February 23, 2009

Manic Monday: First Black Fire Chiefs

The theme for this week's Manic Monday meme is 'fire'. I thought it would be a good idea to honor Black firefighters since it is Black History Month.

I met Cortez Trotter, the first Black fire chief of Chicago, at a banquet a few years ago. We take it for granted that African Americans can serve anywhere in our society now that we're in the Obama era. However, it wasn't so long ago that firehouses were extremely segregated. The story was pertinent enough to become a movie. Do any of you remember Richard Roundtree in 1973 movie, 'Firehouse'?

Cortez was the first Black fire chief in Chicago. Other cities that hired their first Black fire chief in recent years include:

Did I miss any other Black fire chiefs around the nation?

10 comments:

SjP said...

Great tribute! Much obliged!

Villager said...

Sojourner - Asante sana. It has been many moons since I've participated in the Manic Monday meme...

Talair said...

I was quite surprised to see NYC on the list. Wonderful tribute.

~My Autism Insights

Jamie said...

It is so hard to believe that it was such recent history. BTW, Thank you for the pictures. :-)

Regina said...

I'll read the post in a bit, just let me finish drooling over the pictures! Thanks for brightening up my Monday!

Villager said...

Talair - Actually, I think that NYC was the first big-city to appoint a Black person to that executive position. NYC showed courage and leadership at a time where it was not popular. Well done...

Jamie & Regina - I felt a need to provide these photos for the female villagers after I shared the photos of the Brazilian samba dancer over the weekend...

Travis said...

Firefighters are some of my heroes.

Villager said...

Travis - I'm glad that you enjoyed our entry this week...

msladydeborah said...

My great grandfather was Pittsburgh's first AA Fire Chief. I am glad to see that there other AA's representing quite nicely in the 21st Century!

Villager said...

Lady D - I hope that you tell your grandfather's story at some point. Did you ever get to ride on one of his fire trucks? Or slide down the pole? Those are the things I always remember about firefighters from my youth. I used to think that both of those things would be great. Later I realized the danger that firefighters endured with their daily jobs. They are everyday heroes...