Black History Month 2014: The first Black person to… be admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court

John Stewart Rock

John Stewart Rock

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

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.
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For my twenty-sixth entry this month:

1865:  First African-American attorney admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court: John Stewart Rock

John Stewart Rock (October 13, 1825 – December 3, 1866) was an American teacher, doctor, dentist, lawyer and abolitionist, historically associated with the coining of the term “black is beautiful” (thought to have originated from a speech he made in 1858, however historical records now indicate he never actually used the specific phrase on that day).  Rock was one of the first African-American men to earn a medical degree. In addition, he was the first black person to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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