Black History Month 2014: The first Black person to… receive a degree from an American college

Alexander Lucius Twilight

Alexander Lucius Twilight

Every year for Black History Month I explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than be stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.


For my twelfth entry this month another two-fer:

1823: First African American to receive a degree from an American college: Alexander Twilight, Middlebury College

1836: First African American elected to public office and to serve in a state legislature: Alexander Twilight, Vermont

Alexander Lucius Twilight (September 26, 1795 – June 19, 1857), born free in Vermont, was the first African-American person known to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an American college or university upon graduating Middlebury College in 1823. An educator, minister and politician, he was licensed as a Congregational preacher, and worked in ministry and education all his career. In 1829 Twilight became principal of the Orleans County Grammar School. There he designed and built Athenian Hall, the first granite public building in the state. In 1836 he was the first African American elected to public office as a state legislator, serving in the Vermont General Assembly.


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