George Washington Williams. Civil War veteran, minister, and Ohio's first Black state legislator, Williams published the first formal history of the African American experience, "The History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880" (1883).
Most popularly known as the author of History of the Negro Race in America, widely considered the first objective history of blacks in the US, George Washington Williams is famous for the oral histories he capturing detailing the experiences of black Americans during the American Civil War. In addition to being an author, pastor and attorney, he was a legislator. A Republican, in 1879 he became the first black to serve in the Ohio legislature.
George Washington Williams told black Americans' story
There probably would be no Black History Month, if there hadn’t been people who thought that the story of African-Americans was worth preserving. One of the pioneers in that effort was George Washington Williams. In 1883, less than 20 years after the end of the Civil War, Mr. Williams’ “History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880” was published. Mr. Williams had set a high standard for his work. “Not as the blind panegyrist of my race, nor as the partisan apologist, but from a…