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Former Detroit congresswoman Barbara-Rose Collins has passed away after battling COVID-19. Her family confirmed her passing early Thursday morning, She was 82. Barbara-Rose Collins son Christopher Collins, said in a statement that, “She lived her whole life in the same neighborhood, same house she was born in, on the lower east side, that says a lot about a person.” Collins also said that his mother received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however still caught the virus. He also stated she had been hospitalized for days before dying at around 2 a.m. Thursday morning

(Photo by Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)”n

Barbara-Rose Collins was the first African American woman from Michigan to be elected to Congress. Her political career first began in 1971 at the age of 32. Collins first political job was on the Detroit Board of Education. Then three years later, in 1974, she ran for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives and succeeded. Collins would served for three terms. In 1980, she decided she wanted to take her political career a step further and pursue a seat in congress, but former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young talked her out of it and said he thought a City Council position in Detroit would better suit her. He was right and in 1981, Collins became one of the three newest members elected to Detroit’s city council. After taking nearly a decade off from politics, she returned in 1990 and decided to represent Detroit in the U.S. House of Representatives.

City Council President Brenda Jones said, “Queen Mother Barbara-Rose inspired the next generation of Black men and women to aspire to a career in public service. First as a school board member, later a state representative and then on to city council — one would have thought that would be enough. But no, Barbara-Rose’s vision carried her to the top, breaking barriers along the way.”

Barbara-Rose Collins will forever be one of Detroit’s greatest congress women to represent the city. She inspired so many to follow in her footsteps and encouraged many other to follow their dreams. Detroit help us celebrate the life and legacy of Congress women Barbra-Rose Collins