Dr. Annie Bell Ranzy Stinson Weston was served as a prominent educator and political figure in South Carolina. She helped lead voter registration efforts during the early Civil Rights era and was a strong advocate for women in politics.
Weston was born in 1912 at Fort Motte in Calhoun County, South Carolina. She moved to the state’s capital city to attend high school. From high school, Weston attended Benedict College where she obtained her bachelor’s degree. She later received her master’s degree from Columbia University in New York.
After completing the master’s program at Columbia, Weston returned to South Carolina where she served as a professor of her alma mater, Benedict College for 35 years. In 1962, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate degree from the historically black school.
Dr. Weston was elected State Secretary of the Progressive Democratic Party in 1946. It was during this time, she helped lead voter registration efforts. She attended the Democratic National Convention multiple times and was, in fact, the first African-American woman from South Carolina to do so.
Throughout her career, Dr. Weston traveled extensively and often lectured about politics and race. She was appointed by President Harry Truman to the National Committee for the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth.