Local Civic Leader Leaves Lasting Legacy

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami native Sybil Johnson passed away June 13th at the age of 93. She is gone but certainly not forgotten.

“She always believed she would have more if she gave more, so she always gave more,” said Juanita Johnson Miller, her daughter.

More of her time, more of her money, just more of herself to the community she loved so much.

Johnson was a mother of two, a friend, a hairstylist and cosmetologist by trade, a civic leader and to all of the ladies who frequented her hair salon in Opa Locka in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, a confidante.

It was at the salon that Johnson helped a community of African-American women find their voice in the world, encouraging community activism which was something she was very passionate about.

As a matter of fact, in 1971, she became the first black woman appointed to the Miami-Dade County Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Commission.

She and her friend, Esterlene Colebrook, founded the Cupidettes Club in the early 70s. It’s a civic service and social organization that awarded scholarships and provided a place for women with like interests to bond. Despite all of her accomplishments, Johnson Miller said her mother’s legacy is simple.

“I want her to be remembered as a loving, caring, charitable person,” said Johnson Miller.

Watch Summer Knowles’ report, click here.



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