Yvonne B. Miller was the first black woman elected to the Virginia Senate. Miller, who shared a birthday synonymous with Independence Day, was the longest serving woman in the history of the Virginia Senate. In 1987, Miller became the first woman member of the Virginia Senate. The state of Virginia’s resistance to desegregation in the 1950’s sparked her determination.
Senator Miller was a spokesperson for the poor and underprivileged community of Virginia. Her career took a new direction in 1983, when she became the first black woman to win a seat in the House of Delegates. Within four years, Senator Miller won a seat in the State Senate on the budget-writing Finance Committee. Then in 1996, she became the first black female chair of any Senate Committee, the Senate Transportation Committee.