Inez Crutchfield was one of six women inducted into the 2013 Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame during the Tennessee Economic Council on Women annual conference in Nashville Oct. 28.”I wish people would not be judged by race or economics but by their abilities to achieve,” she said during her acceptance of the award. Crutchfield was the first African-American woman to become a member of the Democratic Women’s Club of Davidson County as well as the first black woman to serve as the organization’s president.
She has also served more than 40 years on the Democratic party’s Executive Committee and more than 20 years on the board of Meharry’s Medical College. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University and a retired faculty member after more than 40 years.
During the 1960s civil rights era, Crutchfield would pick up the parents who had come to bail their students out of jail for protesting segregated lunch counters. During a short video, she said she supported the students int eh civil rights movement because they went to go through so much.
“They would go to the church so they could be prepared for the things that would happen to them. They were spit upon and had water poured on them. They had things done to them that would break your heart,” she said.
Crutchfield, who is in her 80s, received a standing ovation from the more than 200 women at the luncheon. “I never dreamed I would be standing here,” she said. “Thank you all for helping me to get here.”