Patsy Takemoto Mink


Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first colored women in congress. This position obviously did not come easily to her, rather with a bunch of struggle and motivation in order to accomplish her goals. She was a Japanese American, strong and willed, representing the Democratic Party. She served in the U.S House of Representatives for a total of 12 terms, representing Hawaii’s first and second congressional districts. During her time in congress she authorized the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, which was later named The Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, after her death in 2002 due to pneumonia.

The experiences that Patsy faced, are very similar to the ones discussed in class. Due to WWll, Takemoto was not favored in high school for student body president, since many were uncomfortable with anything Japanese related. This was not uncommon all over America; all Japanese were discriminated against due to the fact that many Americans associated them with the bombings on Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, when Patsy Takemoto went to attend the University of Nebraska, she was discriminated once again, and forced to live in the colored dorms. She did not stand for this, leading to her organizing and creating a coalition of students, parents, administrators, employees, alumni, sponsoring businesses and corporations, and successfully lobbied to end the racial segregation. Mink was very unique, since many people faced these racial segregation issues, however did not have as much strength as her to fight it. After graduating from Nebraska University, she moved back to Honolulu to prepare for medical school, but to her dismay she was not accepted to the 20 schools she applied to due to being a women. She realized then that the only way to get women accepted to medical school would be through the judiciary process; taking her life on a turn, and encouraging Patsy to attend Law school at the University of Chicago.

The obstacles Patsy Takemoto Mink faced were not uncommon during that period of time, however due to her efforts people of color are allowed to succeed, as well as women. During Takemoto’s time, people were not fighting back to the injustice they faced; they needed her to fight for them. She was a hero for all, she has effected all of our lives one way or another.

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