Watch: Sen. Thelma Harper’s funeral underway in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The funeral for longtime Tennessee Senator Thelma Harper is underway in Nashville.

The funeral, officially bearing the title “Hats off to Senator Thelma Harper,” will be held at Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center (3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.) and will be open to the public with masks required. Final visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. while the funeral will follow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Capacity limitations protocol will also be in place; attendance will not be permitted once capacity is reached.

Following the funeral, a motorcade will escort Senator Harper’s body to Greenwood Cemetery West for interment.

The public is also invited to a farewell rally and barbeque at Kingdom Cafe, formerly Harper’s restaurant after the motorcade. Masks are required.

Senator Harper died in late April at the age of 80. During her time as a state senator, she represented Nashville in the State Senate for three decades, serving the 19th district.

She was the longest-serving female state senator in state history, and became the first African-American woman to be elected state senator in 1991.

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