Epsy Campbell Barr: Latin America’s First Black Woman Vice President

Epsy Campbell Barr is the first Black woman to serve as vice-president in Latin America.
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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Epsy Campbell Barr is the first Black woman to serve as vice-president in Latin America.

Since Jamaican American Kamala Harris was selected to be President Joe Biden’s second-in-command, special attention has been paid to the impact of Jamaicans on international politics.

But long before Harris became Madam Vice President, Jamaicans and people of Jamaican heritage had been breaking racial and gender barriers in politics.

In 2018, Epsy Campbell Barr made history when she became the first Black woman to serve as vice president in the entire Latin America region. Campbell Barr was, at the time, appointed as the vice president in Costa Rico.

Campbell Barr was born in San José in 1963 to parents Shirley Barr Aird and Luis Campbell Patterson. She is the fourth child of a family of five daughters and two sons. She was named after her Jamaican paternal grandmother, Epsy, who migrated to the Caribbean province of Puerto Limon from Jamaica with her husband.

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