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Womens history local content ATL 2024

Source: R1 / other

1ST African American Female Sheriff in the United States…served 3 times as Sheriff of Fulton County.  Jacquelyn Barrett broke color and gender barriers on November 3, 1992 when she was elected sheriff of Fulton County, Georgia, thus becoming the first African American female sheriff in the United States. Her election signaled the end of the old-time stereotype of the Southern sheriff as a big-bellied, tobacco-spitting, white male. As a black female with a master’s degree and over twenty years in law enforcement, Barrett represented the new face of law enforcement. As sheriff, Barrett inherited a constituency that included the city of Atlanta, a budget in excess of #65 million, and a staff of over 1000 sworn officers and civilians. Despite the high-profile nature of her job and the public scrutiny that goes with it, Barrett has always made family a priority. “I’m a mother and I don’t hide that from anyone,” she told Ebony. “I talk about being a mother in the hope that my experience will help other mothers in this community who are trying to raise their kids.”

Barrett’s commitment to community goes beyond her roles as sheriff and mother. “I am a particular advocate of a sense of community—caring about each other as members of the community, acting like neighbors,” she told Ebony. To that end, the sheriff’s department participates in numerous programs such as fundraisers for youth homes, gang resistance training in middle schools, and job training. Individually, Barrett goes, as she told Eye on Women, “wherever anybody will let me talk” to lecture on everything from domestic abuse to the realities of jail. Barrett explained that she feels this is simply another aspect of her duties as sheriff.

ATL Women’s History Month: Jacquelyn Barrett  was originally published on