In Memoriam

Gwendolyn T. Britt, 1941-2008

Maryland state senator Gwendolyn T. Britt, who spent a lifetime as a civil rights activist, died earlier this month at a hospital in Latham, Maryland. She was 66 years old.

Britt was a native of Washington, D.C. As a student at Howard University in 1960, she led a protest at the racially segregated Glen Echo Park in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 1961 she dropped out of Howard University to join the Freedom Riders. During the Freedom Rides, she spent 40 days in a Mississippi jail for taking a seat in a whites-only waiting room at a train station.

It would be more than 40 years before Britt completed her undergraduate education, earning a bachelor’s degree at Bowie State University. She was elected to the Maryland state Senate in 2003.