Robert Robinson Taylor is the first known black graduate of MIT. He graduated in 1892 and went on to become the first professionally-educated, black architect in America and the main architect of the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.
In 1884, Lewis Colson,a former slave, came with the surveying crew to plat the town of Sarasota. In 1897, Colson and his wife, Irene, the midwife for the black community, donated land for the area’s first African American Church, the Bethlehem Baptist Church. Colson became its first minister. In those days the black community was chiefly in an area known as Overtown which grew as more African Americans came to Sarasota.
I wonder why our school system does not teach the kids about Men like this: American pacifist James Zwerg after being beaten by a mob in Montgomery, Alabama in 1960 as part of the Freedom Riders. Zwerg volunteered to leave the bus first upon arriving in Montgomery, knowing he’d be the blunt of the violent crowd’s aggression. He would have died that day if an anonymous black man hadn’t stepped in and saved his life by deflecting the mob’s attention to himself.