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Annie Simons

Source: Sonja Simons / Sonja Simons

Imagine having a regular conversation with your family member over a meal, only to find out they were a major piece of history. That is what happened to me. During a family dinner, I was preparing for an upcoming speech I was giving about some powerful women in history. My Godmother, face still in her plate, just haphazardly says, “You know I was the first Black woman to carry a gun for the U.S. Park Police.” My neck snapped so fast. I exclaimed, “What?!?!” How can you know someone your entire life an not know they were such a vital part in opening the door for so many others to follow? I love hearing about others’ life stories and sharing them for us all to learn from and be inspired by. Clearly, I had more to learn about my Godmother. So, I jumped at the chance to share the story of the DMV’s own piece of Women’s and Black history; Annie Simons. In this interview she talks about being on stage with Dr. Martin Luther King, being arrested during desegregation protests, her challenges being a female Park Police officer, her personal ministry, and what women today need to do to continue to progress in the future.

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