Black History 365: Wiley Overton

Since there are so many facets of the history that people of African descent have made in this country, I’ve decided to continue my “Black History 365″ series from my poetry blog here on my AfrocentriqueAZ blog. I’ll be posting a new “First Black” entry every Wednesday. This week is the first African-American police officer in present-day New York City (in Brooklyn prior to the 1898 incorporation of the five boroughs into the City of New York):  Wiley Overton.

Photo Source: http://crimestoppersatlanta.org/blog/ (Not sure if this image is actually of Wiley Overton or is just a file photo of a random Black officer)

Photo Source: http://crimestoppersatlanta.org/blog/
(Not sure if this image is actually of Wiley Overton or is just a file photo of a random Black officer)

There was not a Wikipedia article so this is what I found from the few things listed online:

Hired by the City of Brooklyn before it merged with New York in 1898, the Police Department considers Wiley G. Overton, sworn in by Brooklyn in 1891, as the city’s pioneer black officer. [1] Sadly, Overton was met with hostility from his white counterparts and only two years later, he resigned from his post. [2]

There is not much information online about Wiley Overton and I am not sure that the image on the Crime Stoppers article is really Overton or not. I did contact the The National Black Police Association (NBPA) to see if their organization keeps any historical records of things like this. I also contacted the City of Brooklyn Police Department with the same question. I’ll update this if I can be given more information and/or sources of info.

********

SOURCES:

[1] Recalling First Black Appointed to New York Police Dept.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/nyregion/recalling-samuel-battle-who-became-first-black-on-nypd.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[2] Google Books: African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks by Joan Potter (p 135)
http://books.google.com/books?id=dfbxF9dKhoAC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=Wiley+Overton+brooklyn+police&source=bl&ots=v1Lkzc5oqw&sig=3wYnagY2zXql2iFlHj-EP1d4LfM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h88hVK-nMdfmoASbzoCIDQ&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Wiley%20Overton%20brooklyn%20police&f=false

Crime Stoppers Atlanta
http://crimestoppersatlanta.org/blog/2013/02/first-african-american-president/
(I’m not sure why this article which is CLEARLY about 1st black police officer has a URL saying first black president but it IS the URL that was in the address bar)

.

 

Advertisements

Tell me what you're thinking! :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s