Before the Commonwealth and Hampton Roads lost her, over three years ago, Yvonne B. Miller, allowed us to gained so much from her tireless dedication to her family, her community and quest for equality for all. Before she was Doctor, Professor, Delegate and Senator Yvonne B. Miller, she was simply – Yvonne Bond, born in Edenton, North Carolina.
She was one of 13 children to John T. And Pency C. Bond in 1934. Shortly after, her family moved to Norfolk and she and her siblings attended the city’s “colored” Public Schools. Student Yvonne Bond graduated from Booker T. Washington High School to Norfolk Division of the Virginia State, which is now Norfolk State University.
To complete her B.A. degree in education, she attended Virginia State College.
The former undergraduate student became newly minted teacher, Yvonne Bond and returned home teach in the city’s schools. At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court declared “Separate, but equal” public schools illegal. But Virginia resisted. Friends say that resistance to change and respect her people inspired Yvonne Bond to work for freedom to resist American Racial Apartheid. But she knew she had to be prepared.
After receiving her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in relatively more progressive parts of the America, Yvonne B. Miller came home. Norfolk State hired her to instruct students to become teachers.
Dr. Miller became Chairman Miller of the Early Childhood Education. While a civic leader and developing young minds, she became a politician. Not to inflate ego or bank account, but to help her people.
In 1983, she became the first Black woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and three years later she made history again as the first Black woman to serve in the State Senate.
For 29 years she served in the General Assembly as a tireless advocate of Civil Rights, education, economic equality, restoration of rights for ex-convicts, and opposition to the barriers to the most precious civic right and responsibility to vote among other causes and issues.
When she died on July 3, 2012 the day before her 78th birthday, she had served in the General Assembly longer than any other woman with a long list of legislative achievements.