Mahala Ashley Dickerson Photo

Mahala Ashley Dickerson

Born: Oct 12, 1912

Death: Feb 19, 2007

Birthplace: Montgomery

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Mahala Ashley Dickerson

Date of Birth : Oct 12, 1912
Date of Death : Feb 19, 2007
Birth Place : Montgomery

Mahala Ashley Dickerson grew up in Alabama on a plantation owned by her father. She attended a private school, Miss White's School, where she began a lifelong friendship with Rosa Parks, who would become a hero of the civil rights movement. Dickerson graduated from Fisk University in 1935, married Henry Dickerson and had triplets, Alfred, John and Chris. She later divorced, and when the boys were 6, she went to Howard University School of Law, becoming one of four women to graduate in her class of 1936. In Indiana she married Indianapolis attorney and later Presidential candidate Frank R. Beckwith. She practiced with him for a year and then opened her own law office. After working as an attorney in Alabama and Indiana, she moved to Alaska with her sons, where she homesteaded. She was the first black female attorney in her home state of Alabama in 1948 and the second black woman admitted to the bar in Indiana in 1951. She was also Alaska's first black attorney, admitted to the bar in 1959 and the first black president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, 1983-1984.


  • Lawyer
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