Six years after graduating from Fort Valley State College, FVSU Alumna Edith Jacqueline Ingram Grant, ’63, became the first African-American woman judge in Georgia in 1969 when she was elected to serve on the Hancock County Court of the Ordinary. She moved to the county’s probate court in 1973. Prior to her tenure on the bench, she taught public school in Griffin and Sparta, GA.
Born in Sparta, GA, Ingram Grant first enrolled in college at the New York City College for Nurses, but returned to Georgia to study education at Fort Valley State College, graduating in 1963. She ran for office at her father’s urging during a time of heightened racial tension in the state, and then served as a judge for 36 years. Then-Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter appointed her to the State Democratic Committee, and Governor Joe Frank Harris named her to his staff in 1983. She also served as president of the Georgia Coalition of Black Women and as a member of the National College of Probate Judges, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and on the board of the Ebony International Learning Academy and Preparatory School. She is profiled in the book Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events.