#BlackExcellence: This Week’s Black History Firsts

#BlackExcellence: This Week’s Black History Firsts

These are accomplishments worth celebrating!

Published October 11th

Written by Zemirah Moffett

This has been a week that will go down in Black History books. From elected officials, to theater, and rodeos, African-Americans have been shining and creating new Black history. These are accomplishments worth celebrating.

  1. Tony Postell

    Tyronza is highlighting themselves on the map this week. The Arkansas city welcomed its first African-American police chief. Tony Postell has been serving in law enforcement for 13 years, patrolling over Trumann, and Marked Tree, and now serving as the police chief of Tyronza.

    (Photo: kait8)
  2. Vanessa Roy

    Vanessa Roy will be the first African-American woman to rank as an engineer for the Charlotte Fire Department. Roy served as in the department as a firefighter since 2009. After extensive testing she will be promoted October 12, 2019.

    (Photo: wsoctv)
  3. Lisa K. Ivory

    Lisa K. Ivory has worked in the Shreveport, LA Fire Department for 29 years. On October 9, 2019, Fire Chief Edwin Scott Wolverton swore Ivory in as Battalion Fire Chief. She is now the second African-American woman to hold this position.

    (Photo: Shreveport Times)
  4. Annette Totten

    Annette Totten’s campaign may be history in the making. Totten is a Riverhead attorney who has been practicing for 15 years. She is running for a seat on the State Supreme Court. If elected she would be the first African-American woman elected in Suffolk County.

    (Photo: Riverhead Local)
  5. Eugene Bullard

    Eugene Bullard, also known as “Black Swallow of Death,” was the first African-American pilot to fly in combat. He is now making history for the second time. On October 9, 2019, the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, unveiled their statue to honor Bullard.

    (Photo: National Air and Space Museum Archives)
    (Photo: Museum of Aviation)
  6. Karen Evetta Shelton

    Karen Evetta Shelton was the first African-American woman to be a police officer for Baltimore City. Shelton was also one of the nine who founded Blue Guardians in 1986. Shelton lost her battle with dementia, and is now remembered as a trailblazer and pioneer. Her loved ones will be laying her to rest on October 12, 2019.


    (Photo: Baltimore Sun)
  7. Peter M. Johnson

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint in Utah made progressive strides this week. Excitement overtook Latter-day Saints members on October 6, 2019, as it was the first time a sermon was given by an African-American man. Peter M. Johnson took to the stage to speak at the church’s modern day semiannual gather.

    (Photo: Salt Lake Tribune)
  8. Steven L. Reed

    200 years after the city's incorporation, Montgomery, Alabama, is making history by electing its first Black mayor. After defeating David Woods, Steven L. Reed becomes mayor-elect of the city. This is Reed’s second time making history as he was also the first probate judge in Montgomery County.

    (Photo: Steven Reed)
  9. Timothy Ragland

    Timothy Ragland had a double header in making history this week. The law student and clerk became the first African-American mayor-elect of Talladega, Alabama. Not only is he the first African-American, he is also the youngest at 28.

    (Photo: Tucker Webb/ The Daily Home)
  10. The Cowgirls of Color

    The Cowgirls of Color is the first all-African-American female rodeo team. The team includes women and young girls from the DMV area. The Cowgirls of Color are trailblazers who aim to inspire the next generation. 

    (Photo: Cowgirls of Color)
  11. Leo James McClairen

    This week the FBI celebrated 100 years of the service of African-American special agents. They highlighted Leo James McClairen as a pioneer. McClairen was the first African-American agent in the city of Miami and across the Deep South. 


    (Photo: FBI)
  12. William Lee

    William Lee is a name that rings bells in Sacramento. Lee has been making history for more than 50 years. He founded the city's first African-American newspaper, The Sacramento Observer. The publication ran for so long it became an institution in the state capital. Lee is a pioneer as he created African-American history in Sacramento before the city saw its first African-American officials, doctors and lawyers. The city mourned the death of Lee during the weekend of October 6, 2019. He will now be remembered as a legend, visionary and trailblazer.

    William Lee Jr. Left, William Lee Right (Photo: The Sacramento Bee)
  13. Malcolm Moore

    Malcolm Moore officially broke the streak. He has been promoted to Deputy Chief of the Fire Department of New York. This makes him the first African-American deputy chief to hold this position in 30 years.

    Fire Chief Malcolm Moore and his family. (Photo: Lem Peterkin Photo)
  14. Charlie Hardy

    Charlie Hardy was the first African-American hired to work for MetLife Insurance Company. After 50 years of service with the company, he is retiring. Over his year at MetLife, he has been honored with many awards, including one for 20 years of service. After his time with MetLife, he is leaving a lasting legacy of being known for his leadership. 


    (Photo: WAFF)
  15. Jessica Nabongo

    Jessica Nabongo made world history on October 6, 2019. Nabongo completed her mission of visiting every country. She announced her goal publicly in March 2018, but the idea was created while she was on a trip to Bali, Indonesia, in February 2017. This makes her the first Black woman to have traveled to all 195 countries. 

    (Photo: Forbes)
  16. Kedrick King And Ditra Graves

    Elon, North Carolina, made history this week. After 100 years, the department has promoted two African-Americans to sergeants. Both Kedrick King and Ditra Graves have been a part of the force for more than five years.

    (Photo: Elizabeth Pattman/ Times-News)
    (Photo: Elizabeth Pattman/ Times-News)
  17. Derrick Davis

    The Phantom of the Opera is on a national tour, and it is making history. The show has had three African-Americans act as the phantom, but this is the first time an African-American is on tour as the phantom. Derrick Davis is breaking barriers with his new role.

    (Photo: WBAL-TV)
  18. Jaren Hall

    Jaren Hall is a freshmen attending Brigham Young University in Florida. Hall will be making history October 12, 2019, as the African-American starting quarterback in the game against South Florida University. This will be the first time in 100 years.

    (Photo: Trent Nelson/ Salt Lake Tribune)

(Photo: Jupiterimages)


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