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Longtime State Rep. Alyce Clarke first Black woman to have portrait displayed in capitol

Alyce Clarke portrait
Retired Rep. Alyce Clarke became the first Black woman to have her portrait placed in the state capitol (photo courtesy of the Mississippi House of Representatives/X)

History was made at the state capitol on Tuesday with retired Rep. Alyce Clarke becoming the first Black woman to have her portrait put on permanent display.

Clarke, 85, began her time in the Mississippi House in 1985 and was the first Black woman elected to representative in state history. Now, her likeness is on display in room 204 of the capitol to honor the longtime lawmaker and the mark she made on bettering Mississippi.

One of Clarke’s greatest achievements in the House is her role in creating the state lottery. Not only was the Hinds County representative a longtime advocate of a Mississippi lottery, but she was also the first to purchase a state lottery ticket in 2019.

The beloved representative was also a staunch advocate for improving Mississippi’s education system and establishing drug courts as a means to get addicts or substance abusers the treatment they need.

While Clarke’s tenure representing her Jackson district lasted 38 years, she will forever be enshrined as a trailblazer who served the people of her state with integrity.

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