Category: Culture

History in Motion: Judge Helen Shores Lee

The daughter of a Civil Rights icon helped shape history because, “I felt there was a plan for me.”

Helen Shores Lee grew up in the shadows of segregation during the height of the Civil Rights movement in the Dynamite Hill section of Birmingham, Alabama. The daughter of a renowned attorney, she became a national leader on mental health before following her father’s footsteps in the legal field.

Her rise in the profession of law proved to be meteoric. In 2003, Judge Lee became the first African-American woman to serve in the civil division of the circuit court of Jefferson County.

Lee made a name for herself, as had her father a generation before, stepping forward when human rights were challenged and by championing justice for all.

In return, she helped shape history.

“Things change. People change. Conditions change,” Lee said. “Somehow I felt there was a plan for me. When God has a plan for you, you need to listen and follow that plan.”

History in Motion is an annual award presented by Regions during Black History Month to recognize those who helped bring equality to all. Take a few minutes to learn Lee’s compelling story.