored Marion native Pearl Bassett for her work as a civil rights activist throughout the majority of her nearly 108 years of life.
“Pearl is an icon for our community,” Mahan said. “The world was a totally different place when she was born in 1911. Women couldn’t vote and people of color were still being denied basic rights in many places. Pearl took it upon herself to become involved and stand up for equal rights. She has truly made a difference in our community.”
Bassett is a founding member of the NAACP in Marion, becoming involved at the age of 12. She was the first Democratic precinct chairwoman in Grant County as well as the president of the local chapter of Women in the NAACP.
“I think it’s wonderful to go to the Statehouse and see our elected officials,” Pearl said. “It is an honor to be here really, and I appreciate it very much.”
According to Mahan, Bassett does not shy away from challenges. She and others were involved in a lawsuit to desegregate a public pool in 1955. She was also part of a march to the Grant County Courthouse for civil rights in 1969.
State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) represents House District 31,
which includes all of Blackford County and portions of Delaware,
Grant and Wells counties.
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CAPTION: State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) (left, podium) honors Marion native Pearl Bassett (center) Monday, April 8, 2019, at the Statehouse. Pearl, who is almost 108 years old, has been a civil rights activist since age 12. She is a founding member of the NAACP in Marion as well as previous president of the local Women in the NAACP and has fought for equal rights in her community throughout her life.